Child and Adult Care Food Program to provide families access to healthy meals

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced the availability of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for the fiscal year 2019. CACFP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by ISBE as part of a suite of programs to provide children and families access to healthy meals.

CACFP assists child care centers, Head Start programs, before- and after-school programs, emergency shelters, and day care home providers with funding to provide nutritious meals to children in their care. All participating child care centers and day care homes must provide meals to enrolled children at no additional charge.

“The Child and Adult Care Food Program ensures children in daycare and after-school programs who may not otherwise have regular access to healthy food are getting the proper nutrition they need to fuel their developing bodies and brains,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “More than one in 10 people in Illinois, a third of them children, are food insecure. Physical health and nutrition affect our ability to learn, focus, and grow. ISBE is proud to administer nutrition programs that help ensure all children have what they need to thrive.”

In 2016, more than 1.4 million people in Illinois were food insecure, including nearly half a million children, according to Feeding America.

Individuals in households who participate in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Supplemental Nutrition Assitance Program (SNAP) are automatically eligible to receive free meal benefits. The USDA Household Income eligibility guidelines determine eligibility to receive free meal benefits for families that do not receive TANF or SNAP benefits. If a household’s income falls within or below the listed guidelines, they should contact their child care center or day care home provider to learn about benefits of the Child and Adult Care Food Program. They may be required to complete an application and provide income, TANF, or SNAP information. Read more

FDA Requires Fast Food Joints to Post Calories

Good Health Update shared that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is trying to assist you in making better choices and understanding the consequences of the choices you make.

They have finally approved and adopted a mandate that will require restaurant chains to post calorie counts on menus for everyone to see. While some chains and even non-chains already feature this, it will be mandatory for any chain with more than 20 locations.

From Fox News:

“The Food and Drug Administration will now require that all restaurant chains, grocers and other prepared food stores with 20 or more locations in the U.S. post calorie counts on their menus, NPR reports.

The mandate, originally proposed in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act, was supposed to be enacted by 2015 but faced a delay after receiving heavy backlash. While many large chains, like Starbucks, McDonalds and Panera, complied several years ago, smaller vendors argued it was too tedious and expensive to calculate calories in their rotating menu of items, according to Grub Street.” Read more

8 Superfoods You Should Be Eating Now

 

plate with fresh fishes on a market

Hallie Levine wrote for AARP thatHigh-fat dairy products (such as yogurt and cheese) have been linked to lower type 2 diabetes risk.

If you’re old enough to remember when oat bran and spinach earned all the nutrition gold stars, experts say it could be especially important that you check out today’s short list of tastier superfoods. “Food is really medicine, especially as you get older and are concerned about staying at a healthy weight while reducing your risk of conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease,” says Tonia Reinhard, a professor of nutrition at Wayne State University in Detroit and author of Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet. Here are the eight items experts say to put on your grocery-shopping list today.

Turmeric

The active ingredient in this earthy-sweet spice is called curcumin, and it appears to offer a trove of health benefits, including one you might want to write down: improving memory and mood in adults over 50 who have mild memory loss, according to a University of California, Los Angeles, study published in March. Curcumin is also a potent anti-inflammatory, says Cynthia Sass, author of Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Pulses —The New Superfood. And other research reveals turmeric’s ability to shut down genes involved in the growth and invasion of cancer cells, improve liver function, lower cholesterol, protect against Alzheimer’s disease and fend off viral infections, adds Sass. Is there anything this miracle spice can’t cure?

How to get it: Add it to an omelet, toss it into roasted veggies or rice, even sprinkle a little on your soup or salad, advises Reinhard. Sprinkling in a pinch or two should suffice; more than that can turn your teeth yellow. Read more

14 Nutritionist-Approved Fast Food Meals

Barbara Brody write for Tivity Health’s Silver Sneaker that few health experts would suggest that you hit the drive-thru on a regular basis, but that doesn’t mean everything on the menu is terrible for you.

“Fast food is generally high in fat, calories, and sodium, but there are some good choices too,” says Sonya Angelone, R.D.N., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Whether you’re on a road trip with limited options—or you’re dining out with the grandkids and would like to order something other than coffee—we can help. Here’s what to order at popular fast-food restaurants that won’t completely wreck your diet, health, or waistline.

What to Order at McDonald’s

1. Fruit and Maple Oatmeal

A good breakfast option with a fiber bonus, this oatmeal has 310 calories, 4 grams of fat, and 5 grams of fiber, Angelone says.

2. Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait

For a lighter breakfast, snack, or even dessert, this sweet parfait is a great option at only 150 calories. Plus, it provides some nutrition with fruit, calcium, and protein, Angelone says.

3. Small Hamburger

This classic is a much better option than any of the souped-up burgers on the menu. “At 250 calories with 13 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat,” Angelone says, “it’s one of the better fast-food burger choices.” If you’re still hungry, pair it with a side salad—just go easy on the dressing.

4. Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Going grilled makes all the difference. This sandwich has 380 calories, 37 grams of protein, and only 7 grams of fat. “This is great,” Angelone says, “especially when compared with some of the fried chicken sandwiches that can have as much as 720 calories and 33 grams of fat.”

