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Combat Childhood Obesity with Physical Activity ~ Let’s Move

Childhood obesity has been given a lot of national attention in the last few years thanks to Michelle Obama, the Let’s Move campaign and many organizations raising awareness and providing resources for reversing the trend. Among many factors, a lack of physical activity in the lifestyles of kids today is one of the most prominent causes of childhood obesity. Join us in today’s episode of NCES TV as we share how to get kids up and moving.

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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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Creating Healthy Meals & Snacks for Kids this Summer

“School’s out for summer. School’s out Forever!” Well, if you’ve got kids home with you, it may sometimes feel like it’s going to last forever, especially if you’re working hard to come up with healthy meals and snacks. But, it doesn’t have to be difficult. There are so many resources available for parents that want to feed their kids healthy, balanced meals. The most common resource available is the USDA MyPlate. The MyPlate icon provides a visual of what every plate should look like for every meal. With basic tips like filling half your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables, MyPlate makes nutrition easy both at home and on the go!

Based around the MyPlate concept, NCES has developed a line of Right-Sized portion products, including educational handouts and portion plates. For tots and kids, you can use the NCES handouts, A Healthy S.T.A.R.T. for Tiny Tots and A Healthy S.T.A.R.T. for Cool Kids. These handouts are packed full of super snack ideas, fantastic family meal must-haves and a table of healthy calorie intake ranges for children ages 2-12. They also focus on teaching the NCES S.T.A.R.T. concept for health and nutrition. And, let’s not forget food safety. While the kids are home with you this summer, it’s a great time to get them involved in preparing meals. When kids understand the foods they’re eating, they are more likely to choose healthy foods.

Portion plates are also an easy way to encourage healthy eating at every meal. Divided out to make sure that kids fill their plates with the right amount of foods from each food group, these plates make healthy meals an easy choice! Around the edge of the plate, kids can read about how to fit physical activity in to their day, as well as tips about choosing the right foods to fill each section of their plate.

So, there it is! A few simple tricks to make healthy meal planning an easy chore this summer. So, stop stressing about what to feed your kids and start enjoying the beautiful sunshine that comes with summer!

Are you ready to order your NCES Healthy S.T.A.R.T. handouts? Here are a few snack ideas that we pulled out for you to use until yours arrive! As always, if you have any questions, visit us at www.ncescatalog.com. Write on our wall at www.facebook.com/ncescatalog, or call us at 877.NCES.BOOKS.

  • Dry Whole Grain Cereal
  • Fun Fruit
  • String Cheese
  • Popcorn
  • Baked Tortilla Chips & Salsa

 

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NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” Tackles Childhood Obesity

the biggest loser

Have you joined in on all the hype of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” Season 14? I mean, what isn’t there to be excited about? Jillian Michaels has returned, we all have the opportunity to join in on the fun through Biggest Loser’s ‘Challenge America’, and for the first time ever, The Biggest Loser is tackling childhood obesity with 3 child contestants. That’s right, of the 18 contestants on season 14, 3 of them are under the age of 18. If you had the opportunity to watch, you already know that Sunday’s season premiere kicked off with a bang. If you haven’t had a chance to catch up yet, let’s meet the kids of season 14.

On the blue team, 13 year old Noah (Biingo) is a fun-loving kid who wants to use his experience on The Biggest Loser to gain the knowledge he needs to lose weight and get healthy. On the white team, Sunny is the oldest of the child contestants at age 16. Sunny balances a very busy schedule, managing her advancement placement classes and extra-curricular activities. Time is tight and when stress creeps in, Sunny turns to food to relieve her stress. Fighting on the red team is Lindsay, age 13. Lindsay wants to use The Biggest Loser to change her habits and become more active. She’s also excited to be an inspiration to those watching at home, especially kids her age.

For those of who you who are familiar with The Biggest Loser gym and trainers, you’re probably very scared for these poor children right now. But, the format of the program for these child contestants is completely different from their adult counterparts. The kids will not be training on the ranch; they’ll be training from home. But, the trainers will be available to the kids as resources on their journey and a trainer will be checking in on each of the kid’s progress every week. Plus, the kids are not subject to the weekly weigh-ins and cannot be ‘kicked off’ the show!

As we all know, childhood obesity rates are scary… and their rising! So, thank you Biggest Loser for shedding more light on this problem. It’s up to all of us to do our part! Here’s wishing the best of luck to Biingo, Sunny and Lindsay on this season and to a lifetime of health and happiness!

If you haven’t tuned in yet, you’re not too late to join in on the fun of Season 14. NBC’s The Biggest Loser airs on Monday’s at 7:00 PM (CST). You can also learn all about this seasons contestants on The Biggest Loser page.

Stay tuned for all of our future blogs! Later this week, we’ll be talking about why drinking water is still important in the winter. Plus, if you’re tired of drinking glass after glass of water, we’ll share some great foods that can help you reach your daily fill of water. Use the box in the upper, right section of the blog to subscribe to the NCES Health Beat to make sure you don’t miss a beat.

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Back to School Lunch: Yeah, it’s really that time again!

We’ve written a lot of blogs over the years about school lunch. But, it’s that time of year again. With students heading back to school everywhere across the country, we want to give parents all the tools they need to pack nutritious and yummy meals for their kids! This year, we’re focusing on R.A.W. foods! R.A.W. actually stands for Reducing America’s Waistline. But, the whole idea refers to ‘getting back to the basics’… cutting out the things that are hurting our bodies and focus on the things that help our bodies. Keep an eye out for your Fall 2012 NCES catalog for all of the new R.A.W. products! Don’t get one? Request your FREE copy here!

What are you packing in your student’s lunch? The types of foods that you’re packing are probably the most important aspect to remember when you’re making lunches for your family. Picture MyPlate when you’re packing, and always remember to fill half your plate with R.A.W. fruits & veggies. So, start by packing fresh vegetables. Try to be creative though… the last thing you want to do is turn your child off to the idea of veggies because they are forced to eat ones they don’t like the taste of. Most kids will enjoy the taste of carrots, fresh broccoli and cauliflower. If it helps, don’t be afraid to provide them a dipping sauce like Light Ranch. But, you have to be responsible for controlling the amount. Only send one serving so they don’t overdo it. Also be sure to include foods from each food group. Along with your vegetable, pack a whole wheat grain, a lean protein, dairy and fruit. All of these foods contain vitamins and nutrients that will help your student perform better in school, both physically and academically.

How much are you packing in your student’s lunch? Portion control is important, even for kids. As a matter of fact, it is especially important at this age because we are helping to create habits that kids will remember as they grow. Pay attention to the suggested portion sizes of the foods you’re packing. Remember, there really is no limit to the amount of fresh vegetables you should eat. So, if after packing all of the other elements (according to portion recommendations), you feel like your student will still be hungry; fill the rest of the lunchbox with fresh vegetables and fruits.

Coming up in the Fall 2012 catalog are “Easy Lunchboxes”. Pack lunches fast with these sturdy and reusable containers; great for work, school or travel and perfect for both children and adults. They are dishwasher, microwave & freezer safe and made of non-toxic, food safe polypropylene (PP). They are also BPA, PVC & Phthalate free. It doesn’t get much better than that! These lunchboxes are in the Fall 2012 catalog (hitting mailboxes soon) and will be available at www.NCEScatalog.com next week. Want to be the first to order yours? Send us an email at info@ncescatalog.com and we’ll let you know as soon as these lunchboxes are available for order!

What do you enjoy packing in your kids lunches?  We all learn best from each other! So, share your tips and tricks for successful school lunches here on our blog, on Facebook or on Twitter! We love hearing from you!

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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
Review:

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.