Posts

New Research Shows How Children Want Their Food Served

The aim of research from the Future Consumer Lab was to investigate whether children prefer their food served in a particular way and whether their gender and age make a difference with regard to their preferences.

The researchers asked 100 schoolchildren, aged seven to eight and 12 to 14 years, to make a priority list of photos of six different dishes served in three different ways:

  1. With the elements of the food presented separately so they did not touch each other
  2. As a mix of separate ingredients and ingredients that were mixed together
  3. With all the food mixed together

From the children’s prioritisation of the displayed photos, the researchers could see which presentation of the food they liked best and which serving style they least cared for. The study shows that the younger girls (aged seven to eight) prefer the separate serving , while boys of the same age do not have a preference for how the food is arranged. The research also shows that children between 12 and 14 prefer food to be either mixed together or served as a mix of separate and mixed-together ingredients.

Read more

Willie’s Mart to Offer Free Food for Students at Winter Park High School

With support from the Winter Park Rotary Club and Second Harvest Food Bank, Winter Park High School has opened Willie’s Mart.

The market is open to ALL students and the food is FREE. Students are allowed to take three items per visit.  The pantry will be operated by the WPHS National Honor Society and Closet for Care volunteers, along with various staff members.

Healthy Summer Challenge

Encourage your kids to take the Healthy Summer Challenge form the Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living. Summer is a time to relax and enjoy downtime, but don’t forget that staying active and eating healthy is still Important. Getting 30-60 minutes of physical activity a day and eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables is essential to child health. These fun calendars challenge kids to stay active and eat healthy over summer break.

Summer Calendars

How Much Should I Prepare

Holiday celebrations tend to center around decorations and food. Planning enough food for groups of people can result in food waste or many leftovers. Leftovers can be helpful if you can use them in meals but too many can cause mealtime to become dull.

Hints that may help are:

1) The higher the number of dishes, the lower number servings you need to make. If you are serving 12 people and having 5 side dishes, you do not need 12 servings of each side. People tend to choose one or two sides or only take small servings of each.

2) Items that freeze well will make fun meals in January.

3) Share extras with other family members so that they can enjoy them and food will not go into the trash. Plan foods that will reheat well, freeze well, or be so popular guests will eat all you have made.

By LuAnn Duncan, Family and Consumer Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension Orange County

Keep Sugar From Overtaking Your Child’s Diet

US dietary guidelines recommend consuming less than 10% of daily calories from added sugars. On a 1,500-calorie diet, a level appropriate for moderately active 4- to 8-year-olds, just less than 10% would be about 33 grams of added sugars per day.

In August, the American Heart Association issued stricter sugar recommendations designed to keep kids healthy, stating that children should consume less than 6 teaspoons — or 24 grams — of added sugars per day. It also recommended that children and teens should limit their intake of sugar-sweetened drinks to no more than 8 ounces per week.

So what can parents do to keep sugar from overtaking their kids’ diets? Here are a few suggestions.

Don’t deprive your kids of sweets.

Despite the consequences, health professionals agree that parents shouldn’t deprive their child of sweets. The key is to help children find a balance with food, helping them learn how to enjoy healthy foods and enjoy (and self-regulate) treats.

Allow children one sweet treat or dessert per day.
Good choices include animal crackers, vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Keep fruit drinks, soda and sugary beverages out of the house.
There’s no nutritional benefit to drinking sugar-sweetened beverages. For an alternative to soda, dilute 4 ounces unsweetened juice with 4 ounces seltzer water and flavor with lemon, lime or other fresh fruit.

Watch out for sugars in foods that you don’t think of as sweet.
Keep an eye on breads, sauces and condiments by searching ingredient lists for names such as high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, glucose, sucrose or other words ending in “ose,” evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, malt syrup and molasses. Food packages will soon list “added sugars” as a separate line on nutrition labels, so the amount of these sugars will no longer be “hidden.”

Remember, even natural sugar is sugar.
Many people think that “natural” sugars like honey and agave are healthier than ones that are more highly processed, like sucrose or table sugar. But when you look closely, you see that all of these sugars contain fructose and glucose. And while honey may offer some antioxidants, you would probably have to consume a lot of honey calories in order to experience any health benefits.

This doesn’t mean foods containing natural sugars aren’t healthy. But how these natural sugars are packaged matters.

A piece of whole fruit like an apple contains naturally occurring fructose, but it also delivers 4.4 grams of fiber, thanks to the peel and pulp. Apple juice, on the other hand, lacks fiber and is a more concentrated source of sugar and calories.

