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Live.Life.Healthy Hosts Real Food Drive

Live.Life.Healthy would like to provide Winter Park High School (WPHS) students with fresh fruits and vegetables they can take home with them over the holiday breaks.  WPHS has many students that utilize the school’s food pantry (which consists of canned or boxed food), that would truly appreciate REAL food.  Live.Life.Healthy is partnering with Amp Your Good on this Real Food Drive so  you can donate fresh produce.

It’s easy to help!  Just select the donate button, pick out and purchase the food you would like to donate and it will be delivered directly to the WPHS food pantry after the drive is over.  You’ll receive a tax receipt via email.

Hurry, the drive ends November 30, 2016.

Click here to learn more and to donate.

Healthy Diet as Teen, Less Weight Gain as Adult

Teens who eat right may gain less weight later on, researchers report.

Encouraging more young people to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables as well as lean proteins and whole grains while limiting sugar, red meat and processed foods could have a positive long-term effect on obesity rates, investigators found.

The University of Minnesota researchers tracked the diet and weight of more than 2,500 teens, starting at age 15, over a decade.

“People with a healthier diet at 15 gained less weight over the next five and 10 years,” lead author David Jacobs said in a university news release. Jacobs is a professor of epidemiology and community health.

A separate study of middle school and high school students showed similar results. It found that healthy eaters were not thinner at 15, but were slimmer at ages 20 and 25.

And that held true regardless of their food intake, physical activity and smoking habits, according to the report published recently in The Journal of Pediatrics.

“Food preferences and attitudes may be established as early as age 15,” Jacobs said. “The choices adolescents make during that stage establish a lifetime diet pattern, which could influence weight gain over time.”

The study authors suggested that parents and health care professionals help young people develop healthy eating habits and recognize that tastes may change.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more about teen nutrition.

Gardening May Give Kids’ Diets a Boost

Letting kids help with gardening may sow the seeds of a lifelong healthy eating habit, according to new research.

College students who gardened as a kid, or were currently gardeners, ate more fruits and vegetables than their peers without a green thumb, researchers at the University of Florida found.

“This finding is particularly relevant, given the recent popularity of school gardens and farm-to-school projects,” the study’s lead author, Anne Mathews, said in a school news release. She is an assistant professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

This study is part of a larger effort by researchers from several U.S. universities to get college students to eat healthier foods. The new program is dubbed the “Get Fruved” (Get Your Fruits and Vegetables) project. The investigators are analyzing which variables influence the eating habits of teens and young adults.

To explore how participation in school gardening projects affected students’ long-term eating habits, Mathews and her colleagues surveyed over 1,300 college students.

The participants were divided into four groups: those who gardened in childhood; those who currently gardened; those who gardened in childhood and still do; and, those who never gardened.

The study found that 30 percent of the students gardened as a child, and 38 percent currently gardened. These students ate 2.9 cups of fruits and vegetables daily — about a half a cup more than their peers who never gardened, the study showed.

“We found that if your parents gardened but you did not, just watching them did not make a difference in how much fruits and vegetables you eat in college. Hands-on experience seems to matter,” said Mathews.

The findings should encourage schools to offer gardening lessons or a group program that exposes young children to the activity. Doing so could encourage students to maintain healthy eating habits later in life and perhaps help curb rates of childhood obesity, the study authors suggested.

The findings were published in the September issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The report is also expected to be presented next month at the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Exhibition in Boston.

More information

The American Heart Association has more tips to help children develop healthy eating habits.

SOURCE: University of Florida, news release, Sept. 19, 2016

New: 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Dietary-GuidelinesThe 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released last week.  The guidelines, which are revised every five years, are based on evolving nutrition science and serve as the government’s official advice on what to eat. One concrete change: Americans are being told to limit sugar to no more than 10 percent of daily calories.

Here’s a comparison of the added sugars that the average American eats with how much they should be eating, according to the most recent guidelines:

sugars-chartKey Recommendations

Consume a healthy eating pattern that accounts for all foods and beverages within an appropriate calorie level.

