BEWARE Adult-Onset Food Allergies Think you’re safe from food allergies because you’ve reached adulthood? Think again. A study published in November 2017 in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found that nearly half of adults who suffer from food allergies first developed these not in their youth, but as grown-ups. The risk of developing a food allergy in adulthood is higher for black, Asian and Hispanic adults than white adults, particularly when it comes to shellfish and peanuts, noted study co-author Christopher Warren. Unsuspecting adults are more likely to think that they’ve developed a food intolerance than a food allergy, so they don’t often see an allergist. Therefore, they don’t get a plan designed to manage the allergy appropriately. The prevalence of the most common adult food allergy, shellfish, rose from 2.5% in 2004 to 3.6% in 2017. Adult treenut allergy prevalence skyrocketed from 0.5% in 2008 to 1.8% last year. Since most food allergies still develop during childhood, the possibility of adult-onset allergies shouldn’t be a source of worry. But if you have experienced an adverse reaction to a food that you previously encountered without problems? Then you should visit a healthcare professional to determine if you’ve developed an allergy. Read More: “Life with Food Allergies,” FARE, www.foodallergy.org/life-with-foodallergies Can You Control Your Risk of Cancer? You know that certain unhealthy habits, such as smoking, increase your risk for being diagnosed with cancer. But you probably don’t realize just how much control you can have in reducing your risk for life-threatening cancers. In examining more than 1.5 million cases, American Cancer Society (ACS) researchers determined that 42% were caused by 17 risk factors that are considered “modifiable,” meaning that a person can take steps to minimize risk through lifestyle changes. Those factors include smoking (first- and secondhand), of course, along with alcohol consumption, obesity, lack \of physical activity, low-fiber diets, poor produce consumption, too much processed red meat, UV radiation and low calcium consumption. (Certain infections, such as HIV and hepatitis C, can also be avoided and are considered other modifiable risk factors.) According to the research, smoking, obesity and alcohol are the most likely risk factors that can lead to a cancer diagnosis. Although the rate of death from cancer in the United States has decreased by 25% since 1991, experts estimate that some 600,000 people die from the disease each year. The study reported that in 2017, an estimated 1.7 million cancer cases were diagnosed. Read More: “Proportion and number of cancer cases and deaths attributable to potentially modifiable risk factors in the United States,” CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, https://tinyurl.com/cancerstudy-SNMag Top Trends in Workplace Wellness As health care evolves, so do workplace wellness programs. If you’re seeking to build or adapt a program for your team or benchmark offerings from different insurance providers, take a quick look at what’s trending around the country. A SHIFT IN FOCUS. When workplace wellness programs first became popular, they most often focused on weight loss and smoking cessation. Both are still important initiatives, of course, but today’s wellness programs are becoming more comprehensive, focusing on mental well-being, as well as on physical health. PERSONALIZING WELLNESS. Health isn’t a one-size-fits-all prospect, so wellness programs shouldn’t be, either. Companies are using digital platforms to manage wellness initiatives more frequently, allowing employees to customize their goals and activities based on health status and personal preferences. With a custom approach, employers are more likely to see employee engagement. SPOTLIGHT ON SLEEP. Flu shots, fitness centers and employee assistance programs are important workplace offerings, but employers are beginning to wise up to the productivity costs of sleep-deprived employees. While the onsite nap rooms and sleep pods being added to office environments aren’t realistic in a school setting, more employers are offering flexible hours to accommodate the differences between the night owls and morning birds among their team members. THE RISE OF STANDING DESKS. Standing desks have been slowly and steadily gaining popularity, but 2018 might really see a bigger boom. Sitting has been labeled “the new smoking,” and many office workers are keen to do something about that. