MyPlate Food Bingo Wins Parents Choice Approved Seal

Congratulations to our friends at Smart Picks for receiving the “2012 Parents Choice Approved Seal” for MyPlate Food Bingo. Read their Press Release below for all the details!

Smart Picks
MyPlate Food Bingo wins
” 2012 Parents’ Choice Approved Seal”

What is The Parents Choice Approved Seal?

The Parents’ Choice Approved Seals are given on the basis of the production, entertainment and human values they exemplify.
A Parents’ Choice Approved Seal indicates a wholesome product that helps children enjoy developing physical, emotional, social or academic skills.

My Plate Food Bingo

Spring 2012 Games

Ages: 9 & Up

Manufacturer: Smart Picks, Inc.

Price: $39.95

MyPlate Food Bingo combines family game night and lesson in healthy eating habits. Based on the USDA’s new MyPlate food categories (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, protein and dairy) the game boards feature ninety-five different foods and their suggested serving sizes. It provides information and tips on healthy eating, exercise, food allergies and more. The game, which is ideal for the classroom or camps, includes 30 laminated cards, 114 picture squares, a checking card, 95 clue cards, 600 square markers, an instruction sheet and an information sheet. The game helps children learn information about healthy eating habits way while also encouraging family time, cooperative play and social interaction. Though the game may mention foods that kids may not recognize, such as kashi, seitan, and amaranth, there is an information sheet that explains what more obscure foods are. The sheet also provides enough nutritional information and additional resources to assist any teacher or home schooling parent to craft a healthy eating curriculum. The practical, tasty, and accessible healthy eating tips on each card (“try frozen grapes instead of popsicles” and “eat popcorn instead of candy or chips”, for example) add to the game’s health and educational value.


Let’s Move: Healthy Lunches for Kids!

ImageIt’s hard to believe that the middle of May has already come and gone! For parents from coast to coast, this means one thing… School’s out for summer! Or, at least it soon will be. For many parents, you’ve been packing your students lunch all year. So, continuing to provide lunch throughout the summer is no big change. However, for a large number of parents, planning ahead to provide lunches all summer is a daunting task! Instead, let’s make it fun!

For many families, the idea of packing a lunch at home isn’t really an option. Whether it is due to a lack of time, income or knowledge on balanced meals, a school lunch is the only, or at least best, option for many students. So, in order to meet the needs of all students, let’s focus on educating children to build a healthy plate! This way, no matter whether a student’s lunch is packed for them, or handed to them on a divided tray, your kids will know exactly what they should and shouldn’t be eating!

  1. Know the Facts: It’s important to teach children how much food from each food group they should be eating each day. Depending on the age of the child, they may have a hard time grasping this concept. Especially if they are trying to keep track of their food intake for an entire day. Make it easier by only relying on them to track their lunch foods; you can help by keeping an eye on their breakfast and dinner foods with them. It’s also never a bad idea to send them to school with one of our Kids Right-Sized Portion Plates.  The fun design will ensure they’re not embarrassed to use it; the perfectly portioned areas will help them get their servings right.
  2. Know the Stats: According to the CDC, 1/3 of the U.S. child population is currently overweight or obese. And, unfortunately, this number continues to trend upwards year after year. The excess weight that these children are carrying around has so many immediate and long-term health effects including pre-diabetes, cardiovascular disease and increased risk for many types of cancers.
  3. Know the Cure: Prevention is the number one cure! Teaching children about balanced eating, being the example they need and demonstrating a physically active lifestyle can all aid in the prevention, and reversal of childhood obesity.  According to the CDC:

The dietary and physical activity behaviors of children and adolescents are influenced by many sectors of society, including families, communities, schools, child care settings, medical care providers, faith-based institutions, government agencies, the media, and the food and beverage industries and entertainment industries.”

So, it’s very important to pay attention to every aspect of your lifestyle that will be influencing your child’s behavior; the friends your child plays with, daycare provider and the school your child attends.

So, are you ready for the challenge? This summer, instead of dreading preparing your child’s lunch every day, take time to teach them why you are packing each piece. Tell them that the protein in their lunch helps them build muscle to be strong, the fruit helps them heal from any cuts and bruises, the vegetable helps them see well and stay focused, the whole-wheat grains give them the energy they need to play with their friends all day and dairy keeps their bones strong to avoid breaks and fractures!

We hope that you have found the tips in this blog helpful! It’s all about finding ways to get active and fight obesity in America, especially childhood obesity! Need some more inspiration? The experienced staff at NCES is always here to help! You can find us at www.ncescatalog.com, chat with us from our homepage, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.


Let’s Move: Get Active

By this point, I’m sure that anyone reading this blog is very aware of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative. The first lady developed this plan to attack the issue of childhood obesity in America. Obesity in America is an epidemic that is growing out of control. Although there are many different aspects of our culture that we could blame this problem on, the main issue is a lack of education on how to eat healthy and how to get active. Throughout the month of May, we are excited to be featuring a series of blogs on how to live out the Let’s Move initiative to its fullest; kicking off with this article on how to get active!

So, the question is, how do I become physically active? The answer to this question is dependent on your lifestyle. Do you have time to go to the gym? Are you able to squeeze in workout time during your busy day? If you have plenty of time to spare, getting in a good run each day or spending some time increasing your heart rate at the gym are both great options. However, the reality for most of us is that with our busy work and personal lives, we need creative ways to fit physical activity in to our already full schedule.Did you know that the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week in order to be physically active? In contrast, many of us don’t get ANY physical activity each week. Participating in some sort of cardiovascular physical activity most days each week helps increase weight loss as well as reduces your risk for diabetes, heart disease and other related health issues.

Working out at work:

This concept has come a long way from the days of strengthening your tush by squeezing your muscles together during meetings and conference calls! Fitting in a few pushups or simple squats between meetings is a great way to burn extra calories every day. Have you already got some great exercises in mind? If not, something like FitDeck cards may provide exactly the motivation you need!

Working out at home:

The whole purpose of Let’s Move is to get America’s youngest generation up and moving! So, instead of trying to figure out what to do with your kids while working out, you may find it rewarding to figure out how to work out with your kids! Many activities around the house can easily be made in to a solid workout. Try adding in some leg sqauts while you pick up toys. Or, just by carrying the laundry up and down the stairs, you’re sure to burn extra calories.

Not to mention, Spring is in the Air! What better time is there than right now to get outside? Make family walks a tradition in your house. Not only are you setting an example for your kids, it’s a great time to catch up on the day’s events and discuss your family calendar’s upcoming events.

We hope that you have found the tips in this blog helpful! It’s all about finding ways to get active and fight obesity in America, especially childhood obesity! Need some more inspiration? The experienced staff at NCES is always here to help! You can find us at www.ncescatalog.com, chat with us from our homepage, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.