FOOD MARKETING Kid Consumers Still at Risk A research study tracking changes in child and adolescent exposure to food and beverage advertising on television revealed that there has been minimal progress in reducing junk food advertising to kids under 12. While this is encouraging news, the Yale Rudd Center’s Trends in Television Food Advertising to Young People, 2011 Update reveals that, despite boasting from industry, the decrease is only slight—from an average of 14 such ads a day to 13 for kids under 12 (from 2004 to 2011). In 2006, the Council of Better Business Bureaus launched the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) to improve food advertising targeted to children. Since this self-regulatory industry program was implemented, ads aimed at kids for carbonated soft drinks, sweet snacks, salty snacks and cereal have decreased. However, ads for candy, fastfood and other restaurants actually have increased. In fact, across all age groups, fastfood restaurants maintained the highest category share of food and beverage advertising exposure with 24% of ads viewed by 2- to 11-year-olds and 27% by adolescents and adults. The study reveals that, although advertising for some of the least-nutritious food categories declined in 2011 (including fastfood, sugary cereals, carbonated beverages and juice, fruit and sports drinks), the increases of 55% to 70% in youth exposure to candy advertising from 2009 to 2011 are causes for concern. And while ads for healthy items (fruits, vegetables and water) also have increased, together they make up less than 1% of all advertising to kids. In 2011, there was a 5% decrease from the previous year in total food and beverage advertising seen by children; however, overall increases in child exposure to unhealthy food advertising seem to demonstrate that the CFBAI has significantly more work to do. For more information on the study, or to review previous reports, visit http://tinyurl.com/cfvdgll. USDA As Seen in School Cafeterias New from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service is the long-awaited release of School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study IV. The report offers a comparison of the nutritional quality of school meals between school years 2009-10, 2004-05 and 1998-99. The nutrient content of the average meals offered and served in schools was compared to the School Meal Initiative (SMI) nutrition standards in effect at the time of the analysis, as well as selected recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Among the findings, the researchers determined that 85% of schools offered National School Lunch Program (NSLP) lunches that met existing standards for key nutrients (protein, vitamins A and C, calcium and iron). However, schools were slightly less likely to offer and serve NSLP lunches that met the minimum calorie level identified by SMI standards. A majority of schools offered and served NSLP lunches consistent with the existing standards for total fat and saturated fat. The survey also found that 92% or more of all school breakfasts offered were consistent with the existing standards for target nutrients. In addition, more than 80% of school districts had a ban or restrictions related to the availability of sweetened beverages, and more than 75% had a ban or restriction related to snack foods. A la carte offerings were available at lunch in 82% of elementary schools, 95% of middle schools and 90% of high schools. To view the executive summary, as well as the full report, visit www.fns.usda.gov/ora/MENU/Published/CNP/cnp.htm. GIVING BACK Don’t Retire Your Passion Preparing for retirement? What to do, what to do with your “free” time? For Gretchen Schulz, post-retirement plans didn’t stray too far from school nutrition. After retiring in 2008 from her job as a program manager for the school nutrition program with the Georgia Department of Education—where she served as interim state director during her final year before retirement—she literally put her career out to pasture. Schulz set a goal to organize a farmers’ market in her community, drawn to the idea, she says, of starting a project of this nature because she wanted to continue helping children with healthy food choices and increase community pride and spirit. Today, the Snellville, Ga., Farmers’ Market features vendors selling fresh, local produce, eggs, meats and poultry, as well as other items such as breads, jams and flowers. It opened in 2010. Schulz serves as the chair of the Snellville Farmers’ Market Committee, a role that includes quite a healthy list of responsibilities. If she isn’t updating the policies and vendor applications each year, she’s communicating with vendors to confirm participation and give booth assignments. She also maintains the Market’s website and Facebook pages, communicates with the Georgia Department of Agriculture to ensure that vendors are properly licensed, visits farms to check that vendors are actually growing the produce they bring to the market, schedules entertainment market days and much more. And, of course, her experience as a school nutrition professional helps safeguard that the market is run in an organized manner and adheres to food safety standards! “I love it! I feel that I am doing something good for my community [that promotes] good nutrition…. And I no longer worry about being