Archive for August, 2009
Around the country, school kids are breathing easier—summer vacation is here. But maybe the change in season should alarm parents and health professionals. A recent journal article indicated that students gain more weight when they are not in school. This was especially true for those at the most risk of obesity— Hispanics, blacks and already overweight children.
I’ve heard many say that the study findings surprised them. After all, there’s so much pressure on schools today to improve the nutrition environment. As health professionals, how can we help parents, especially when they are concerned about their child’s weight? I’ve outlined five strategies that can help:
1. Schedule meals and snacks
Ellyn Satter’s work provides the best sensible advice on feeding children of all ages, from picky eaters to overweight children. Structuring times for meals and sit-down snacks is critical because it allows for children’s nutritional needs to be met. It also means children learn to trust that their food needs will be met; that allows them to rely on their own body’s cues for satiety. Children do have smaller stomachs so snacks are important. As a busy parent, I know it’s great to have the whole family on the same timetable to avoid being a short order cook! Who has time for that?! I’m not a particularly structured person but as my kids have grown, I have really come to fully appreciate the wisdom in this advice, both for the kids and for the parents. What do you find with clients or your own family?
2. Offer snacks that pack a nutrition punch
With kids consuming significant calories as snacks, parents should view snacktime as a chance to serve nutrient-rich foods, especially food groups that kids don’t get enough of (like dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains). Feeding expert Ellyn Satter again offers parents practical guidelines so that they know which decisions they need to make and which decisions to allow children to make.
In a healthy division of feeding responsibility, parents decide:
• what foods are offered
• when food is offered
• where food is offered
Kids then determine how much to eat—and whether to eat at all.
3. Watch Liquid Calories
Kids today drink more sugar sweetened beverages, according to one study published last year in Pediatrics. From NHANES 1988-2004 data, on a typical day, four out of five teens (84%) drink beverages such as soda, fruit drinks and sports drinks, sipping an extra 356 calories a day. It’s not just the older kids though. Children as earlier as two are part of this alarming trend. In fact, the largest increase was among school-aged children, ages 6-11, which increased consumption about 20%.
When children are thirsty, parents should offer water between meals and snacks. In fact, to help prevent tooth decay, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents only offer water or milk in between meals.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend children ages 9-18 get 3 servings a day of calcium-rich dairy foods. As a dietitian, I find it’s hard to achieve that without milk. For children who aren’t really milk drinkers, parents might serve chocolate milk with snacks. Any parent knows that kids drink more milk when it is flavored. NHANES data show that kids who drink flavored milk don’t consume any more sugar or total fat than non-milk drinkers.
Research also indicates that kids who drink milk are as lean or leaner than those who drink little milk.
4. Get kids moving
Plan active family outings like a walk after dinner or a stroll in the park. Let kids play outside with friends. Gather a group for some double-dutch Play a game of kickball. A pedometer might make a game out of moving more. One way to encourage children to be more active is to limit screen time—time in front of a television, computer or video game. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests a limit of two hours total a day, as discussed on MayoClinic.
5. Make family meals a priority
In all cultures through the ages, families have shared food at mealtimes. Today’s lifestyle threatens that bond. Yet, kids who eat more often with their families are less likely to have a weight problem. In fact, family mealtimes offer lots of social and psychological advantages that go even beyond better nutrition. This is tradition worth holding on to, yet as a mother, I know it’s hard to stick to but I keep trying because I know it’s so critical. Anyone have tricks that make it easier?
Hello, I’m Lana Balvin Frantzen, a proud Texan and foodie at heart. I am the nutrition communications director for Dairy MAX, the local dairy council of Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma and I am part of the Dairy Health & Wellness Team at the National Dairy Council.
Last month, I attended the ADA’s annual Leadership Institute in my dual role as DCMADA president and representative for NDC who is one of six ADA Partners. In my opinion, this is THE best meeting ADA hosts. It is attended by some 250 ADA leaders including representatives from all state affiliates and ADA dietetic practice groups.
The meeting this year focused on four aspects of leadership including adaptability, innovation, risk taking and empowerment.
When I heard that I immediately thought of farmers, and I had the opportunity to present briefly on the leadership role of American’s dairy farmers (below). Let me know what you think.
For the eighth consecutive year, the Dairy Council Digest health professional newsletter has been the recipient of the APEX award for publication excellence. The 2009 APEX award was given to consultant writer, Lois McBean, MS, RD, on behalf of the National Dairy Council (NDC) for the May/June 2008 issue titled, Dairy Protein Benefits for Physically Active People.
Find this and other archived issues on the National Dairy Council website, www.nationaldairycouncil.org.
As manager of this newsletter for the past nine years, I am very proud of its long history and the expertise of Lois McBean, who has written this publication consistently, accurately, and creatively since 1979. The first issue of the Digest was published in August 1929 on “Butter a Protective Food.”
How many of you read the Digest regularly or use it for educational purposes? I’d love to hear from you.
Sign up here to receive an e-mail alert announcing the posting of the next Dairy Council Digest.
Have you ever walked down the grocery aisle and felt overwhelmed by the stars, spots and symbols found on or next to foods to indicate “healthier for you” options? As an educated consumer I find myself wanting more information. I try to understand why this food gets a “healthier for you” symbol and this food does not. Also, why does this brand of food have a different symbol than this brand of food? What criteria are being used to determine a food is worthy of a symbol? Which symbols should I be following as guideposts for my purchase decisions (if at all)?
