HEALTHY LIVING Healthy Mouth, Healthier Life It’s so cliché that it’s almost a joke—of course you hate going to the dentist. Who doesn’t? But that doesn’t mean that skipping your biannual cleanings is a smart move. The status of your mouth’s health can paint a bigger picture of your body’s overall health. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 24% of adults have untreated dental cavities. Globally, that number is even higher— nearly 4 billion people have untreated tooth decay, say researchers in a study from the Journal of Dental Research. This decay can mean further-reaching health consequences, leading to a significant cost in longevity—on average, a loss of 224 years per 100,000 people. How can skipping your cleanings or forgetting to floss regularly have such a negative effect on your health? Get ready for the “ewwww” factor— your mouth plays host to an abundance of bacteria. Fortunately, most are harmless, and even the type that is harmful can be kept at bay through good oral hygiene practices, including brushing, flossing and regular cleanings. Neglecting your oral hygiene can lead to bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. And some of these conditions may put you at greater risk of heart disease, as a common strain of bacteria in dental plaque has been found to cause blood clots. Some studies have found heart disease to be twice as high in people with periodontal disease. In addition, gum disease can lead to inflammation of the lining of blood vessels that, in turn, leads to the build-up of plaque in arteries. Researchers also are exploring links between dental issues and type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Ward off any potential complications by following the recommendations you’ve been hearing since childhood: Brush your teeth twice a day using toothpaste that contains fluoride, and be sure to floss once a day. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months to prevent bacteria growth, and just say no to smoking. Your diet plays a role, too—avoid sugary foods, particularly soda, which can lead to plaque growth. For more on the study from the Journal of Dental Research, along with other oral health research, visit its website at http://jdr.sagepub.com. KID-APPROVED School Lunch Finding Favor If recent statistics are any indication, the days of kids complaining about their school lunch might soon be a distant memory. According to a study done this year by research and consulting firm Y-Pulse, LLC, the percentage of students who report enjoying school lunches is up to 36%, an increase from 22% in 2010, while 7% said they “love” eating in the school cafeteria. On the other end of the spectrum, the numbers of students who “hate” school food dropped to a mere 7%, significantly down from 23% three years ago. “These findings reinforce a trend we’ve been following since 2006,” says Y-Pulse co-founder Sharon Olson. “Year after year, we’ve seen the percentage of kids who like school lunches increasing. School foodservice directors who have been leading the way toward serving a greater variety of healthful, great-tasting meals that kids love can take heart in knowing their efforts are paying off.” It’s probably no big surprise that 8- to 10-year-old tweens are more likely than teenagers to report liking school lunch, nor will be it be shocking to hear that the overwhelming favorite school lunch is pizza—58% of students report enjoying a slice at school. Other favorites include chicken, chicken nuggets, salads, sandwiches, burgers and tacos. However, the study—which focused on identifying the top dining venues preferred by kids and included cafeterias, sit-down restaurants and chain restaurants—found that they most appreciate eating at home. Cited reasons include “Mom is a great cook,” “I like sitting down with my family” and “[The food] is always fresh.” To view the study presentation, visit http://tinyurl. com/ypulsesurvey. COMPETITIVE FOODS Ban the Bake Sale? After reading and evaluating the 200,000+ comments submitted in response to its proposed regulation for nutrition standards for all foods available in schools, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published an interim final rule establishing nutrition standards for “competitive” foods and beverages available in schools beyond the federal child nutrition programs late in June. The comment period for this version of the rule will close on October 28, 2013. Barring any additional actions or changes, the interim final rule is expected to be implemented