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Healthy Eating Isn’t As Easy As It Sounds

Locke Hughesa freelance writer, certified health coach, amateur yogi, and expert avocado-toast maker, who worked for publications such as Shape, Greatist, and WebMD, shared in mbgfood that these days, you don’t need to be a doctor or a dietitian to know what you should be eating. Thanks to books, healthy living websites (like this one!), and heck, even Instagram, most Americans are pretty well-informed about how and what we should be eating.Given that you’re reading this, for example, I bet you made a green smoothie for breakfast—or maybe brown-bagged a grain bowl for lunch. I bet you know that leafy greens are crazy nutritious and fatty fish are a powerhouse of brain and body benefits. You’ve probably even read an article that describes exactly what top nutritionists, doctors, and other wellness experts eat in a typical day! It can’t get more cut-and-dried than that.

So with all of this information at our fingertips, every last one of us should be walking around, glowing like Gisele, happy with our body weight, and at peace with our dietary choices. Right?

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Even Modest Lifestyle Changes in Middle Age May Significantly Extend Your Life

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Sixth Annual Every Kid Healthy™ Week: April 23-27, 2018

Every Kid Healthy™ Week is an annual observance created to celebrate school health and wellness achievements and recognized on the calendar of National Health Observances.

Observed the last week of April each year, this special week shines a spotlight on the great efforts schools are making to improve the health and wellness of their students and the link between nutrition, physical activity, and learning – because healthy kids are better prepared to learn!

Anyone can get involved and be a part of the celebration to help support sound nutrition, regular physical activity and health-promoting programs in schools with a school health event.

Schools are invited to host an event during Every Kid Healthy Week or anytime in April. Consider making your field day or other school-wide event health-focused. Keep reading to learn how to host an event!

Host an Every Kid Healthy Event at Your School

Every Kid Healthy Week events should promote and reinforce healthy eating, nutrition education, physical activity and physical education. We have lots of resources to help you promote your event and get students and the whole community excited and involved.

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Quick Tips to Tackle Emotional Eating

College of DuPage Nursing Student Elena Basch suggests you ask yourself, “Am I hungry or am I bored? Stressed? Depressed? Am I rewarding myself? Why am I hungry?”  because it’s essential to know the cause of hunger in order to address it appropriately. Eating is something we all do to provide nutrition and nourishment to our bodies. Our bodies need this for it to perform adequately, but our bodies need GOOD food. Ever notice that when we eat poorly, we often feel the same way?

The food choices we make in relation to our emotions often aren’t the healthiest ones. It’s easy when feeling emotionally distressed, to pick unhealthy comfort foods. For me, that’s probably any baked good in reach or anything with sugar. Sugar makes me feel great. According to Laura Schwechrel from the goodist.com, sugar releases endorphins which cause a temporary “high”. To tackle my emotions, I have started doing two things in lieu of eating:

  1. I feel wonderful after a good workout. It also helps with weight loss. It’s a win-win. Need exercise ideas? I use Pinterest to look for exercises, they also have visuals to aid in the exercise I wish to perform. Also, it lets me try exercises I never thought I would try before. Some of these can be done in 15 minutes or less at home. Do what best fits your needs
  2. This one might not be as popular but writing on getting my thoughts down on paper has proved revolutionary. The poems don’t even have to be good but I sure do feel relief.

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Health on the Shelf: 14 Superfood Staples

Claire McIntosh wrote for AARP that sometimes you just can’t get to the farmers market. Eat healthfully with what’s on hand. These nutrient-dense superfoods that are shelf-stable put the power of prevention right in your pantry.

1. Oatmeal

It’s a cholesterol buster, thanks to lots of soluble fiber. But keep in mind that all oats aren’t equal. Quick-cooking oats have lost some fiber during processing. Instant flavored versions have added sugar. Old-fashioned rolled oats are a fantastic fiber fix. But steel-cut oats, which take longer to digest — making them low glycemic, or less likely to cause spikes in blood sugar — are the true breakfast of champions.

2. Canned salmon, tuna and sardines

Fatty fish such as these are the best way to get your omega-3 fatty acids, which protect against hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats. All these delish fish options are anti-inflammatory. Plus, they’re packed with protein. White tuna is a better choice for omega-3s.

3. Dried blueberries

Ready to make your pancake dreams come true, these sweet balls of goodness contain compounds that may delay the effects of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Besides being an indulgent source of fiber and vitamin C, they’ve got the immune-boosting, inflammation-busting power of antioxidants.

4. Quinoa 

A great grain to star in your favorite veggie-bowl recipes, the South American superfood is high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

5. Canned beets

These are an ideal topping for that quinoa-veggie bowl. The red root vegetable packs vitamins, minerals and antioxidants galore. Beets may help ward off cancer and lower blood pressure, too. Read more

Can Gene Editing Solve the Food Allergy Puzzle?

FARE (Food Allergies Research an Education) posted that as molecular biology research has become more sophisticated and personalized genetic testing has become more popular, some members of the food allergy community have asked us when genetic tests and treatments for food allergy will become available. In particular, food allergy patients and families have expressed hope that advances in gene editing and manipulation can soon lead to a cure.

We anticipate that the latest generation of molecular tools will drive advances in animal studies of food allergy. Researchers across the country, including many that receive support from FARE, are conducting experiments in mice to unlock the molecular details that underlie food allergy reactions. Allergist and food allergy investigator Dr. Hugh Sampson has noted that “over the years, we’ve cured a lot of mice of food allergy,” highlighting the difficulties encountered in translating a successful therapy in mice to a successful therapy in people. While research studies in mice yield some valuable insights, these studies alone have not revealed why food allergy has become increasingly common in recent years or provided timely treatments for patients managing food allergies today. This is because food allergy is not caused simply by genetic factors.

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