SNAP Benefits Fail to Cover “Healthy” Diet As the name states, SNAP benefits are meant to be a supplemental nutrition assistance program for its recipients. However, to purchase a USDA-defined “healthy” diet for a four-person household, it requires an extra $400 to $600 beyond the benefits of SNAP, according to a study from North Carolina State University and the Union of Concerned Scientists. And that’s just not possible, says Lindsey Haynes-Maslow, co-author of a paper on the study and an assistant professor of agricultural and human sciences at NC State. “Many low-income households simply don’t have an additional $500 or $600 to spend on food in their monthly budget,” she noted in a news release. The researchers used USDA’s 2015 average monthly retail prices for fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy and compared it to the average monthly SNAP benefits for the same year. The study did find that SNAP sufficiently meets the dietary needs of children under age 8 and women over age 51—but not for any other age/gender group. Additionally, on October 1, USDA implemented its annual cost-of-living adjustment for SNAP recipients, generally leading to a decrease in benefits for the majority of recipients. This adjustment is based on a current lower retail cost for food, USDA says. Read More: “A Quick Guide to SNAP Eligibility and Benefits,” Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, http://tinyurl.com/SNAP-snmag The Art of Presenting HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED why some people are good presenters and others aren’t? Have you sometimes thought that, just maybe, you could go from being a good presenter to being a great presenter? You can, with some helpful advice. The art of presenting starts with connecting with your audience. Perhaps you’ve been to a presentation, and it’s obvious the presenter knows nothing about your group. It’s hard listening to someone who obviously doesn’t care about you. An audience expects that you know your subject. Tell them a little bit about yourself and why you are an expert on the topic. Use visual aids, which can help you be perceived as more professional, significantly better prepared, more persuasive and more credible. Visual aids also can help you with public speaking angst, as they require you to focus more on being organized and sticking to a logical sequence. First, analyze the message you want to get across. Organize your thoughts and condense each visual to the key points. Visuals shouldn’t say everything; that’s why you are talking! Each slide should have one idea, no more than six words per line and no more than six lines per slide. Now, what about managing those presentation anxieties? People fear public speaking because they are afraid they might lose control of the audience, forget what they want to say and/or miss the key points. Be at the site of your presentation early so you can get comfortable with the room and meet audience members as they enter. Before the presentation, visualize yourself having a successful presentation. Memorize the first two or three minutes of your presentation and the conclusion. At the beginning of your speech, stand in one place for the first three minutes to allow the audience to size you up. After that, move about to discharge your tension and provide variety for participants. Remember, a presentation is a human relationship. Develop that heart-to-heart connection. Breathe a little, have fun, put some human interest into your presentation and use some “cheat” sheets to get you started. “The Art of Presenting,” by Lynette Rock, RD, SNS, was excerpted with permission from Poppy Seeds , the official journal of the California School Nutrition Association. It was modified for length and style. BY THE NUMBERS $11,392 The amount the U.S. spent on education per student in FY 2015 (varies by state) Source: U.S. Census Bureau FEELING ANXIOUS? Here’s What to Do: Anxiety, even when it’s not a full-blown attack, can strike without notice—and it’s no fun for anyone. It’s hard to keep worrisome thoughts out of your mind, but a few strategies can help you calm down more quickly. Put it in perspective: Pin down precisely what’s making you nervous—be as specific as possible. Then, consider the worst that can happen. While there are some serious life situations that can’t easily be fixed, it’s more common that what you’re feeling anxious about doesn’t have genuinely devastating ramifications. Breathe deeply: Yeah, you’ve heard this before—because it works. You don’t have to incorporate 30 minutes of meditation every day to beat anxiety (though you can if you want to). In the short term, simply find a quiet spot and take a few deep breaths in and out. Focus on those breaths instead of your stressful thoughts. Sing to yourself: Sometimes distraction is the best solution. When you feel anxiety creeping in, start singing a favorite song to yourself (or in your head). It might be an oldie like “Hey Jude,” by the Beatles or a top track from the musical “Hamilton,” but concentrate on the lyrics to let your worries wither away. Have a snack: “Hangry” is a real thing. In fact, when you’re hungry with low blood sugar, you won’t just get irritable, you’ll become irrational and anxious. Take a moment to eat a healthy snack, like a piece of string cheese and an apple. See a professional: Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, but if you have persistent anxious thoughts for six months or longer, trouble sleeping, irrational fears or experience physical symptoms such as muscle tension or indigestion, you might suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Talk to your doctor about how best to manage this condition. Read More: “12 Signs You May Have an Anxiety Disorder,” Health, http://tinyurl.com/Anxiety-snmag Stay Healthy with Life’s Simple 7 Getting and staying healthy can be difficult and complicated. There’s so much conflicting information available on nutrition, fitness and other wellness facets, so how do you even know where to start? The American Heart Association (AHA) aims to make it easier with Life’s Simple 7, a set of health factors that benefit both your body and brain: 1) Manage blood pressure to reduce risk of heart disease and stroke; 2) Control cholesterol to reduce artery-clogging plaque; 3) Reduce high blood sugar, which can, over time, damage your heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves; 4) Get active daily, which increases both your length and quality of life; 5) Eat better with a healthy diet, one of your “best weapons,” for fighting disease; 6) Lose weight to reduce the burden on your heart, lungs, blood vessels and bones; and 7) Stop smoking, the No. 1 thing you can do for your health. The authors of AHA’s new advisory reviewed 182 published scientific studies to develop Life’s Simple 7. The organization also created “My Life Check”, a questionnaire on your current health habits, which can help you determine in which capacity you can improve your health. Learn More: “My Life Check,” American Heart Association, mlc.heart.org 3 Ways to… Feel Confident Fast 1 STRIKE A POSE. Posture affects how you feel, so straighten up! Harvard researchers say a “power pose” can make you feel more confident by increasing testosterone and decreasing cortisol. Pull back your shoulders and stand tall, pretending that you’re Superman for half a minute or so, to feel a little stronger. 