Last month, the San Jose Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Book Club gathered to discuss First Bite by Bee Wilson, an award winning food writer. The book outlines the many factors that lead to our food choices including family and culture (including the food environment), memory, hunger, love and more. The book explores a broad cross-disciplinary view of eating: nutrition, neuroscience, anthropology and history providing a thesis that both adults and children have potential to learn to eat better.
For nutrition junkies like us, this book is a great read since it looks at the whole business of eating from the very broadest perspective. The history of children’s food is fascinating. Throughout most of history, children’s food was not a separate category, they ate what adults ate but less of it. In the hierarchy of a working family, parents (especially fathers) got most of the protein, since the man did manual labor to provide food for the family.
In the 1870s, the middle and upper classes developed the concept of children’s food which was bland and flavorless since flavorful food was deemed too dangerous for children. The modern notion of “kid food” emerged after WWII. Parents raised on rice pudding and porridge wanted their children to enjoy eating. Post-war kid food became “fun” and flavored with fat, sugar and salt.
Most dietitians in our group (pictured at left) are also mothers and reared children when it was recommended that highly allergenic foods (like eggs and peanuts) be introduced later to avoid the development of allergies. Newer recommendations now encourage feeding foods in small portions that are potentially allergenic since early introduction of these foods reduces the likelihood of future allergies.
Recommendations from the book are similar to Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility and Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch’s Intuitive Eating approach. It adds a new dimension to attempt to broaden the palate of children by introducing foods in small pea-size bites in ways that are fun and do not force or pressure children to eat foods (that is known to backfire). The book is filled with tips on how to do this effectively.
Additional topics in the book include hunger, disordered eating (from conditions such as anorexia and autism) and dietary counseling. These chapters are well written and carefully referenced. Our only complaint about the book is that it is “pretty dense” and a slow read, but worth the time to plow through it.
We wholeheartedly recommend First Bite to highly interested parents (this is not written for the consumer) and health professionals who work with children.
Maureen Bligh, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Kristal Shelden, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
American Academy of Pediatrics, Infant Food and Feeding recommendations.
Fleischer, David M. et al. (2015) Consensus communication on early peanut introduction and the prevention of peanut allergy in high-risk infants. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 136 (2), 258 - 261.
Carol, A. (2016, April 25). Avoiding Peanuts to Avoid an Allergy Is a Bad Strategy for Most. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/26/upshot/avoiding-peanuts-to-avoid-an-allergy-is-a-bad-strategy-for-most.html?_r=0.
After a years-long process, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released their planned changes to the Nutrition Facts label—that black and white rectangle of nutrition information on the back or side of food packages.
Last revamped over 20 years ago, this label revision is designed to align with current nutrition science, better reflect what Americans are actually eating and draw attention to calories and nutrients of public health concern.
The new label should make it easier for consumers to make better informed food choices and adopt healthy eating patterns, in line with the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
From top to bottom, here are the big changes we can expect:
Log in to share your ideas in the comments below, or continue the conversation on Facebook.
For more information on the upcoming changes to the Nutrition Facts label, read FDA’s news release.
Lori Hoolihan, Ph.D., R.D.N.
It's our favorite time of the year. June is National Dairy Month, which also coincides with World Milk Day on June 1. So we're celebrating with some dairy delicious family meal recipes, of course.
June also means that school is getting out, and having kids at home over the summer can tack an additional $300 per month on to a family's food bill. We've got some tips and tricks in store to minimize the impact on your pocket book while making sure that learning and healthy eating don't take off for a summer vacation!
In fact, hosting your own kids' cooking camp will mean you'll have delicious meals, entertained kids and extra help in the kitchen packing lunches come fall.
Don't forget to plan ahead for a healthy and relaxing Fourth of July Holiday weekend filled with your favorite festive foods.
Be sure to visit the Family Meal Planning page for more information, tips and resources.
June Family Meal Recipes
Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Breakfast Custard, Yogurt Fruit Salad with Baked Parmesan Tomatoes; Plus Double-Orange Scones with Orange Butter, Baked Mac + Cheese, Chicken in Yogurt-Cilantro Sauce and Chocolate Peanut Butter Milksicles.
Cottage Cheese Veggie Dip, Walking Meal with Warm Chocolate Pudding; Plus Fresh Fruit Burritos, Turkey + Cheese Melt Tortilla Wraps, Potato Skins and Ants on a Log.
Pita Pizzas, Kale + Spinach Chips with Berry Good Banana Smoothies; Plus Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas Verdes, Tabbouleh Salad, Turkey Waldorf Salad and Tuna Noodle Casserole.
