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Dining In is the New Going Out (”7 Nutrition Trends in 2010”)

According to our previous blog post “7 Nutrition Trends in 2010,” one of the big things to do this year will be to make your home the most popular, and affordable, restaurant of all.

One of the biggest, obvious selling points of this is the savings. Since you’re not paying for the cook, the building, the clean dishes, and tipping the waiter, you have the potential for huge savings here.

Portion control is another big factor in the choice to eat out, or stay at home. The average American portion size has more than doubled in the past twenty years, which is bad news for our waistlines. By eating at home, you can roll back on those out of control portions, and ensure that everyone gets as much as they need, but not too much.

Another big bonus is the ability to control what goes into the mouths and stomachs of you and your loved ones. You can have direct control over their health and growth, and rest easy knowing that no matter what they’re eating, they’re not missing out on the vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need. There are significant ways to save at the grocery store too, and there are experts who can help you learn how to save.

The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook” is a must have for anyone who’s ever cringed at a grocery receipt. If you can do basic math, and have the ambition to clip a coupon or two, you too can do amazing things to that high grocery bill. The most valuable pages in this book are the first fifty. The rest are fantastic ways to utilize all of the incredible saving techniques you learn in the first section. I was skeptical, until I thought about it. Everything Ms. Chase says is not only common sense, it makes amazing sense!

You can find this book, and many more, in our catalog and on our website at http://www.ncescatalog.com.

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5 More Food Tips for Better Dental Health

June is National Dental Health Month. And in our other post, “Food Tips for Better Dental Health,” we talked about some foods that would benefit the teeth and gums and prevent oral diseases. As it’s generally hardest to get kids to eat healthy, we’ve provided some more tips below to get your child into the mindset of good health, and good oral health and hygiene as well.

  1. Limit Sugar and Salt
    If you use less of both of these, your kids won’t know what they’re missing, and won’t crave it as much later in life. Remove the salt shaker, and try to use honey to sweeten instead of sugar. It is just as sweet, but it takes a lot less of it to get the effect.
  2. Let Fun into to the Dinner Table
    Even something as simple as a fun plate or silly straw can inspire your kids to finish the meal in front of them. Have a little collection of bright and colorful dinnerware to keep things fresh.
  3. Make Dinner Hour a Social Hour
    If you fight and plead with your kids to eat, they won’t. Simply ask them to try everything, and they’ll be much more receptive the next time around, even if they don’t this time.
  4. Don’t Forget Dairy
    There are several low fat or nonfat dairy products out there. Make sure to include them with your meals as replacements to other, less healthy alternatives. Fat-free sour cream or fat-free milk are often unnoticeable in their taste difference when part of a larger meal.
  5. Cut Back on Fat
    Turkey is a low-fat substitute for many lunch meats, and you can also cut back on sodium this way as well. Another way to cut fat is when cooking with nuts and seeds: using less in a recipe often doesn’t lose an ounce of flavor in the process.

All of these tips and more can be found in the book “Healthy Snacks for Kids” by Penny Warner. You can find the book at http://www.ncescatalog.com, or in our catalog in the ‘Educated Kids’ section.

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Six Picks: The Top 6 Things You Need to Know About Organic Foods

1. Your foods, but better. Organic foods, simply put, are foods grown using sustainable growing techniques, with the least amount of processing possible.

2. Less of what you don’t need. Organic foods haven’t been treated with pesticides or herbicides. None of the animals involved in the process have been given any drugs, antibiotics, hormones or other chemicals. Just nice, natural food.

3. It’s good for the environment. Most organic foods are fresher, since they don’t contain preservatives. Plus, they are local! This means that not only were soil and water conservation methods used to grow the food, but it’s traveled a shorter distance as well, lessening its carbon footprint.

4. Making the switch is easier than ever. Many organic foods are becoming more conventional, and most organic foods are counterparts to what you would normally eat. Fruits, vegetables, eggs and milk that are organically produced are widely available in grocery stores.

5. Not just plants. Now, there are organic dairy and meat products. Even prepackaged foods are earning the organic label these days. Look in the prepackaged foods aisles and notice how many are organically grown today.

6. Better for you and your taste buds. Organic foods tend to have a more natural, and better, taste than their non-organic counterparts. This is largely in part to the lack of additives and preservatives in them.

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Food Tips for Better Dental Health

June is National Dental Health Month. Even though it’s no surprise to us, good dental health is tied heavily to good nutrition and overall health.

Taking care of your teeth is a big deal, but it doesn’t have to feel like it. Getting the right nutrition for your teeth and gums is just like getting the right nutrition for your body. Things you should remember about taking care of your teeth:

  • Wheat, oats, corn and rice have a lot of Vitamin B, which strengthens gums and nerves.
  • Fruits contain a lot of Vitamin C which can help fight off gum disease. You can find Vitamin C in tomatoes, oranges and grapefruits.
  • Green vegetables have a lot of calcium in them, which improves tooth enamel. You can also find calcium in milk, yogurt, and cheese.
  • The protein you can find in eggs, fish, beans and meat help the body repair itself and give you healthy gums.

It is also essential to get kids to understand that good nutrition for dental health is important, since good habits for health start at an early age. A good book to get them started on for developing these healthy habits (including taking care of their teeth), is “Oh, The Things You Can Do That Are Good For You!” A wonderful book set in a Dr. Suessian world, that has the Cat in the Hat leading two children through a world of good health and habits to help them out.  You can find this book in our catalog and at www.ncescatalog.com.  (Item # 3549)

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Six Picks Series – The Top 6 Things You Need to Know About Enjoying Nutrition

  1. Don’t force the issue. When people choose healthy foods, but don’t choose ones that they enjoy eating, they are simply setting themselves up to want those foods they are avoiding even more.  
  2. Eat what appeals to you.  In order to really enjoy what you’re eating, stop preventing yourself from eating what you really love. If you stop beating yourself up for eating that brownie, you’ll eventually start eating healthy foods because you want them, instead of having to eat them.  
  3. Abandon the low-fat versions you don’t like. If you hate fat-free dressing, just eat the “light” version, and decide to cut out fat somewhere else in your diet. Cut fat in areas where you don’t notice the taste difference or where the result is worth the effort.
  4. Balance is good. Eat what you enjoy and know that weight control and good nutrition can be achieved by eating a combination of high and low-calorie foods.
  5. Be careful of resenting your nutritious choices. If you constantly force yourself to eat healthy foods in place of what you really want, you’re just setting yourself up to hate nutrition and desire unhealthy foods more.
  6. Think positive. Be uplifting when you think about your food choices. Instead of berating yourself for forgetting to eat vegetables one day, just make a plan to make the next day healthy and delicious so that you enjoy it that much more. Nutrition doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice what you enjoy.

Check out our website (www.ncescatalog.com) and catalog for other great resources and ideas!