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Don’t Get the Sugar Scares!

Halloween is here! The most dreaded holiday for dentists and dietitians across the country! But, it’s nothing a little education can’t fix, since the holiday has the potential to be a lot of fun for kids of all ages. All of the unique costumes give kids an opportunity to show off their creative abilities. Then, they go door-to-door ‘trick or treating’ for some sugary snacks! Many people have already begun changing this tradition by passing out more health conscious items, including stickers, granola bars and even fruit! But, how do you keep your kids safe from those ghouls and goblins that still pass out sickening sweet treats? We’ve put together a list of the top things to do with all that candy so your children don’t spend the entire month of November amped up on a sugar high. (As with everything, it’s important to remember that moderation is key! Don’t feel like you have to take it ALL away!)

  • Donate to your Dentist: Obviously, you don’t want to be that parent that gives away all of your children’s hard earned candy. So, have them set aside their absolute favorites. Then, find a local dentist who will trade you for the leftovers. Many dentists have items that they will trade your children for their candy.
  • Put it on Ice: Sit down with your kids and pick out all the chocolate. Then, throw it in the freezer. This way, your kids can enjoy their Halloween treats all year long! Throw away the rest… or you can always trade the dentist!
  • Take it to Work: Although no one person needs to be consuming all that sugar, spreading it out amongst your co-workers will keep your kids healthier. Plus, you’ll probably be a big hit around the office.
  • Sell It: There are many organizations out there that will purchase your leftover Halloween candy. Some of them even take what they purchase and send it to our troops so they can enjoy the sweet treats. Try searching your area for locations you can take your Halloween stash and sell it.

As you can see, there are many options for keeping all that candy out of your little one’s tummy. A little bit of Halloween fun can go a long way. So, be sure to take this opportunity to teach your children about healthy habits and using self-control when digging in to their tasty treats!

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Happy National Food Day… Eat Local!

Today, October 24th, is National Food Day! Thousands around the country are hosting food day events throughout the day. The emphasis this year is on eating local. Do you eat local? For many, eating foods that are grown and harvested locally sounds like too much work.  I mean, who has time to visit local farms to get all their fresh meat and produce?  Guess what, you don’t have to! There are many resources available right here in Kansas City that you can use to get fresh, LOCAL foods on your dinner table! Are you reading this from somewhere besides Kansas City? Odds are, your city has similar resources!

Local Farmer’s Markets

Visiting a local farmers market is a great way to get fresh, locally grown food and also directly support local farmers.  www.FarmersMarketOnline.com is a great place to find a list of farmers markets in your area.

Grocery Stores

Many grocers, especially smaller, local chains carry produce that is grown locally. Here in Kansas City, we have Hen House Market’s scattered across the city. Hen House has partnered with local farms to bring fresh produce to dinner tables across Kansas City. For a list of Hen House’s partner suppliers, click here.

Thanks to events like National Food Day, eating locally grown foods is increasing in popularity. Events like this have brought attention to the importance of eating fresh foods that are free of many additives that we don’t need in our foods. So, where can you start? Instead of driving through the fast food line tonight on your way home from work, stop by your local grocery store and pick up some fresh meats, vegetables and fruits. You may be surprised how good eating locally can be!

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What do you want from a food tracking tool?

Food tracking tools are everywhere! From websites and apps on our cell phones and tablet & Notebook computers to printable guides on our refrigerator doors, we’ve got all kinds of food tracking tools designed to help us monitor our calorie consumption. And, if you have a fancy tracker, they even help you monitor your calories burned through exercise and other activities. But, if you’re like most, these trackers don’t help. No matter how hard you try, there is something stopping you from using the tool effectively! We want to know… what is it? What is keeping you from tracking your energy in (food) and your energy out (exercise) to become a healthier you?

For many, it is time! We barely have time throughout the day to focus on the foods we at… not to mention get to the gym. How could you ever take the time to track your daily activities? For others, the steps to calculating nutritional values are too complicated. “If I could find the numbers I needed, I would track the information.”

So, what is it for you? Here at NCES, we are in the beginning stages of creating the ultimate food tracking tool that will finally be the answer to monitoring all of  your dietary needs. We have a lot of ideas to get started. But, we need your input! What would make this app work for you? Feel free to submit your responses on this blog. Or, you can always email us at info@ncescatalog.com or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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A Plum a Day Keeps the Doctor Away! Wait… What?

Have you had your plum today? That’s right, I said plum! This isn’t the most common of fruits in our daily diets. However, I would say that a large majority of us have tried this sweet, juicy fruit at least once. So, why don’t we keep eating them?  Well, that’s simple. They just don’t rank up there with apples, oranges, bananas and even pears, in the hierarchy of ‘popular fruits’. But, they should… this fruit is packed with a lot of the nutrients our body’s need. Plus, adding it to your diet can change things up for your palate… which will encourage you to eat more fruit!

So, let’s say you’re ready to run out to the store and purchase some plums to pack in your lunches this week. What do you look for? What makes one plum better than another? Do you scratch & Sniff like a sticker? Wait, I know, do you cut a chunk out and taste it? No… it’s much simpler than that. Just take a look at the skin! The darker the skin, the better the fruit, it will taste better and is also going to be more heavily packed with essential vitamins and minerals. This is actually a good rule of thumb for any fruit!

There are also many great ways to add plums to your diet without biting in to a fresh one. Many recipes, which are sure to satisfy even the pickiest of taste buds, incorporate plums into the mix. From jam to bread and marinades to summery drinks, plums add an intriguing flavor to some of our most traditional dishes. We cooked up one of our favorite plum dishes… just for a reminder of how we feel about these fallish fruits. And, we remembered correctly. What a great treat! Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy too!  Don’t forget to leave us your feedback on the recipe. You can leave a comment here on the blog, visit us on Facebook or Twitter OR you can even call us directly at 800.NCES.BOOKS.

Looking for a fun way to introduce plums in to your diet? Check out this delicious recipe from www.allrecipes.com!

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Energy In = Energy Out: Balance Your Life

Old MacDonald had a farm… Wait a minute, that’s not what we’re talking about! It’s a different E.I.E.O. This one is all about helping you live a healthier life! In order to maintain a healthy, balanced life, it’s important to balance your energy in (food) with your energy out (exercise). Weight maintenance and weight loss are both dependent on your ability to monitor how many calories you consume versus how many calories you burn exercising.

Although balancing energy in with energy out is important for people of all ages, we have developed a colorful tear pad and poster designed to help children become an E.I.E.O Hero! In order to help them reach their goal, the tear pads include 10 ideas that will help them balance their energy in with their energy out.

From things like limiting TV, video game and computer time to encouraging physical activity and healthy eating, these tips will help your students become E.I.E.O heroes in no time. After all, it’s all about balancing energy in with energy out (E.I.E.O), right!?

Don’t forget, NCES is ‘You’re Essential Guide to Health and Nutrition’, with all of the health and nutrition education handouts, teaching aids and books that you need.  Visit www.NCESCatalog.com today to view all of the products. Also, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We would love to hear from you!