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Why We Should all Care about Employee Wellness

Happy National Employee Wellness Month! Did you even know that June is National Employee Wellness Month? More importantly, do you have a reason to care? The truth is that we all have a reason to care! Employee health and wellness has a direct impact on healthcare costs. And, it’s no secret that healthcare costs in America are soaring right now and cause a lot of controversy across company board rooms and government negotiations every day. According to nationalemployeewellnessmonth.com, “75% of these costs are driven by preventable and highly manageable chronic diseases like, heart disease, type II diabetes and some forms of cancer.”

Many companies and organizations have joined forces throughout the month of June to raise awareness for employee wellness. But, it can’t stop here. On June 30th, we can’t all forget about employee wellness until June 2014 rolls around. We’ve got to keep the momentum going!

How you ask? That’s exactly what we want to answer today. Here are a few tips for encouraging employee wellness in your organization beyond National Employee Wellness Month.

    • Participate: If your company has a wellness program in place, participate in the programs they offer. Join the wellness walks, participate in the webinars, compete in the challenges… Whatever they offer, take advantage!
    • Campaign: If your company doesn’t currently offer a wellness program, or you see a need for improvements in the wellness program, become an advocate for a stronger wellness program. NCES has many products designed to make workplace wellness easy in any workplace.
    • Get Started: Can’t find all the support that you’re looking for within your company? Odds are that you’re not alone. Get together with some co-workers and start a walking club, create a weight loss challenge or even host a wellness class. If your employer sees that you are interested, they’ll be more likely to get the program started for the entire company.

 

So, even though June is the official month for employee wellness, let’s keep the

Employee wellnessmomentum going! National Employee Wellness Month officially began in 2009. Since then, it’s gained great momentum year after year and has grown to have over 150 organizations with more than 65,000 employees supporting the cause. Get started promoting employee wellness in your workplace today. And, remember to become a 2014 supporter of National Employee Wellness Month. Visit www.NationalEmployeeWellnessMonth.com for more information and to become a supporter next year. For everything corporate wellness, take a second to browse the NCES Corporate Wellness section today!

 

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Your Toolbox for Fighting Childhood Obesity

With the Childhood Obesity Conference happening right now in Long Beach, CA, we thought it was a fitting time to address childhood obesity and some of the top ways to combat and reverse it. It’s no secret that the number of children in the US that are overweight or obese is overwhelming. And, to make it worse, that number is still growing at an astounding rate. But, the goal of the conference is to “Accelerate Progress”. So, what can we do to accelerate progress? As many of you remember from our last blog, we discussed some resources that are available to parents and educators to provide to children. Today, we wanted to provide some easy ways to teach health, nutrition and fitness to kids.

NCES MyPlate Lunch & Learn Placemat – Use at the breakfast/lunch or dinner table either at MyPlate Munch and Learn Placemathome or on the go. Designed specifically for kids, this placemat educates your child about the five major food groups while engaging their critical thinking skills as they work through the fun activities on the back.

EIEO Kids Tear pad

NCES EIEO tear pad – Use these handouts to help motivate kids to get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity in daily.  It also helps children understand that what you eat has to balance with how much they exercise in order to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.


Kids Portion PlateNCES Right-Sized Plate – With two designs, one for adults and one for kids, these colorful plates provide portioned sections for measuring out portions. This is great for kids so they can learn all about portion control by filling each section of their plate.daily.  It also helps children understand that what you eat has to balance with how much they exercise in order to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Whiz, Zip, Zap Kids Cookbook

Whiz Zip and Zap cookbook – Get your kids in the kitchen to start cooking so they can see how fun it is. Summer is a greattime to engage your kids in activities like helping to cook family meals.   It has been proven that kids who participate in cooking with their parents or caregivers have healthier eating habits. This cookbook provides simple recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks.

Scratch and Sniff Learning Cards for KidsScratch and Sniff Learning cards – These interactive scratch and sniff cards provide a fun way for kids to learn about and try new fruits and vegetables.  First, have them smell the card. Then, have them taste the actual fruit and vegetable to compare the scent and taste. They can also note what they liked most and least about the foods.

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Childhood Obesity – What’s the Big Deal?

