This is Public Health

Certain “super foods,” as they’ve come to be labeled, have shown lots of promise when it comes to their nutritional value and weight loss. When included in healthy diet and exercise routines, these foods can help boost energy, metabolism and help drop a few lbs in the process.

Check out CNN’s recent article about these foods to find out more.

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Kids may be getting brown rice and chopped spinach at their school cafeterias soon, and liking it too! First Lady Michelle Obama and the USDA launched the Recipes for Healthy Kids Competition last September, encouraging teams of nutritionists, chefs and students to develop nutritious and kid-approved recipes for school lunch menus. To check out the rice and spinach recipe, as well as fourteen others in the semi-finals, click here.

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Congress has passed a child nutrition bill designed to promote better eating habits by setting standards for food sold in vending machines and other venues on school grounds. The $4.5 billion measure provides more money to poor areas to subsidize healthier meals and requires schools to abide by health guidelines drafted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which includes adding more fruits and vegetables as food options. Read more about how the bill will promote healthy eating in schools.

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Providing healthy school lunches, restricting access to junk foods and delivering consistent messages about nutrition are important strategies for school leaders to be aware of to help improve student health. The New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee (FPAC), in which LPHI served as a member of the steering committee, recently released a report that provides recommendations for improving the culture of health and nutrition children are exposed to at school. Key recommendations from the report include exceeding minimum USDA nutritional standards, serving more fruits and vegetables, integrating healthy food education into the curriculum and ensuring that high-calorie, low-nutrient snacks foods are not sold on school campuses. Download the FPAC report for detailed recommendations on healthy school food policies and find out what the CDC recommends for promoting healthier foods and beverages in schools.

With over one-third of America’s children overweight or obese, the federal government is pooling resources and partnering with state and local leaders to fight the battle of the bulge. First lady Michelle Obama is set to spearhead efforts to make healthy living easier for American families by creating healthy school lunch programs, allowing kids more opportunities to be physically active and providing communities with access to healthy food options. As part of the program new PSAs have begun airing that feature special characters that appeal to kids.  Read the whole story.

America’s children are facing a health crisis. Few meet recommended dietary guidelines and many eat poorly and don’t exercise at all. In the last 20 years, the percentage of overweight children has tripled, resulting in earlier onset and increased prevalence of disease. In response, the USDA has established nutrition standards for its school meals programs and is now working to help increase physical activity and nutrition education in schools. Find out how your child’s school can get involved in the USDA’s Team Nutrition project. Graphic logo from: USDA Food and Nutrition Service