2 THE NOSE KNOWS. If you’ve got a favorite scent, spritz it on and take a deep whiff. Studies say that fragrance boosts confidence—but, of course, be mindful of potential fragrance allergies among those around you. Spritz in private, and don’t go overboard. 3 #SELFIE TIME! It might seem narcissistic, but science backs the feel-good power of a great selfie. Find some proper light and a great angle, and snap away. Post to your preferred social media site—and let those “Likes” add up quickly. PROMO PLANNER DECEMBER 2017 Universal Human Rights Month Safe Toys and Gifts Month Worldwide Food Service Safety Month National Handwashing Awareness Week (Dec. 3-9) Hanukkah (Dec. 12-20) Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-Jan. 1) Rosa Parks Bus Protest Anniversary (Dec. 1) World Choral Day (Dec. 10) Winter Solstice (Dec. 21) Christmas (Dec. 25) JANUARY 2018 Financial Wellness Month National Mentoring Month National Soup Month Sugar Awareness Week (Jan. 15-19) National Science Fiction Day (Jan. 2) National Spaghetti Day (Jan. 4) Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15) Kid Inventors Day (Jan. 17) 60th Grammy Awards (Jan. 18) National Compliment Day (Jan. 24) FEBRUARY 2018 American Heart Month National Black History Month Sweet Potato Month Super Bowl LII (Feb. 4) Boy Scouts Day (Feb. 8) Thomas Edison’s Birthday (Feb. 11) Mardi Gras (Feb. 13) Chinese New Year–Year of the Dog (Feb. 16) Presidents Day (Feb. 19) National Chili Day (Feb. 25) For more holidays and promo ideas, visit the 2017-18 Promotional Calendar at www.schoolnutrition.org/promocalendar. Tuesday Tidbits Farm to School Reauthorization Bills Introduced Companion bills to reauthorize the federal government’s farm to school efforts were introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate in early September. The bills are both cited as the Farm to School Act of 2017. The Senate version was proposed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and the House version was put forward by Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-Ill.). The Farm to School program is administered by the Office of Community Food Systems within USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services. Learn more at www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool. SNA Submits Comment on Regulatory Reform SNA has responded to USDA’s request for ideas from the public on how the agency can provide better customer service and remove unintended barriers to participation in their programs. SNA’s official comment was based on responses to a member survey, identifying priority areas. These include: ensuring students from food insecure households are not “priced out” of the programs due to paid lunch equity requirements; streamlining program regulations for districts operating multiple child nutrition programs; offering flexibility in the variety of fruits and vegetables offered; and understanding the impact of Smart Snacks on fiscal sustainability. Senate Confirms Agriculture Appointments In early October, the Senate confirmed Stephen Censky and Ted McKinney for top positions in USDA. Censky is now USDA deputy secretary and McKinney becomes the first undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, a newly created position. These are the first Senate-confirmed nominees to join USDA since Secretary Perdue took office in the spring. Food Insecurity Remains Unchanged USDA’s Economic Research Service has released Household Food Security in the United States in 2016. The report finds that the estimated percentage of U.S. households that were food insecure in 2016 (12.3%) was little changed from 2015 (12.7%), but shows a continuing downward change from the high of 14.9% in 2011. Review the report summary at http://tinyurl.com/FoodInsecurityRpt-SNMag. Tuesday Morning is SNA’s free weekly policy e-newsletter. Subscribe at www.schoolnutrition.org/Newsletters/TuesdayMorning. INGREDIENTS FOR HEALTH: TURMERIC The electric-orange hue of turmeric might intrigue (or repel) you, but an increasing volume of research finds that the benefits of this root—a cousin of ginger—are significant. And if you’re a fan of curries or other south Asian cuisines, you probably have enjoyed turmeric without realizing it! FACT. Turmeric is bright orange—we mean, bright, bright orange. It stains. It’s no wonder that the root has long been used as a dye. If you get some on your clothing, sprinkle it with cornstarch or flour to draw out the oil and leave for 20 minutes, and then scrub with laundry detergent and hot water. If it’s on your skin, soak the area in a little bit of lemon juice. HOW TO EAT. Turmeric comes in two forms: fresh and dried. The former looks an awful lot like ginger from the outside, and can be peeled the same way (with a spoon). It offers a warm, peppery flavor that can be used to spice up root vegetables and potatoes, as well as a scramble of eggs or tofu. If you’re a smoothie-drinker, add a 1-in. piece of fresh turmeric root to your drink. NUTRITIONAL PROFILE. Turmeric is the superfood du jour, but its benefits haven’t been fully proven. It’s said to have cancer-fighting properties due to the compound curcumin, but more research is needed. Join the blogosphere in enjoying “golden milk,” a hot beverage made of some form of milk and turmeric. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog, Goop, uses this recipe: 1 tsp. each of chopped fresh turmeric and ginger, combined with 1 Tbsp. coconut sugar, 2 tsps. coconut oil, a pinch of salt and 1 cup hot almond milk. Blitz it together in a blender.
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