ImageLet’s Move, Fuel Up to Play 60 and Kids Eat Right! What do all these programs have in common? They are all newly created programs aimed at helping kids get active and eat healthy. The problem is that despite all of their great efforts, childhood obesity is still on the rise! According to the CDC, Childhood Obesity has doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. As more attention has been given to the issue, the problem has only continued to get worse. So, what’s the big deal? That’s simple! These children are at an increased risk to develop in to obese adults, opening them up to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, several types of cancer and much more. Not to mention the immediate health risks such as pre-diabetes, sleep apnea and bone and joint problems; just to name a few!

The health costs associated with overweight and obese children are staggering as well! “Childhood obesity alone is responsible for $14 billion in direct medical costs”. 2 Who pays for that? Of course, we all do. But, it’s also a huge expense for the parents of these overweight children. There has been a lot of research in to the economic impact of childhood obesity and obesity as a whole! Much of this information can be found at this link.

The good news is that we can turn this around. It takes more than just a few organizations taking the initiative to raise a healthier generation of kids. We all need to use the resources available to raise healthy kids. Talk to your friends, family members and neighbors to make sure everyone you know has the resources they need to get healthy. Included below is a list of resource websites that have great information and games for teaching children about health and nutrition. The 7th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference is coming up this month. Reach out to a childhood obesity specialist if you have any specifics questions, concerns or are interested in being a part of the solution. Of course, all of us here at NCES are always here to help! Please browse the Educated Kids section of our website to browse games, tear pads and other tools for teaching children about nutrition. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to stay on top of all the latest nutrition news!

Child Nutrition Resource Websites:

1)      http://www.ncescatalog.com/Educated-Kids_c_92.html

2)      http://www.KidsEatRight.org

3)      http://www.fueluptoplay60.com/

4)      http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

 

Sources:

1)      http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm

2)      http://www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org/learn-the-facts/economic-costs-of-obesity/

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Top Notch Advice To Perfect Your Organic Garden

I would love to see more blogs like this… including tips on organic gardening!

Peas in a Pod: Green Blog

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Just about anyone can become an organic gardener. It’s a fun, relaxing hobby that has a lot of benefits. But for someone just starting out it can seem very overwhelming, and even a little bit intimidating. So, what should a novice do to learn how to grow plants? Well, you are in luck; these tips will come in handy!

Gardeners who are intrigued by the ideas of organic and sustainable methods should think about designating a portion of their landscape to support native plants and animals. You will see many of the birds and insects that are present will assist in pollination and plant production, helping to create a much better garden.

It can be extremely fast and easy to plant perennials into your garden. Using a garden spade, dig underneath the turf and flip it. Then, create a layer of wood chips at least three inches deep over the…

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Celebrate MyPlate B-Day with Us – Plus a Bonus Coupon Code

MyPlate BirthdayWell, another birthday has come and gone! For MyPlate that is! It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years since the USDA rocked our world by introducing the new MyPlate icon along with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. At that very moment, we scrapped everything we knew in the MyPyramid; everything that was familiar. Here at NCES, we threw out any products that depicted the ‘dated’ MyPyramid image and began recreating our awesome educational handouts to include the all-new MyPlate. Since then, we’ve added many new products to the line, including the NCES MyPlate Food Model Kit, NCES Right-Sized plates for portion control and much more.

So, even though MyPlate’s actual birthday has come and gone (June 2nd), we’re going to continue celebrating all week! How can you join the celebration? It’s simple! Head on over to Facebook and be sure to like NCES and MyPlate. As many of you know, NCES was among the first to release a brand new line of MyPlate products. You can always count on us to provide you with the most up-to-date information. Our Facebook page is the best way to stay on top of everything health and nutrition! Plus, just because we really want you to join us on Facebook, there’s an exciting savings code waiting for you on our Facebook page! So, be sure to like the page while you’re there so you’re always the first to receive our money-saving offers!

As with everything, the nutrition industry is constantly changing. With our highly skilled staff, including our favorite on-staff dietitian Carrie, we make sure to stay on top of nutrition trends and work to provide you with the most up-to-date, trusted information and resources. Be sure to join us Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to be the first to know of breaking nutrition news!