Red, White and Blue Cheese Sliders, Aztec Salad with American Flag Pudding; Plus Beet Salad in Yogurt Sauce, Blueberry Corn Muffins, Bella Pasta Salad and Yogurt Cheesecake.
Mother's Day kicks off the annual celebration of National Women's Health Week. Sponsored by the Office of Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this week-long event encourages women to take steps to improve their health at every age.
For a nutrition education organization staffed nearly entirely by women, this week provides a great opportunity to address some of the most pressing health problems for women. As nutrition professionals, moms and daughters, we know how diet and lifestyle choices directly impact women's health.
Simple changes in eating and activity patterns can have very positive impacts when it comes to chronic diseases of concern for women, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis. Arm yourself with knowledge to reduce your risk of each condition, then see how delicious prevention can be with tailored recipe ideas, too.
Prevalent, Pricey and Preventable
Diabetes Prevention, What You Need to Know
Four Action Steps to Reduce Your Diabetes Risk (in English and Spanish)
Sugar in Milk: Should I Be Concerned?
Healthy Eating Meal Ideas Help Beat Diabetes (recipes)
Heart Health: What Really Matters
Potassium, A Key Nutrient in Heart Health
Heart Health Controversy: Reducing Sodium
Heart Health Controversy: Reducing Saturated Fats
Keep the Beat with a DASH of Health
DASH Eating Pattern to Lower Blood Pressure
Healthy Eating Meal Ideas With a DASH of Health (recipes)
How to Prevent Osteoporosis and Keep Your Bones Strong
How Much is Enough? Calcium and Vitamin D Requirements
Are Milk and Calcium Good For Your Bones?
What Role Does Protein Play in Building Strong Bones?
Prevent Fractures Through a Commitment to Healthy Bones
Healthy Eating Meal Ideas Bone Up on Health (recipes)
The great news is that simple changes in eating habits and physical activity routines can greatly reduce the risk of developing these chronic diseases, or minimize their severity. We encourage women to invest in themselves and their health starting this week. Start with the Healthy Eating Planner to assess and improve your eating habits. Being active is important in reducing chronic disease risk too, so check out the three reasons to add exercise to your diet.
It's Teacher Appreciation Week and we're throwing a virtual party to say thank you for all that you do for students. By taking the time to teach nutrition in your classroom, you are empowering students with knowledge they need to make healthy choices for the rest of their lives. That's quite a superpower!
Since the school year is coming to a close and the celebrations are just beginning, healthy classroom party resources are our gift to you.
Healthy Party Printable Includes ideas for using food picture cards and vocabulary words in each Dairy Council of CA lesson.
Focus on the fun! Year-round tips and recommendations for elevating the health of classroom snacks and celebrations, as well as ideas for taking the focus off of food altogether.
Five Food Group Fairs Four different party ideas to encourage students to try new food group foods. Each theme includes all five food groups.
Party Pins Peruse beautiful and festive ideas for fun snacks and engaging classroom activities on our Pinterest board.
Action Items Non-food rewards and ideas from Action for Healthy Kids to get students moving and keep them motivated.
No Teacher Appreciation Week post would be complete without mentioning some of the freebies and specials available to teachers this week and beyond. This list is by no means exhaustive.
Be sure to let cashiers know when you're buying supplies for your school as you shop. Many retailers have the superpower of making spontaneous point of purchase discounts.
Classroom Cash PTA and Go Fund Me are teaming up this week to match classroom fundraising campaigns up to $100.
Every Superhero Needs a Mascot! Pets In the Classroom offers multiple grants for adding a furry friend or a slithering student aid to your classroom.
Discounts + Deals From clothing to cars, Teach for America offers a list of 50 exclusive offers and discounts for teachers and National Education Association members.
This short list of resources and deals is a tiny token of our appreciation for your efforts all year long. If there's anything we can do to make your lives as teachers easier or healthier, please let us know in the comments.
Thank you for all that you do!
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Healthyeating.org is brought to you by Dairy Council of California. The mission of this website is to educate on issues of nutrition and healthy eating. For instance, our calcium calculator helps people decide how much of the recommended daily allowance of calcium they need (and are getting); our 'healthy eating quiz’ is a nutrition test and assessment tool or online nutrition app useful for parents and teachers interested in nutrition and health. Our free nutrition lesson plans help teachers from kindergarten to high school teach nutrition and healthy eating. And, of course, our milk nutrition and dairy nutrition facts offer information on topics such as milk and bone health and the health benefits of probiotics. While you're here, enjoy tips, online games, and quizzes to help get kids to eat healthy including kid-friendly recipes!