in SY 2014-15. [Editors’ Note: For more on the interim final rule, see August 2013, News- Bites, “‘Smart Snacks’ Stepping Forward.”] In the meantime, school nutrition professionals concerned about the competition from and mixed messages of low-nutrient offerings at fundraisers and school stores might be cheered by the results of a Spring 2013 Gallup Poll. It found that two-thirds of Americans would be in favor of requiring food—from all sources—sold in public schools to be held to stricter nutritional standards. The Gallup Poll, which sampled 1,016 adults from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., found that 67% of respondents favor the establishment of nutrition standards for “school meals and food sold elsewhere in public schools,” with 59% saying they believe such a policy would effectively reduce obesity in children. Just over half of the respondents also think it would effectively improve students’ academic performance. But temper your enthusiasm. Support decreased to 57% when the same standards were further specified to include foods from vending machines, bake sales or snack bars. And it decreased to 50% of self-identified “public school parents.” To read more about the poll, visit http://tinyurl.com/gallupschoollunch. NutrıNET Healthy Food Choices in Schools www.extension.org/healthy_food_choices_in_schools This new Community of Practice, made possible by the Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs at Cornell University, spotlights such topics as the academic benefits of nutritious eating and integrating healthy foods into the curriculum. It can help stakeholders implement changes that encourage kids to make healthier food decisions. An Ask an Expert feature allows site visitors to pose questions that will be answered within 48 hours. Grilled Cheese Academy www.grilledcheeseacademy.com Are you making this sandwich favorite with simple white bread and American cheese? If so, you’re missing out on some great variations. Sandwiches showcased by the Grilled Cheese Academy—yes, it exists—are more likely to feature smoky cheddar cheese or Chipotle Jack, along with pulled pork, caramelized onions and peppery greens for an exciting new kick. Check out and try out some of the winning recipes from the Academy’s annual contest. Garden Resources http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/garden.html USDA’s Team Nutrition has produced a set of curriculum materials designed to help kids foster an awareness of where the foods they eat come from as teachers integrate gardening- and nutrition-related concepts into a variety of classroom lessons. Sample content includes The Great Garden Detective Adventure for grades 3-4 and Dig In! for grades 5-6. Calendar13 Oct13 OCT. 19-22 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Houston, Texas, (800) 877-1600 OCT. 19-23 Annual Convention, National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association, Inc. San Diego, (717) 657-8601 OCT. 25-28 Annual Meeting and Expo, Association of School Business Officials International Boston, (866) 682-2729 OCT. 28-30 Annual CACFP Conference, Child Care Food Program Roundtable Sacramento, Calif., (530) 677-9410 Nov13 NOV. 2-6 141st Annual Meeting and Exposition, American Public Health Association Boston, (202) 777-2742 NOV. 7-9 40th Annual Conference, Association for Middle Level Education Minneapolis, (800) 528-6672 NOV. 13-17 41st Annual Conference, National Alliance of Black School Educators Detroit, Mich., (800) 221-2654 NOV. 14-16 16th Annual Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival, Culinary Institute of America Napa Valley, Calif., (845) 452-9600 NOV. 20-23 Annual Conference & Expo, National Association for the Education of Young Children Washington, D.C., (800) 424-2460 Dec13 DEC. 10-12 2013 USDA/State Agency Conference, U.S. Department of Agriculture & School Nutrition Association Arlington, Va., (800) 877-8822 DEC. 11-14 National Training Institute, Zero to Three National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families San Antonio, Texas, (855) 868-1192 Date BOOK October Eat Better, Eat Together Month National Apple Month National Farm to School Month National Popcorn Poppin’ Month National Principals Month Vegetarian Awareness Month Fall Astronomy Week (Oct. 7-13) National School Lunch Week (Oct. 14-18) Walk to School Day (Oct. 9) Columbus Day (observed) (Oct. 14) Dictionary Day (Oct. 16) World Food Day (Oct. 16) Halloween (Oct. 31) November Aviation History Month National American Indian Heritage Month PTA