As a registered dietitian employed by the National Dairy Council for seven years, I have had the opportunity to be involved in many initiatives advocating for children’s health. Because of my passion in this area, I have decided to blog about my experiences to motivate others to advocate on behalf of child health and build grass roots effort such as the dad who once told me, “You are changing lives one child at a time.”
A consultant in dietetics in Fort Worth, TX for many prior years, my endeavors largely centered around pediatric and neonatal nutrition. I currently work with many professional athletes, physicians and other dietitians driving programs that educate the public towards building a healthier future for our children by empowering them to eat smart and move more. These changes can be accomplished by making Nutrient Rich Foods more available and appealing in schools and encouraging 60 minutes of active play daily.
My recently published article in Texas Family Physician entitled “Support the Change You Wish to See,” contains pivotal information in supporting nutrient rich foods and 60 minutes of active play in children’s lives. Because of my passion in this area, I have decided to blog about my experiences to motivate others to advocate on behalf of child health and build grass roots effort such as the dad who once told me, “You are changing lives one child at a time.”
You can find out more about me by reading my bio in the Meet Our Authors box, and I invite you to follow my blogging on The Dairy Report.
This is my first attempt at blogging and my opportunity to introduce myself and what I hope to accomplish.
For those of you who do not know me, I work for the National Dairy Council in the U.S. I oversee dairy farmer’s investment in research (nutrition and product) and how we work to translate that science. So, I will be writing about nutrition issues. It could be a new research study that just came out, a new educational piece, a new book, a story on nutrition that appeared somewhere, a regulatory issue, new products related to nutrition and health, etc.
Obviously, I will focus on dairy food and ingredient related issues. My hope is to alert you to new information and provide my point of view on various topics. I hope to provide an opportunity for dialogue, as well.
What are my qualifications?
I have a bachelor’s degree in nutrition science from Michigan State University, with a master’s and Ph.D. in nutrition from The Pennsylvania State University. I spent over 6 years at Kraft Foods and 17 years with the National Dairy Council. I am an Adjunct associate professor at the University of Illinois in the department of food science and nutrition. I have published peer-reviewed scientific papers, serve on the editorial boards of scientific journals, and am an active member of several scientific societies. I like to cook and eat, and luckily exercise. To read my full bio, click here.
Hello, I am Karen Kafer, a registered dietitian (RD) and Vice President of Health Partnerships-Nutrition Affairs for the National Dairy Council (NDC). Welcome to our blog!
I have spent my 30-year career in food and nutrition communications having worked in health care as a clinical dietitian, as the host of a TV cooking show called “Lighten Up”, in product and marketing communications with Kellogg Company, and then as a health professional communications consultant in Washington, DC, prior to joining the NDC just over a year ago to lead our health professional outreach and education.
I have long had a passion for public private partnerships and collaborations that help advance public health, so I greatly enjoy working on behalf of America’s dairy farmers with leading health and nutrition organizations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Dietetic Association (ADA), National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), National Medical Association (NMA), School Nutrition Association (SNA) and the National WIC Association (NWA). By working in collaboration and speaking with one voice, we can help the public make small steps that can bring about big changes in public health.
I am enthusiastic about being a regular contributor to The Dairy Report, to sharing insights and information from the many health and nutrition meetings I attend, as well as news from our partner organizations that may be helpful in translating science and recommendations into practical application for other health professionals and their clients.
Lastly, I am an avid volunteer and have served on a number of Foundations. Just this month it is my honor to begin my term as President of the D.C. Metro Area Dietetic Association(DCMADA).
I am a registered dietitian with 25 years experience. I have worked with food and nutrition issues on the front line both in the hospital. As a clinical dietitian at The Hospital for Special Surgery, I specialized in orthopedic and rheumatic diseases and continued nutrition counseling and lectures on rheumatic diseases, osteoporosis, weight reduction, and heart disease in the NY metro area.
While working full time, 15 of those years were and still are spent teaching good eating habits to the boys in my family – two teenage sons, ages 15 and 13, who want bigger muscles and stronger bones, and well– a 40 something year old husband who wants the same as his teenage sons.
Let me introduce myself: Stephanie Cundith on weight management, child nutrition and sports nutrition
As a registered dietitian and nutrition spokesperson for the National Dairy Council and Midwest Dairy Council, I’m excited for the opportunity to post on The Dairy Report. With degrees in journalism and dietetics, the desire to write about nutrition is in my blood! And, amidst so much online discussion about health and nutrition, I am eager to jump into the conversation with credible, science-based posts, including the most recent breaking news on dairy nutrition and details on the many benefits of dairy.
With a professional focus on weight management, child nutrition and sports nutrition, I’ll be sharing some great information on how dairy supports overall health for people of all ages. In addition to working full-time for the dairy council, I am the mother of a young son. I know a thing or two about juggling the responsibilities of work and family, while still finding time to make health and nutrition a priority. I look forward to sharing my strategies for success.
Working with a variety of audiences, including media, dietitians, family physicians, pediatricians, and consumers, equips me with a broad understanding of the types of information and resources people are in search of as they work to build a healthier lifestyle. This insight, no doubt, will be beneficial as I select my next post. Be on the lookout for more!
In good health,