busy or challenged enough in retirement!” Schulz exclaims, adding that she believes that school nutrition professionals should keep their passion for helping children alive, even after retirement. She hopes to continue encouraging children to make healthy choices and has, along with her husband, taken on another nutritionfocused community project, co-chairing a committee to create a community garden in the Snellville City Park. The garden will feature plots and raised beds that residents can rent for a small annual fee, as well as a natural amphitheater, where classes on gardening can be held for all age groups. Are you getting ready to retire from the school nutrition profession? Don’t retire your passion. Keep the mission strong by giving your energy to local efforts that promote healthy eating for children. By continuing to explore your commitment to children’s health, you’ll ensure that you still will play a role in influencing the healthy choices that kids make as they grow into tomorrow’s leaders. WHAT ARE…? Probiotics 101 Maybe you have heard references to “probiotics” in advertisements for certain foods or in the occasional news article. But what are probiotics? And should you be adding them to your diet? Let’s start with the basics. Probiotics are a type of “good” bacteria that can help with digestion and offer protection from harmful bacteria. While probiotics do not require Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval before being marketed, and there are not currently any FDAapproved claims for probiotics, many public health authorities, including the World Health Organization, have affirmed that there are benefits to eating certain foods with such live bacteria. While we tend to associate bacteria with illness, the body relies on many helpful organisms that play a role in keeping it healthy and strong. A number of products on the market, including milk and yogurt, contain probiotics. Yogurts labeled “containing live active cultures” usually contain probiotics, for example. Probiotics also can be found in miso, tempeh, some juices and soy beverages. They also may be administered in powdered, tablet or capsule forms. Although more research is needed, evidence is starting to show that probiotics may help treat diarrhea, reduce bladder cancer recurrence, prevent or reduce the severity of colds and flu and speed the treatment of certain intestinal infections, among other benefits. Results from a study funded by Canadian probiotic research and production company Micropharma Ltd., and presented at an American Heart Association meeting last November, indicated that two daily doses of a probiotic helped to lower bad cholesterol by nearly 12% and reduced total and saturated cholesterol esters, which contribute to the hardening of arteries. As further data become available, some researchers suggest that probiotics may begin to make their way into prescription drugs, with doctors focusing on specific bacteria strains to target individual patients’ conditions. According to the Mayo Clinic, side effects of probiotics are rare, and most healthy adults safely can add foods that contain them to their diets. If you’re considering taking probiotics supplements, consult with your doctor first. Interested in learning more about probiotics? Visit http://nccam.nih.gov/health/ probiotics/introduction.htm. NutrıNET USDA Foods Mobile App www.fns.usda.gov/fddapp/index.html This new app, designed for use on smartphones and tablets, allows school nutrition professionals to easily access key information about USDA Foods, including details about meal pattern guidelines, updated lists of available foods and food safety talking points for parents and other community members. Also available is contact information for state agencies. Center for Best Practices: Summer Meals http://bestpractices.nokidhungry.org/Summer-Meals Now is the time many communities start making plans for summer foodservice programs. If you have a summer feeding program in place or are in the process of starting one for your operation, take time to use this site, compiled by Share Our Strength, to check out some ideas and inspiration from peers around the country who have enjoyed summer success. U.S. Fire Administration for Kids www.usfa.fema.gov/kids This website offers children pragmatic advice about general home fire safety, smoke alarms and escaping from a fire. Kids also can complete coloring pages, an activity book and word search, in addition to taking a short quiz to become a Junior Fire Marshal. Links for teachers, parents and caregivers are also available. Calendar13 Feb13 FEB. 17-20 Annual Conference, International Franchise Association Las Vegas, (202) 662-0763 FEB. 21-23 2013 National Conference on Education, American Association for School Administrators Los Angeles, (703) 528-0700 FEB. 23-27 2013 Convention, American Frozen Food Institute Anaheim, Calif., (703) 821-0770 FEB. 28-MAR. 2 Annual Conference, National Association of Secondary School Principals National Harbor, Md., (800) 253-7746 Mar13 MAR. 6-8 National Anti-Hunger Conference, Food Research and Action Center Washington, D.C., (202) 986-2200 MAR. 6-9 Annual Conference and Culinology® Expo, Research Chefs Association Charlotte, N.C., (678) 303-2963 MAR. 8-10 Annual Conference, National Education Association Education Support Professionals Louisville, Ky., (202) 