Tips to Help Kids Cope with Food Peer Pressure

food shopping with kidsMuch of life revolves around eating, so you want to be sure that your child is equipped to make healthy choices when you’re not right there. The older a child gets, the more meals and snacks take place outside the home — from school to sleepovers to parties. As kids grow up and gain more independence, outings with friends often include eating in restaurants. Peer pressure, a social reality that affects many areas of life, can easily influence a child’s food preferences and selections in each of these situations.

Eat Right offers these tips to help your child pick healthy options when you’re not around

It Starts At Home – Habits formed at home will follow your child out the door. While studies have shown that peer influences are associated with kids’ eating patterns, it is known that behaviors modeled by family members are a powerful force as well. A review article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition notes that parents have the opportunity to model positive or negative eating habits, and that this can impact children’s choices in any setting.

 

Healthy Choices at Restaurants – Extravagant portion sizes present a challenge for health-minded kids who are eating out with their friends. Help children and teens practice mindful eating by encouraging them to eat at a slower pace and heed the internal cues that the body sends to let them know they are full. Tell them that cleaning their plate is not always necessary. Help them pick healthy options when you go out as a family.

 

Confidence Under Scrutiny – Friends and even family members may pose awkward questions — such as, “Are you on a diet?” — when kids make different food choices than their peers, or they may tease them for things including drinking water instead of soda at social gatherings. Kids with a strong sense of self-esteem will be more confident in their actions. Encourage them to open up to you regarding their feelings about conversations they’ve had regarding choices that have gone against the norm. Praise them for good decisions. Suggest that they explain that they do eat “sometimes” foods, but that they also want to make healthy choices as often as possible.

 

So Many Options! – School, visits with friends and “special occasions” are ever-present opportunities for kids to practice balanced eating. When there is an array of options, teach them that they can take a “sometimes” food along with a few healthier foods. Get together with other parents of younger children from school and talk about ways you can promote healthy eating in the group as a whole.

 

 

Heart Health Tips for Kids

kids-heart-healthFebruary is Heart Health Month.  Most associate this health awareness month with adults, but did you know that a healthy heart starts in childhood?  We now know that early heart disease can be found in children who have poor diets and a sedentary lifestyle.  This is why it is so important to teach children healthy habits that will promote a healthy heart and overall well-being.

Kids are like little sponges and they learn quickly from you and their surroundings.  Help them instill healthy habits that they will carry with them through their lifetime.

Here is a list of healthy heart tips from our friends at Nourish Interactive that:
  • give you ideas on how to get your child moving
  • promote prevention of heart disease
  • provide tips on the healthy foods that promote a healthy heart

List of Tips Promote A Healthy Heart For Kids And For Families

  1. All children age 3 and older need yearly blood pressure measurements.
  2. A healthy heart starts with a healthy breakfast.
  3. Kids like to feel great. Teach them how to be good to their heart.
  4. Salmon has omega 3 heart healthy fat.
  5. Look for the words “100% whole” when buying whole wheat or whole grains.
  6. For chocolate lovers, eat antioxidant-rich, heart-healthy, organic dark chocolate
  7. The heart’s a muscle too. Give it a workout.
  8. Avoid foods with trans fat (you can find it in the food label).
  9. Promote heart healthy foods that are low in saturated fats.
  10. Choose and prepare foods with less salt. Most adults and children consume more sodium (salt) than their body needs.
  11. Sauces such as low sodium soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, wasabi, or ginger are healthy choices.
  12. Omega 3 fat is good for your heart and brain.
  13. Most kids eat too much salt. Keep the salt shaker off the table.
  14. Soluable fiber helps lower your cholesterol.
  15. Healthy oils come from fish, nuts, and liquid oils like grape seed, olive oil, avocado and hemp oil.
  16. Exercise can help increase your family’s healthy “HDL” cholesterol.
  17. Keep an eye on cholesterol by reading the food labels.
  18. Black beans are a better choice because they have less fat than refried beans
  19. Try healthy spray butter for your dinner rolls and veggies. They taste great and add 0 calories.
  20. Keep your heart healthy with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  21. Use leftover chicken from dinner last night and make a sandwich vs. processed sandwich meat which is high in sodium (salt).
  22. Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child’s risk of obesity by 60%. Restrict your child’s soft drink consumption.

Healthy School Team Activity Ideas

HST

Adapted from Orange County Public Schools Healthy Team Healthy School Newsletter

The New Year is Here! 

This is the perfect time to meet with your Healthy School Team (HST) to determine what activities will take place during the second semester.

Why not start with making a HST New Year’s Resolution???

Here are some ideas:

Hamburger Buddy

[gmc_recipe 4176]