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) calls the standing desk the fastest-growing employee benefit in the United States. While many of these trends are more appropriate for SN readers who work in an office than for those who spend their hours in a kitchen or cafeteria, the trends toward a comprehensive and customized approach to wellness are important to keep in mind. Make a 2018 commitment to try (or promote to your team) SNA’s STEPS Challenge personal wellness program, now in its sixth year, with support from Jennie-O Turkey Store (see page 17). Read More: “How to Build a Wellness Program,” Inc., https://tinyurl.com/wellness-SNMag and www.schoolnutrition.org/STEPS The Pros & Cons of Probiotics YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD recently about something magical said to cure stomach problems, prevent allergic disorders and stop colic in infants: probiotics. Well, it’s not magic (probably)—but researchers aren’t sure, exactly, how probiotics work and if they’re really the panacea that advertisers claim. It’s worth some time to learn more about probiotics, as you consider whether to include them in your daily diet. In the simplest terms, probiotics are microbes that live in your gut. There’s roughly 100 trillion of them, and they represent more than 5,000 species of bacteria. Though we often consider bacteria to be bad, there’s plenty of good bacteria, too. That’s what probiotics are: good bacteria. They’re also big business, with annual sales of global products estimated at $42 billion in 2016. Strains of probiotics, whether in supplement or food form, are going to affect each person differently. Note that there is scant research on the positive effects of probiotics on weight loss, oral health and the immune system. Also, remember that probiotics supplements are not regulated by the FDA. So, buyer beware! If you opt to take a probiotic supplement, choose one with multiple strains (rather than a single strain), which will likely have the best effect. Or look to the following food sources: » Kefir: A cultured milk product that naturally contains up to 12 strains of active cultures per cup. You can add this to your morning smoothie if you find you don’t like to drink it straight. » Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kimchi: Each brand of sauerkraut or kimchi contains multiple strains of probiotics. However, a drawback of relying on this type of food for probiotic consumption is that you are unlikely to eat it with sufficient frequency and volume to make a difference. » Yogurt: One of the top sources of probiotics, live-cultured yogurt, can be an easy way to get a daily dose of probiotics. Check out all the ingredients, though— eating yogurt that’s high in sugar or artificial sweeteners/flavors could negate any health benefits from those probiotics. Read More: “Probiotics 101: A Simple Beginner’s Guide,” Healthline, https://tinyurl.com/probiotics-SNMag 3 Ways to… Turn Around a Bad Day 1 PAY IT FORWARD. Research from Stanford University found that doing good deeds for others improves your own mood. It doesn’t have to be something life-changing; just a casual activity that will make someone smile, whether buying a cup of coffee for a coworker, bringing a friend a bouquet of flowers or doing a prep task that you know one of your employees truly dislikes. 2 HUG IT OUT. A little snuggle with someone special can lower stress hormones, finds a study published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing. Grab a friend, partner or child, and give them a big ol’ hug. This type of friendly contact also releases oxytocin, a hormone that makes you feel warm and fuzzy. 3 HAVE A LAUGH. A good giggle produces endorphins, which boost your mood. Cue up some stand-up comedy on Netflix or YouTube or try an audio version on a streaming service like Spotify. Ask a friend to tell you one of their worst/best guffaw-inducing jokes. PROMO PLANNER MARCH Irish-American Heritage Month National Ethics Awareness Month National Nutrition Month National Women’s History Month National Sleep Awareness Week (Mar. 4-11) National School Breakfast Week (Mar. 5-9) Passover (Mar. 30-Apr. 7) Dr. Seuss’ Birthday (Mar. 2) National Quilting Day (Mar. 17) Spring Begins (Mar. 20) APRIL National Autism Awareness Month National Child Abuse Prevention Month National Volunteer Appreciation Month School Library Month Every Kid Healthy Week (Apr. 23–27) Administrative Professionals Week (Apr. 23-29) Hans Christian Andersen’s Birthday (Apr. 2) National Library Workers Day (Apr. 10) NBA Playoffs Begin (Apr. 14) Duke Ellington’s Birthday (Apr. 29) MAY Food Allergy Action Month Mental Health Month National Hamburger Month National Salad Month Children’s Book Week (Apr. 30-May 6) National Pet Week (May 7-13) School Principals Day (May 1) Kentucky Derby (May 5) Sunscreen Day (May 27) John F. Kennedy’s Birthday (May 29) For more holidays and promo ideas, visit the 2017-18 Promotional Calendar at www.schoolnutrition.org/promocalendar. “TUESDAY” TIDBITS SNA Releases 2018 Position Paper SNA has outlined its