A healthy eating pattern includes:

  • A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups—dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products
  • Oils

A healthy eating pattern limits:

  • Saturated fats and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium

Additional recommendations include:

  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars
  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats
  • Consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium
  • Meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
 Click here for additional information on the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

10 Smoothies for Kids

Kids smoothiesAdapted from Vitamix

Incorporating veggies into the family diet in subtle ways can help expand the palate and cultivate a taste for vegetables. Smoothies use the natural sweetness of fruit as the perfect disguise. Pineapple, orange, and grapes are particularly good smoothie ingredients to marry with vegetables. Apples can offset greens with a slight “bite” such as spinach. Cucumber adds a crisp finish without taking center stage. Try these recipes for nutrition that looks as wonderful as it tastes.

  1. Beet, Strawberry, Cranberry Smoothie
    Bright, beautiful, and bursting with flavor.
  2. Fruit Salad Smoothie
    Carrot and cucumber go incognito in this delicious medley of fruit.
  3. Gold Medal Smoothie
    Fresh fruit and carrot create a winning combination. Add protein powder for sustained energy when you’re on the go.
  4. All Green Smoothie
    Broccoli and greens are tucked neatly behind the sweetness of grapes, pear, avocado, and pineapple juice.
  5. Everything Smoothie
    With carrot, broccoli, spinach, and six different fruits, this recipe lives up to its name.

For smoothies 6-10, visit the Vitamix website.

In-Season Winter Produce

Winter-Produce1

Are you curious what produce is in season in the winter? Check out this list of fruit and vegetables that are in-season in the winter. Remember – you can eat fresh fruits and vegetables all year long! Also, be sure to check out what local farmers markets are open in the winter under the “Winter Markets” tab on the USDA National Farmers Markets Directory

Portion Your Child’s Plate

MyPlateThe old adage that “you are what you eat” applies to kids, too.

To help ensure that your youngster eats healthy, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advises:

  • Fruits and veggies should fill half the child’s plate. Offer a variety of shapes and colors that make these healthy foods more appealing.
  • Fill one-quarter of the child’s plate with protein. Consider different forms that are more appealing to kids, such as a salmon burger instead of a salmon fillet.
  • Fill the remainder of the plate with whole grains. Mix whole grain rice or pasta with white versions that kids may be used to, and gradually substitute more whole grains.
  • Offer water or low-fat milk as a beverage. Avoid sugary drinks.

Portion Your Child's Plate

MyPlateThe old adage that “you are what you eat” applies to kids, too.

To help ensure that your youngster eats healthy, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advises:

  • Fruits and veggies should fill half the child’s plate. Offer a variety of shapes and colors that make these healthy foods more appealing.
  • Fill one-quarter of the child’s plate with protein. Consider different forms that are more appealing to kids, such as a salmon burger instead of a salmon fillet.
  • Fill the remainder of the plate with whole grains. Mix whole grain rice or pasta with white versions that kids may be used to, and gradually substitute more whole grains.
  • Offer water or low-fat milk as a beverage. Avoid sugary drinks.

Celebrate National School Lunch Week

Picture1To recognize the National School Lunch Program and the 30 million children it serves every day, schools across the country are recognizing National School Lunch Week from October 12-16, 2015. The theme, “School Lunch Snapshot” is all about sharing the best images of today’s school lunches.

National School Lunch Week emphasizes the healthy foods that are offered daily at in schools.  School lunches are healthier than ever, with more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and less fat and sodium.  National School Lunch Week helps educate parents and students about all the benefits of the National School Lunch Program, and the appealing choices offered”.

The federally-funded National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides nutritionally balanced, healthy meals to students everyday.  The program, which has been serving the nation’s children for over 60 years, requires school meals to meet federal nutrition standards like offering fruits and vegetables every day, serving whole-grain rich foods, and limiting fat, calories, and sodium.

The “School Lunch Snapshot” campaign is made possible by the nonprofit School Nutrition Association. Parents and students can follow the fun via the hashtag #NSLW. For more information about schools meals, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/SchoolMeals.