833-4000 MAR. 11-13 7th Annual National HR in Hospitality® Conference, Human Resource Executive® Magazine, Cornell University ILR School and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration Las Vegas, (800) 727-1227 MAR. 13-15 Annual Meeting, Produce for Better Health Foundation San Francisco, (302) 235-2329 MAR. 16-18 68th Annual Conference and Exhibit Show, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Chicago, (800) 933-2723 Apr13 APR. 6-9 Annual Conference, International Association of Culinary Professionals San Francisco, (866) 358-4951 APR. 7-13 Annual Conference, American Commodity Distribution Association Nashville, (803) 734-8209 DateBOOK February American Heart Month National Black History Month National Cherry Month National Parent Leadership Month Sweet Potato Month National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (Feb. 24-Mar. 2) Chinese New Year Begins (Feb. 10) Mardi Gras (Feb. 12) Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) Presidents’ Day (observed) (Feb. 18) National Chili Day (Feb. 23) International Polar Bear Day (Feb. 25) March Deaf History Month (Mar. 13-Apr. 15) Employee Spirit Month Irish-American Heritage Month Music in Our Schools Month National Nutrition Month National Peanut Month Poison Prevention Awareness Month Women’s History Month Workplace Eye Health and Safety Month National School Breakfast Week (Mar. 4-8) National Sleep Awareness Week (Mar. 4-10) Dr. Seuss’ Birthday (Mar. 2) International Women’s Day (Mar. 8) Registered Dietitian Day (Mar. 13) St. Patrick’s Day (Mar. 17) National Agriculture Day (Mar. 19) Spring Begins (Mar. 20) World Water Day (Mar. 22) Easter (Mar. 31) April Global Child Nutrition Month Mathematics Awareness Month Month of the Young Child Workplace Conflict Awareness Month National Park Week (Apr. 22-26) National Playground Safety Week (Apr. 22-26) Hans Christian Andersen’s Birthday (Apr. 2) National Pet Day (Apr. 11) Earth Day (Apr. 22) Enter to WIN A Slice of the Pie Are you known for your mouth-watering pie recipes? If so, Taste of Home wants to hear from you. Submit your best pie or tart recipe with 12 ingredients or fewer, along with the story behind the recipe and why you love it. One grand-prize winner will receive $500. The deadline to enter is March 31, 2013. To enter, mail submissions to “Pies and Tarts” Recipe Contest, Taste of Home, 5400 S. 60th St., Greendale, WI 53129. For more details or to enter online, visit www.tasteofhome.com/Contests/Recipe-Contests/Pies-and-Tarts. The Perfect Pear Congratulations to the K-12 segment winners of the Pacific Northwest Canned Pear Service’s Ripe ‘n Ready Recipe Contest. Judy Shalhoub of Burbank (Calif.) High School received $1,000 for her Pear Kale Super Smoothie, while Christine Blaha from Chartwell’s in Spartanburg, S.C., received $500 for her Pear Breakfast Empanadas. Recipes were evaluated on use of canned pears, segment menu fit, ease of preparation and appetite appeal. To view all of the winning recipes, visit www.eatcannedpears.com. Creative Concoctions Mezzetta Specialty Foods has named the winner of its Annual Make That Sandwich Contest. Michelle Wiederhold of Phoenix, Ariz., won the grand prize of $25,000 and a trip for two to Napa Valley, Calif., for her Croque Mezzetta recipe (pictured here). The contest’s other two finalists and winners of $1,000 each were Lisa Speer of Palm Beach, Fla., who won the Vegetarian Sandwich category with her Pizza Lover’s Grilled Cheese, and Ellen Verdugo of Gloucester, Mass., who earned top honors in the Cold Sandwich category with The Mediterraneo. For the winning recipes, visit www.makethatsandwich.com. Eggs-ceptional Congratulations to Donna Pochoday- Stelmach of Morristown, N.J., who was selected as the $10,000 grand-prize winner of Eggland’s Best inaugural “Your Best Recipe” Contest for her Peach-Blueberry Egg Bread Bake (pictured here). Winners in each of three other categories also received $1,000. To view the winning recipes, visit www.egglandsbest.com. Get Fillo-ing Athens Foods’ “Get Social With Mini Fillo Shells” Contest begins the first day of each month and ends the last day of each month through June 30, 2013. Entrants are invited to submit an original recipe using Athens Mini Fillo Shells featuring the monthly theme. Themes will be announced on the first day of each month. Eleven prizes of $50 and two retail packs of Athens Mini Fillo Shells will be awarded each month, and at the end of the contest, 10 finalists will receive $100 and a year’s supply of Mini Fillo Shells. Grand-prize winners in each of four categories—best overall appetizer, best overall dessert, best social party recipe and best blogger recipe—each will receive $500. To enter or for more information, visit www.phyllo.com. Lovin’ Lentils The USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council has announced the winners of its 2012 cookoff. First place and $1,000 went to Lily Julow of Gainesville, Fla., for her French Cassoulet With Lentils, Bacon, Sausage and Chicken Confit. Other winning recipes were Lentil and Sausage Étoufée; Washington Harvest Salad; Italian Peasant- Kissed Lentil and Butternut Squash Chili; Let It Be Lentil Strawberry Shortcake; Curry, Lentil and Yam Hummus; and Pretty Penny Tostadas. To learn more about lentils, visit www.pea-lentil.com.
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