Healthy Lifestyles Month American Education Week (Nov. 17-23) Geography Awareness Week (Nov. 17-23) National Farm-City Week (Nov. 22-28) Hanukkah (Nov. 28-Dec. 5) Anniversary of the Discovery of King Tut’s Tomb (Nov. 4) Election Day (Nov. 5) National Parents as Teachers Day (Nov. 8) Veterans Day (Nov. 11) America Recycles Day (Nov. 15) Homemade Bread Day (Nov. 17) National Education Support Professionals Day (Nov. 20) National Parfait Day (Nov. 25) Thanksgiving (Nov. 28) December National Pear Month Safe Toys and Gifts Month Tropical Fruits Month Worldwide Food Service Safety Month National Handwashing Awareness Week (Dec. 1-7) Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-Jan. 1) World AIDS Day (Dec. 1) Pearl Harbor Day (Dec. 7) Christmas (Dec. 25) Enter to WIN Recruiting Reaps Rewards Congratulations to Janet Bowling of Murfreesboro, Tenn., whose efforts toward SNA membership recruiting won her an all-expenses-paid vacation to the U.S. Virgin Islands, including airfare for herself and a guest, hotel stay and $500 spending money. Seven other SNA members won free trips to attend ANC 2014 in Boston as part of the 2012-13 “One Voice for School Nutrition” membership campaign: Debra Davis of St. Tammany, La.; Lora Gilbert, SNS, of Orange, Fla.; Liz Johnson of Everett, Wash.; Jessica Shelly of Cincinnati, Ohio; Sandy Wallace of Marlboro, S.C.; Kaye Wetli, SNS, of Riverview, Wash.; and Leon Williams of Sumter, S.C. If you’re interested in a chance to win great prizes, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/goplaces to learn more about SNA’s 2013-14 “Go Places With SNA Membership” campaign. Prizes include a trip to Miami or one of seven ANC 2015 registrations. Award of Accomplishment Congratulations to Marilyn Briggs, PhD, RD, SNS, co-director of the Center for Nutrition in Schools in the Department of Nutrition at University of California, Davis, who was named the recipient of the 2013 Helen Denning Ullrich Award of Excellence in Nutrition Education at the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) annual conference in August. Briggs recently stepped down as editor of SNA’s The Journal of Child Nutrition and Management. This award is given to an SNEB member for outstanding achievement in the field of nutrition education. For more about this award, visit www.sneb.org/about/awards.html. Healthy Happenings Butter Buds Foodservice presented the 2013 Allen C. Buhler “Making Healthy Happen” Award to the Miami-Dade County (Fla.) Public Schools Department of Food and Nutrition. The award is presented to a school nutrition department that the company believes demonstrates exemplary efforts that contribute to the health of children. The Miami-Dade team received a glass vase and $1,000 gift. To learn more about Butter Buds products, visit www.butterbuds.com. Vulcan Victory Congratulations to Cheryl Peil, foodservice director for Elmbrook District Schools, Brookfield, Wis., who won a Vulcan VPT Pass Through Series Cabinet at SNA’s Annual National Conference in Kansas City in July. For more about Vulcan products, visit www.vulcanequipment.com/k12. Fueled Up and Fit Schools enrolled in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program are eligible to receive funding to help them jumpstart and sustain health, nutrition and physical activity improvements. The initiative, launched by National Dairy Council and the National Football League, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provides monies for a variety of activities and tools, such as student engagement and motivation, in-school promotions and tracking and measurement. The deadline to apply is November 1, 2013. For more information, visit http://school.fueluptoplay60.com/funds/funds_for_ futp60. Dairy Designs Does your school have creative, dairy-loving students? Encourage them to submit their artistic sculptures using repurposed milk cartons to Evergreen Packaging’s Made by Milk™ contest. Teams of students who enter the competition must use at least 100 intact milk cartons to create a piece of art that fits the current “transportation” theme. Accompanying photos and essays are other required elements. One grand-prize team will win $5,000, and the People’s Choice Award winner, determined by online voting, will receive $2,500. Three winners each in the elementary, middle and high school categories will receive $2,500. The deadline to submit an entry is November 15, 2013. To enter or for more information, visit http:// madebymilkcontest.com.
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