Resources to Create Change

EKH_Logo_TMAction for Healthy Kids has school breakfast grants available to Illinois schools to increase breakfast participation utilizing free breakfast and alternative models. Each school can receive funding for equipment along with technical assistance to support an alternative model like breakfast in the classroom, grab and go, or other models that move breakfast out of the cafeteria, after the bell. Grants close May 31 to allow for funding to be awarded in June for implementation in 2015-2016 school year.  Find out more information here or contact Ryan Monroe, Illinois State Coordinator, with your questions. 

 

Cooking a Healthy Meal

Obesity Ups Women’s Cancer Risk 40%

obesity Deputy Editor at Yahoo Health posted on March 16, 2015 that obesity increases cancer risk by around 40 percent in women, according to new figures from Cancer Research UK.

And the list of obesity-related cancers isn’t short. The data show that obesity increases the risk of at least seven different kinds of the disease: bowel (colon) cancer, womb (uterine) cancer, post-menopausal breast cancer, gallbladder cancer, kidney cancer, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer.

Specifically, the data show that out of 1,000 obese women, 274 will be diagnosed with cancer — a much higher number than the 194 out of 1,000 women of normal weight who would be expected to be diagnosed with cancer.

“We know that our cancer risk depends on a combination of our genes, our environment and other aspects of our lives, many of which we can control — helping people understand how they can reduce their risk of developing cancer in the first place remains crucial in tackling the disease,” Dr. Julie Sharp, head of health information at Cancer Research UK, said in a statement. “Lifestyle changes — like not smoking, keeping a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and cutting back on alcohol — are the big opportunities for us all to personally reduce our cancer risk. Making these changes is not a guarantee against cancer, but it stacks the odds in our favour.”

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Four Major Myths and Truths About Gluten

breadThe SELF website shared that a glance around your local grocery store will confirm that gluten-free eating has gone from trendy to mainstream. An estimated 30 percent of Americans say they’re trying to reduce gluten in their diets—and we’re pretty confident the reason has something to do with the fact that the wheat-derived protein has been blamed for everything from weight gain to weakened bones.

But while a whopping 63 percent of Americans believe a gluten-free diet can improve their health (are you in the majority?), there’s a wealth of confusion and misinformation surrounding the topic. Below, we dispel common myths about gluten.

Myth: Gluten-free foods are healthier
Truth: Processed gluten-free foods often contain more sugar, fat and salt to make up for the gluten, which adds chewiness to foods. Compared with most regular bread, gluten-free types are not usually fortified with iron or essential vitamins.

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6 Reasons To Stock Your Kitchen With Blueberries

blueberryDaisy Melamed from East This Not That says ….It’s about time: The humble blueberry has never really earned proper praise.

Recently, though, researchers and nutritionists alike have been supporting the small blue fruit, informing health-conscious eaters everywhere that this average-looking berry packs a laundry list of health benefits (including weight loss) that’s anything but. We asked Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN to explain the recent blueberry buzz and discuss why, exactly, the blueberry is poised to become the next kale-level trend. Here, some of the top reasons to stock your kitchen with plenty of them, fresh or frozen:

THEY’RE GOOD FOR THE HEART

Blueberries fight the risk of heart disease and metabolic syndrome, according to an early study performed on lab rats at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center. After a 90-day trial, the rat fed a blueberry-enriched powder making up 2 percent of their diet had lower triglycerides and cholesterol, as well as better insulin sensitivity. (For a 1300-calorie diet, that’s a mere 1/2 cup a day of the berries.) This is due, Moskovitz details, to the high phytonutrient and flavonoid content. “These are called anthocyanins, which help protect against degenerative diseases such as heart disease and cancer,” she explains. Another study conducted at Harvard Medical School found that young women who had at least 1 1/2 cups blueberries per week were 34 percent less likely to have a heart attack. Those are powerful stats for such a petite berry!

Get the Benefits: Enjoy a Zero Belly-approved smoothie to jumpstart your day. Use your favorite combination of fresh or frozen fruit that includes blueberries, add unsweetened almond milk, and some spinach if you’re feeling uber healthy.

