Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

Help Families Fill Nutrition and Reading Gaps This Summer

School’s out, kids are home for the summer, and a parent’s routines have completely changed and they may need your help to navigate the new schedules. They have gone from packing school lunches to making meals and snacks for their kids between trips to the beach or pool, sports events, swimming lessons, or playing with friends in the backyard. Well-chosen snacks are a great way to help fill nutrition gaps, and help kids meet their energy needs.  But many kids also experience a reading gap in the summer. By choosing the right books, you can help families simultaneously fill nutrition and reading gaps during the summer break – and have fun doing it.

TDR.little.girl.yogurtWhile we know as health and wellness professionals that it’s important to nourish the body, it’s equally as important to nourish the mind, especially since a new survey found that children spend nearly three times as many hours weekly watching TV or playing video games as they do reading in the summer. It’s important to remember that nutrition, physical activity, and learning go hand-in-hand all year long.

So encourage families and children to curl up with a good book this summer – one that delights, nourishes the mind, and encourages adventures in the kitchen and garden.  Here are a few resources that may be of interest to you: (more…)

See How Two Proteins Naturally Found in Milk May Aid Blood Pressure Control

With one in three Americans having hypertension and nearly 30 percent of adults having prehypertension, you most likely counsel clients frequently about dietary and lifestyle changes to help reduce blood pressure. When discussing dietary advice with people, we know it’s important to keep in mind that “People eat food, not nutrients,” so often a whole foods approach works best. But as professionals, we want to know how foods work to maintain health. We want to know the mechanisms behind the beneficial effects nutrient-rich foods have on health outcomes – in intricate detail. Blood pressure is no exception. New research into the how of blood pressure control published this spring in the American Journal of Hypertension reveals a potentially unique role for proteins naturally found in milk. (more…)

The Complexity of Cancer and Food

Cancer is scary. It is a complex disease that does not discriminate — it can impact all parts of the body, and all ages, young and old, without warning. Most people have an experience with cancer either personally or through family, friends, coworkers or others they know. My experiences involve many people like my cousin, Scott, who was close to my sister’s age and lived a block away from us growing up—he was almost in the 2nd grade when he passed away. Scott maintained his childhood sweetness and wonderment at the little things through his short life; there was nothing his parents, support network and medical staff did not try to help him beat cancer. More recently my friend Dena lost her life to cancer right before her 30th birthday. I also am a registered dietitian (RD) and worked at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston for about 5 years, where I met and worked with many patients, some of them with cancer.

As an RD, I wish we knew more about how to reduce the incidence of this horrible disease, but the reality is cancer, the second most common cause of death in the U.S., is a multifaceted disease that appears to result from the interaction of multiple genetic and environmental factors. Among the environmental factors, diet and nutrition, including milk and milk products, have received considerable attention as potential modifiers of cancer risk, but we still have a long road of discovery ahead. (more…)

Yogurt: An Ancient Food Whose Health Effects Continue to Grow

Yogurt has been eaten for thousands of years, and is one of the earliest examples of food innovation. Most historical accounts attribute the creation of yogurt to around 6000 BC in Central Asia — during a time when there were no grocery shelves and no refrigeration!  It was thought that the curdling of milk extended the time it could be consumed safely and also improved its digestibility.  At the Experimental Biology (EB) meeting this week (April 30), scientists will gather for the second year in a row to discuss the strength of current scientific knowledge about the health benefits of yogurt and to identify areas for continued research. (more…)

Gluten Free? Give me Dairy!

Imagine getting sick every time you ate and not knowing why; being misdiagnosed and having questions go unanswered for years. Now imagine the relief of finally finding out what caused the bloating, discomfort and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).This is what happened to me. My relief was short-lived when I discovered my new food limitations and the need for new eating habits; the culprit behind the madness… gluten. (more…)

Balancing Taste and Nutrition in Flavored Milk for Kids

How often have you heard people say, “If it tastes good, it must be bad for you?”  Well, that’s not the case with flavored milk.  Most kids like the taste of flavored milk, and it has the same nine essential nutrients as white milk.  In fact, when given the choice, 70 percent of kids choose flavored milk.  Even so, milk companies — in response to public health concerns to improve child health and wellness — have been working for several years to change the recipe for flavored milks available to schools so they have fewer calories, added sugars, and fat – while maintaining the good taste that kids love.  (more…)

ChildObesity180 Provides Tools to Implement or Expand Your School Breakfast Program

Breakfast consumption among children has been associated with improved diet quality, physical fitness, and school performance, as well as reduced risk for overweight and obesity. Yet, an estimated 20 percent of children in the U.S. skip breakfast each day. The National School Breakfast Program (SBP) was established in 1966 as one strategy to increase the number of children eating breakfast, specifically among “nutritionally needy” school-aged children. Participation in the national SBP has been linked to improvements in the quality of children’s diets, as well as their readiness to learn. Although student participation in the SBP has risen steadily since its inception, the program remains underutilized. (more…)

Changing Perceptions on Saturated Fat and Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Wouldn’t it be boring to be a dietitian if dietary recommendations never changed, if study results didn’t contradict each other, or if new information never came along to blow our long-held beliefs out of the water?  One area of inquiry that has seen change is the in scientific knowledge on the role of saturated fat, and whole milk dairy products in particular, on cardiovascular disease risk. (more…)

Empowering Today’s Youth for Future Generations

Every child deserves access to healthy foods and opportunities for daily physical activity to help ensure they are healthy and ready to learn. This is crucial not only for them, but also for the future of our nation. As a mother of three, it’s concerning that one in five households with children are food insecure and only 42% get the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Even further, the majority of U.S. children do not consume the recommended daily servings from all food groups, missing essential nutrients for growth and development. These statistics threaten American’s youth today and the future health, productivity and livelihood for generations to come.

The way to a healthier America begins in our schools. American schools reach more than 55 million kids a day, 180 days a year, making them the right place to start when it comes to improving child health and wellness. Additionally, there is a very important connection between nutrition, physical activity and a child’s ability to learn, which often is referred to as the learning connection. (more…)

Dairy in the Student Athlete’s Diet

Each year, nearly a half million student-athletes participate in college athletics across the U.S. These students devote up to 20 hours a week to intense training and competition to contribute to a successful athletic program,while striving to achieve a college degree. And, while many of the challenges they face take place on the field and in practice, one important challenge is meeting their nutritional needs.