legislative priorities for the coming year with the publication of its 2018 Position Paper (text on page 18). The Association is calling on Congress to oppose any school meal block grant proposal, which would “slash child nutrition budgets and void federal rules that protect America’s most vulnerable students.” In addition, SNA encourages passage of the bipartisan H.R. 3738, the Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act, which expands USDA Foods to support school breakfast. The Position Paper also encourages Congress to monitor USDA’s efforts to provide school meal program flexibility. Talking points and other resources for members advocating these positions with lawmakers during SNA’s Legislative Action Conference and in their home states can be found at http://schoolnutrition. org/meetings/lac/2018/resources. Farm to School Fuels Economy A report from the National Farm to School Network finds that such programs can fuel economic growth and job creation in local communities. Economic Impacts of Farm to School: Case Studies and Assessment Tools, a collaboration between the Network and Colorado State University, examines the economic impact of farm to school procurement in Minneapolis Public Schools, as well as throughout the state of Georgia. In both cases, for every $100 spent, area farms kept $82 in the region. The data in the report, as well as accompanying tools, can be used to build the case to start such an initiative in your district. Visit https://tinyurl.com/EconImpactStudy-F2S-SNMag. 2017 Natural Disasters: A Look Back USDA’s food and nutrition programs helped to fill the gap in the wake of several extraordinary natural disasters that affected Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A blog post from Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Brandon Lipps takes a look back. Read the post at www.fns.usda.gov/pressrelease/2017/fns-001617 and look for further coverage of this topic next month in School Nutrition and at SNA’s Legislative Action Conference. Tuesday Morning is SNA’s free weekly policy e-newsletter. Subscribe at www.schoolnutrition.org/Newsletters/TuesdayMorning. INGREDIENTS FOR HEALTH: BROCCOLI RABE Broccoli rabe isn’t a vegetable you’ll see on home or school menus too often, but that’s a shame, considering its nutritional value. Rabe is also known as rapini, as well as broccoli raab, and it’s at its peak right now in the cold winter months. HOW TO EAT. Unless cooked well, broccoli rabe can be quite bitter. There’s a stigma against overcooking vegetables—for good reason!—but a longer cooking time is required to mellow out this particular green. Blanch it, then sauté it for at least 10 minutes, if not longer. FACT. Despite its name, broccoli rabe is most closely related to turnips—not broccoli. It shares a genus with broccoli (and cauliflower and kale), but is a completely different species (one shared with turnips, mustard and bok choy). TRY THIS. Blanch the broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling salted water. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add about a teaspoon of minced garlic. Toast red pepper flakes (the amount depends on your preferred spice level) for 30 seconds, and add the blanched rabe to the skillet. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the greens are very tender. Season with salt and serve. NUTRITIONAL PROFILE. One 3.5-oz. serving of broccoli rabe provides more than half of your daily values of vitamins A and C, as well as a solid amount of iron and fiber. Cook the veggie with lemon, which also contains vitamin C, to better absorb this mineral. Read More: “What Is Broccoli Rabe? (And How Should You Cook It?)” Food & Wine, https://tinyurl.com/BroccoliRabe-SNmag Pucker Up, Buttercup FEBRUARY IS THE MONTH OF LOVE. Did you know that kissing can actually boost your health? We’re not talking about sweet pecks on your mother’s cheeks—you need to really lock lips to enjoy the benefits! » Kissing Reduces Blood Pressure Smooching revs your heartbeat in a way that dilates your blood vessels and, in turn, lowers your blood pressure. » Kissing Makes You Happy Get a flood of those feel-good chemicals, such as serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin, when you lock lips with someone special. These same chemicals help you bond with the person that you’re smooching. » Kissing Fights Cavities It might not replace flossing, but kissing gets the saliva flowing. This washes away some of the plaque on your teeth that can lead to cavities. » Kissing Boosts Immunity There’s always a risk you’ll get sick after kissing someone, but it can also make you healthier. You exchange some 80 million bacteria with a smooching partner, which can make your immune system stronger.
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