Archive for April, 2010
I’m excited to announce Fuel Up to Play 60 is honoring student and school winners of its online challenge for the 2009-2010 school year. More than 60,000 schools participated in the program this year and 6th to 8th graders from Enslow Middle School in Huntington, WV earned the most points during the challenge, making Enslow this year’s winning school!
These students embraced the concept that small changes to your health can make a big difference for everyone. Enslow students held taste tests to determine new healthy menu options to add to the cafeteria selection and started a walking club to help students exercise daily. They tracked all of the healthy changes they made during the school year and ultimately their personal efforts made them our national school winner, earning them a new HOPS Sports System and cafeteria makeover (valued at $40,000), which will help Enslow’s students make their improvements permanent.
As my friend, Erin Coffield stated in her previous blog post, Fuel Up to Play 60 shares many of the ambitious goals outlined in the First Lady’s childhood obesity platform, Let’s Move. One goal that both programs share is helping families make healthy choices for meals. It sounds so simple, but how do you begin?
As health professionals, it is good to remember that teaching families the importance of eating together offers the foundation for building healthy diets. In a research editorial in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, the author summarizes studies that found the frequency of family dinner was associated with higher intake of nutrients, such as dietary fiber, calcium, iron, folate, and vitamins B-6, B-12, C and E. Another study discussed found that the frequency of family dinner was positively associated with intake of fruits, vegetables, grains and calcium-rich foods and inversely associated with soft drink consumption. Here’s a link to an abstract of one of the studies referenced in the editorial. The challenge is putting nutrient-rich foods like low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products, whole grains, fruits and vegetables on the table while simultaneously coordinating work and school schedules.
Science Daily reports on a new study published in Osteoporosis International that found among women at an elevated risk level for osteoporosis-associated fractures, they fail to perceive the implications of having important risk factors. Of women diagnosed with osteoporosis, only 43 percent perceived themselves to be at increased risk for fracture. This study demonstrates that more education is needed for women at risk for osteoporosis-related fractures.
I recently attended the 2010 Texas Dietetic Association annual Food and Nutrition Conference for registered dietitians. While much of the history of dietary guidance has focused on nutrients to avoid (fat, sugar and salt), the theme of the conference, Communicating a Positive Nutrition Message, lends credibility to the need for a more positive approach. One such approach is the Nutrient Rich Foods approach through which nutrition experts nationwide are empowering people to make their calories count more by choosing nutrient-rich foods. The Nutrient Rich Foods approach helps people follow the recommendations of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid to help people “get more nutrition from their calories” and build healthier overall diets. More enduring than a trendy diet, the Nutrient Rich Foods approach is a fundamentally different way to define nutritious foods – an evolution from what foods or nutrients to avoid to what to include – a positive message!
As a part of the conference, I had the pleasure to attend the session, “Entertaining with Nutrient-Rich Foods,” given by Chef Sarah Penrod and registered dietitian Jan Tilley. This session showed that home-based entertaining can be both nutritious and delicious by teaching attendees how to incorporate nutrient-rich foods into the overall menu while keeping it festive and fun. The four rules they provided to achieve this balance included:
• Keep it easy to serve
• Make it beautiful, but realistic
• Make it special – classic, trendy or vintage
• Balance nutrient-rich foods with special occasion foods
The selections demonstrated included a market board, a trendy cheese plate with complimentary pairings, featuring a wonderful blueberry Stilton cheese, Brie with raspberry preserve sauce, fresh raspberries, frosted grapes, sautéed peaches and roasted asparagus. The market board was accompanied with torn pieces of fresh whole grain bread. Additionally, a quinoa risotto made with Pepper Jack cheese and corn and naan bread pizzas topped with blue cheese also were demonstrated.
These recipes demonstrate that nutrient-rich cooking can be both healthy while appealing and pleasing to the palate. Sarah is additionally, a personal chef devoted to helping others eat healthfully while enjoying their food. She partners frequently with Jan Tilley, MS, RD/LD, who advocates enjoying nutrient-rich foods as a part of overall well-being. Both of these ladies have become successful by communicating a positive nutrition message through nutrient-rich foods, a lesson we should all consider incorporating into our practices moving forward.
There’s nothing like a growling stomach to distract kids from their school work. Grabbing a piece of toast or banana as they run out the door in the morning (or skipping breakfast altogether) likely won’t do the job of keeping them satisfied until lunch. Satiety expert Heather Leidy and colleagues studied 13 normal to overweight adolescents who routinely skip breakfast to compare the impact of consuming a typical protein breakfast containing 18 grams of protein, a protein-rich breakfast including whey protein containing 49 grams, or no breakfast at all on appetite and later food intake.
On separate testing days, the teens were randomly assigned to eat the typical protein breakfast, the protein-rich breakfast, or to skip breakfast (control condition). Perceived appetite, satiety and hormonal responses were measured throughout a five-hour period, followed by a lunch buffet where the teens were told they could eat as much as they wanted. The teens completed a food record, documenting all food and beverages they consumed over the remaining 24 hours.
Results showed that the protein-rich breakfast led to greater reductions in appetite ratings four hours after the meal (before lunch) than did the typical protein breakfast or when breakfast was skipped. Those who ate the protein-rich breakfast also consumed about 130 fewer calories at lunch than did those who ate the typical protein breakfast or who skipped breakfast. Even though the total daily calorie intake did not differ between breakfast groups, the authors say the findings suggest that encouraging a protein-rich breakfast might be an effective way to help improve appetite control in young people.
For kids or teens who don’t eat school breakfast, incorporating milk, yogurt, cheese, or whey protein into the breakfast they eat at home is a great way to help boost protein content. Milk, yogurt and cheese are not only good sources of high-quality protein, but milk for example, provides eight other essential nutrients including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin and niacin (niacin equivalents) to make breakfast count nutritionally.
Send your clients to the NDC website for recipes that can help add more protein to breakfast that both kids and adults will love.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Shake (To increase the amount of protein I add chocolate whey protein powder instead of cocoa powder)
Crustless Cheddar and Sun-Dried Tomato Mini Quiches (Eat warm or cold on the go)
Cinnamon Swirl Yogurt French Toast (Great for a weekend when there is more time for food preparation)
Also see the Dairy Council Digest, The Role of Protein in Satiety and Weight Management.
On Monday, February 8th, I was thrilled as a representative of Dairy Max to accompany representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Texas Department of Agriculture to experience the groundbreaking program that Houston Independent School District (HISD) is implementing to provide free and healthy meals to Houston students helping them to reach their daily recommended servings of the “Food Groups to Encourage”.