FDA DELAYS NEW NUTRITION FACTS LABEL In May 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed a revised Nutrition Facts label for packaged food and beverage items purchased at retail. The revisions were designed to reflect updates in nutrition science. Changes include a larger type font size for the number of calories, serving size and servings per package. In late September, FDA announced a proposed rule to extend the implementation deadline for large companies from July 2018 to January 2020 and from July 2019 to January 2021 for smaller companies (those with less than $10 million in annual sales). The new Nutrition Facts label also features a listing of added sugars, both in grams and as percent Daily Value, as well as changes to other nutrient information required on the label. Serving size updates are intended to reflect what people actually do eat, not how much they should eat. FDA asserts the additional time will allow the agency to develop necessary guidance for manufacturers. Certain health associations, such as the American Academy of Family Physicians, have vocally decried the compliance extension as “preposterous.” As of Fall 2017, label tracking firm Label Insight estimates that approximately 8,000 products have already adopted the new label. FDA says “the framework for the extension will be guided by the desire to give industry more time and decrease costs, balanced with the importance of minimizing the transition period during which consumers will see both the old and new versions of the label in the marketplace.” Read More: ”Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label,” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, http://tinyurl//labeling-SNmag Walk This Way to Health Walking whenever you can still boosts your health, even if you’re not traversing multiple miles. That’s according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Researchers looked at data from nearly 140,000 participants in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort, conducted by the American Cancer Society. They found that even minimal walking, less than two hours a week, was still associated with lower mortality than no activity at all. Meeting current health recommendations for physical activity showed an even greater decrease in mortality. “Walking has been described as the ‘perfect exercise,’ because it is simple, free, convenient, doesn’t require any special equipment or training and can be done at any age,” said lead researcher Alpa Patel, PhD, in a news release. As the largest numbers of the Baby Boomer generation pass age 65 and older, clinicians should encourage patients to walk whenever and even for a minimal duration of time. Public health guidelines continue to recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. Surveys show, though, that only half of U.S. adults meet this advice, and even fewer older (age 65+) adults manage to reach this goal. Read More: “Walking in Relation to Mortality in a Large Prospective Cohort of Older U.S. Adults,” American Journal of Preventative Medicine, http://tinyurl.com/walking-SNmag BY THE NUMBERS 10 The number of districts in the Urban School Food Alliance, which just welcomed Baltimore Public Schools, School District of Philadelphia and Clark County (Nev.) Public Schools to its fraternity. The Alliance aims to “share best practices and use its collective purchasing power to drive quality up and costs down, while incorporating sound environmental practices.” Great Job! Think Positive for Employee Motivation WHEN YOU WANT YOUR UNDER-PERFORMING STAFF MEMBERS TO WORK MORE EFFECTIVELY—whether harder, smarter or both—do you lean toward positive or negative reinforcement? When you’re frustrated and perceive employees as taking advantage of you or the system, it’s natural to think that disciplinary actions, warnings and even a little public humiliation (like the dunce cap of old) would be suitable motivation. Think again. An article published this past fall in the Harvard Business Review recommends that supervisors stay focused on doling out positive reinforcement. Official recognition and praise not only incites better work, but also improves the relationship between employees and employers. This tactic is backed up by a study performed at a New York hospital, in which researchers monitored employee handwashing habits. Despite warnings and notification of employee tracking, cameras found that only 10% of staff sanitized their hands before entering and after leaving a patient’s room. But when an electronic board was installed that signaled each time a staff member did wash their hands in this circumstance, handwashing compliance reached almost 90% within four short weeks. Instead of negative reinforcement—warning staff about the likely spread of disease or of disciplinary action—the employer focused on immediate positive acknowledgement when proper procedures were followed. Since handwashing is of utmost importance in a school nutrition setting, this precise practice can be applied in your operation and expanded to other areas of focus. For example, make it a point to send an email every morning that praises the team’s accomplishments the previous day, ranging from prompt storage of a food delivery to production record updates to examples of great customer service and teamwork. Read More: “What Motivates Employees More: Rewards or Punishments?” Harvard Business Review, http://tinyurl.com/positiveHR-SNmag 3 Ways to… Stop Late-Night Snacking 1 BRUSH YOUR TEETH or rinse with mouthwash to experience that minty-fresh feeling that will psychologically help relieve hunger cues. Sometimes your brain is on auto-pilot when it comes to snacking, but fresh breath interrupts that automatic impulse to binge. 2 FIND ANOTHER WAY TO DE-STRESS if you think that eating that bag of chips is helping you relax. A hot bath, meditation, yoga or stretching might be just the ticket when it comes to calming your mind, rather than heading to the pantry or fridge. 