BLUEBERRIES CAN HELP YOU BURN THAT STUBBORN BELLY FAT BY TURNING ON YOUR GET-LEAN GENES.

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Rethink Your Drink Video Sweepstakes Ends Friday!

IAPO

OFFICIAL RULES

General Sweepstakes Information

  • The sponsor of this sweepstakes is the Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI), which administers the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity (IAPO). IPHI is located at 954 West Washington Boulevard, Suite 405, Mailbox 10, Chicago, IL
  • This is a sweepstakes to illustrate for Illinois residents that it is easy to make low-sugar beverages — and delicious too!

Who May Enter

  • The sweepstakes is open to all residents of the State of Illinois who are 18 years old or older as of February 16, 2015.
  • Employees of the Illinois Public Health Institute and Obesity Action Roadmap endorsing member organizations of the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity, their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling, and their respective spouses), and persons living in the same household of such employees (whether related or not) are not eligible to enter this sweepstakes.

How to Enter

  • Online submissions will be accepted beginning on Monday, February 16, 2015 at 9:00:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time and ending on Friday, March 6, 2015 at 11:59:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time, according to IPHI’s computers. Mailed submissions must be postmarked between February 16, 2015 and March 6, 2014 and must be received by IPHI no later than March 12, 2015.

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Reducing Sodium in Children’s Diets

saltThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued “Reducing Sodium in Children’s Diets: The Pressure is on to Keep Blood Pressure Down.” This CDC Vital Signs report shows that 9 in 10 U.S. school-aged children eat more sodium than recommended. A high sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

To improve cardiovascular health and help to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017 the CDC is asking everyone to  join them in sharing this information and encouraging action.

The CDC suggests:

  • Sharing information on your organization’s social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and/or Instagram
  • Following and sharing CDC’s social media posts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, andInstagram as well as Million Hearts® posts on Twitter and Facebook
  • Adding the Vital Signs fact sheet to your website news section
  • Posting this information on your website
  • Including an article in your next e-newsletter
  •  Adding a post to your blog

It Is A Good Day For Soup

broccoli-potato-and-cheddar-soupSkinnytaste.com saved that this soup coins the term “spoon-lickin-good,” and you’ll understand why after a sip of this thick, cheesy goodness buffed up with chunks of potato and broccoli florets. The soup base itself is made using fat free milk and reduced fat cheddar helping you trim down on the fat. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 1/4 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 282; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 45mg; Sodium: 671mg; Total Carbohydrate: 33g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 8g; Protein: 20g

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 4 cups (about 2 heads) broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% shredded sharp cheddar
  • 2 slices 2% American cheese
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese

Directions:
Chop onion, carrot, celery, garlic in a chopper or mini food processor.

In a large soup pot, melt butter.  Add chopped vegetables and sauté on low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add flour, salt and pepper to the pot and stir until smooth.

Add chicken broth, milk and potatoes and set heat to high until it comes to a boil, thencover and cook on low until potatoes are soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Add broccoli florets, parmesan cheese, and stir well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.Cook uncovered until broccoli is cooked, about 5 minutes. Add cheddar and American cheese, stir well and remove from heat.

Using an immersion blender, quickly blend part of the soup for a quick second or two. If you don’t have an immersion blender, remove about 1-2 cups of potatoes and broccoli, place it in your chopper, then add it back to the soup. This helps thicken it a bit.

Drink Half Your Body Weight in Water

jeffers-kid-drinking-waterStay hydrated by drinking about half your body weight in fluid ounces of water.

The bonus is that sipping on cold water helps you burn about 100 more calories over the course of a day!

Dietician Julie Upton, MS, RD, of Appetite For Health recommends “drinking about half of your body weight in fluid ounces of water (or other calorie-free beverages). Cold water provides a brief shock to your metabolism, raising it by about 30 percent so that over the course of a day, your body will burn about 100 more calories.” It may sound like a ton of liquid, but it’s an absolutely doable amount; for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, Julie is recommending that you aim for 75 fluid ounces (or just under nine and a half cups of water) a day.

If you’re a soda or juice drinker who is having a tough time making the transition to good old H2O, try these healthy water additions like lemon and mint that can amp up the flavor of your cup and double its detox power.