3 SNACK DURING THE DAY instead of at night. You might be genuinely hungry in the evenings because you’ve been depriving your body of calories to manage your busy day. With hunger comes irritability and fatigue, as well as a perceived lack of food—and that leads to poor eating choices. Keep your blood sugar stable with small, high-protein snacks periodically during daylight hours. PROMO PLANNER JANUARY 2018 Be Kind to Food Servers Month Financial Wellness Month National Soup Month National Volunteer Blood Donor Month Sugar Awareness Week (Jan. 15-19) Healthy Weight Week (Jan. 15-21) National Milk Day (Jan. 11) Civil Rights Day (Jan. 15) 60th Grammy Awards (Jan. 18) National Compliment Day (Jan. 24) FEBRUARY 2018 American Heart Month National Children’s Dental Health Month National Black History Month National School Counseling Week (Feb. 5-9) Winter Olympics (Feb. 9-25) National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (Feb. 23-Mar. 1) National Freedom Day (Feb. 1) Super Bowl LII (Feb. 4) National Bagel Day (Feb. 9) Mardi Gras (Feb. 13) MARCH 2018 American Red Cross Month National Craft Month National Nutrition Month Youth Art Month National School Social Work Week (Mar. 5-11) Passover (Mar. 30-Apr. 7) 90th Academy Awards (Mar. 4) International School Meals Day (Mar. 5) Pi Day (Mar. 14) Spring Begins (Mar. 20) For more holidays and promo ideas, visit the 2017-18 Promotional Calendar at www.schoolnutrition.org/promocalendar. “TUESDAY” TIDBITS Lowfat Flavored Milk Bill Introduced U.S. Representatives G.T. Thompson (R-Pa.) and Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) introduced The School Milk Nutrition Act of 2017 (H.R. 4101) on October 24. The bipartisan bill would permit lowfat flavored milk to be served in school meal programs and echoes the May announcement by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue directing USDA to provide this flexibility. The 2017 Appropriations Act gives state agencies the authority to grant waivers to schools that can show a reduction in milk consumption or an increase in school milk waste, but in the new proposal, schools could choose this option without applying for a waiver. The bill also establishes a pilot program to test effective, affordable, sustainable strategies for increasing school milk consumption. To view the bill and its status, visit http://tinyurl.com/SchoolMilkBill-SNmag and use “School Milk” in the search field. Letter Seeks to Lower Equipment Grant Minimum SNA has signed a joint letter sent in November to Senate and House Appropriations Committee leaders offering support for language that lowers the threshold for USDA School Kitchen Equipment Grant purchases from $5,000 to $1,000. Research indicates that much of the equipment needed in school nutrition programs falls below the $5,000 threshold; these include large-capacity food processors ($1,9401 average cost) and mobile milk coolers ($3,110 average cost), as well as automated slicers, sectionizers and salad bars. SNA joins more than a dozen other organizations, including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Association of School Business Officials International, National Farm to School Network and United Fresh Produce Association. To view the letter, visit http://tinyurl.com/EquipGrantLetter-SNmag. Application Process Study Announced In late October, SNA submitted a comment on the proposed Study of Non-Response to the School Meals Application Verification Process. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service seeks to understand the approaches that districts take to verification, the accuracy of the process and the results it produces to determine potential changes and help identify improvements in the process. In its comment, SNA highlighted the challenges of communications with various households and suggested that resources be made available to districts facing language and literary barriers in the community. Tuesday Morning is SNA’s free weekly policy e-newsletter. Subscribe at www.schoolnutrition.org/Newsletters/TuesdayMorning. INGREDIENTS FOR HEALTH: FREEKEH Also known as farik, freekeh (pronounced “free-KAH”) is simply wheat that’s harvested while it’s still young and green. In that state, it’s roasted over an open fire. The straw and chaff parts are burned and rubbed off. You’re left with a slightly chewy grain featuring a nutty and smoky flavor. HOW TO EAT. Replace the grain in some of your favorite dishes (such as hot breakfast cereal, salads or soups) with freekeh. Cook it with a 2:1 ratio of liquid to grain (about 2 ½ cups of water or broth for every cup of freekeh) and simmer it for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. (Make sure you’re using cracked freekeh, or it will take significantly longer to cook.) FACT. Because freekeh is wheat, it’s not gluten-free. Therefore, it’s not safe for those with celiac disease or a gluten-intolerance. TRY THIS. Make the classic Middle Eastern dish tabbouleh with freekeh instead of traditional bulgur. Combine cooked freekeh with olive oil, lemon juice, fresh parsley, mint and basil, as well as green onions, cherry tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Mix it up well and serve at room temperature. NUTRITIONAL PROFILE. If you thought quinoa was a superfood, you’ll love freekeh. It has more protein and fiber, per serving than quinoa, and it’s high in iron, calcium and zinc. It also acts as a prebiotic, which promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your digestive system. Read More. “What Is the Ancient Grain Freekeh?” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, http://tinyurl.com/freekeh-SNmag Social Media Booming With Boomers Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like are often thought to be the domain of those young whippersnappers, but that’s certainly no longer the case. Predictions estimate that by 2020 there will be approximately 3 billion social media users on the planet—and a good portion of those are from the Baby Boomer generation. Here’s a look at how they’re using today’s social media channels: » 13% of internet users over age 65 use LinkedIn—nearly the same rate as those in the 18-29 age range. » Among all social media sites, Boomers prefer Facebook (as do Generation X members). » Baby Boomers are 19% more likely to share content (especially political content) on Facebook than other generations. » On Instagram, 18% of users are age 50-64 and 8% are 65 or older. On Twitter, 21% are 50-64 and 20% are 65 and over. On Pinterest, 28% are 50-64 and 16% are 65 and older. » Boomers are much less likely than Gen Xers or Millennials to follow particular brands or companies on social media—a concern for companies trying to target this demographic, which continues to dominate in spending. » While they might not follow a company, Boomers are likely to take action based on what they see on social media. More than 57% will visit a company’s website, 41% will visit a store and 34% will actually make a purchase. Sources: DigitalTrends.com, eMarketer.com, Pew Research Center, Social Media Marketing (blog), Sprout Social
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