FOOD PSYCHOLOGY Use a Bigger Fork, Eat Less? Does the size of your fork influence how much you eat?Possibly, according to the results of a survey conducted by University of Utah researchers published in the Journal of Consumer Research.The researchers conducted a field study in a popular Italian restaurant with 98 university students of both genders who were provided a pre-weighed plate of food of their choosing from the menu. Some students were given a large fork (which held 20% more food by weight when fully loaded), while others were supplied with a smaller fork. After eating, when they felt their hunger was satisfied, their plates were weighed again. The researchers found that those students with the big forks left 179% more food on their plates, meaning that they ate 44% less weight than the students who were given small forks. This may be because it takes a while for the brain to receive the signal that we have eaten enough; thus, restaurant diners may rely on other visual cues. The authors assert that bigger forkfuls send a subliminal message to diners that they are making more progress toward becoming full, thus moderating the pace of eating. To view more details about the study, visit www.jstor.org/pss/10. 1086/660838. WELLNESS POLICIES Taking the Pulse Are U.S. middle and high schools making improvements in offering students healthier menu items? A new study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says “yes.” School nutrition operations are serving more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, while serving fewer French fries, according to School Policies and Practices to Improve Health and Prevent Obesity: National Secondary School Survey Results.There’s still plenty of room for improvement, however. The report, which examined data from 2006-07 and 2007-08, also shows that more than one-half of U.S. secondary students had access to lesshealthy snacks, such as candy, chips, cookies and ice cream during school meal times. Sugar-sweetened beverages also were available to 71% of middle school students and 92% of high school students. These items were available through vending machines, a lacarte lines and school stores. In addition, the report shows that many schools and districts had not yet implemented wellness policies featuring nutrition guidelines for all foods served in schools and goals for physical activity; such policies were required by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of2004. Districts and schools with students most at risk for obesity, based on economic status, race or ethnicity, were less likely to have a wellness policy in place. To view more details from the report, visit www.Bridgingthegapresearch.org. HUNGER America Has a Problem Many Americans are unaware of how serious hunger is in their own communities, according to a national survey by Hart Research Associates, conducted on behalf of Tyson Foods and the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). While nearly two-thirds of survey respondents identified hunger as a serious national problem, many perceive hunger as less of a problem within their own local communities. And some 80% find there is a stigma related to seeking food assistance. These findings were in spite of the fact that the survey also revealed that nearly one in four Americans (24%) worries about not having enough money to put food on the table at some point in the next year.Nearly equal proportions of urban, suburban and rural Americans worry about providing for their families. Ninety-one percent of respondents are committed to the principle that no one should go hungry in the United States.More than four in five Americans perceive hunger to be a bipartisan issue, with a majority also indicating that both local leaders/organizations and the federal government should play significant roles in the efforts to eradicate hunger. For more findings from the survey, as well as other details about hunger solutions, visit http://tinyurl.com/4zwbgrx. FAMILIES Turning a Blind Eye? Many parents lack the information to prevent obesity in their children, according to a survey by Shape Up America! And the National Turkey Federation (NTF). The online survey examined the attitudes and actions of 500 mothers with children between the ages of 6 and 16 years old; the respondents also were asked to calculate the Body Mass Index of their youngest child. While 34% of the children assessed in the study met the criteria for overweight or obesity, more than three-quarters of their mothers did not recognize this fact and were not taking steps to improve their children’s weight. Additionally, only one in four of the respondents believed that their youngest child spends too much time watching television or playing on the computer, though it has been estimated that the average American child spends more than 7.5 hours per day engaging in sedentary “screen time” activities. The mothers in the survey also indicated that they face obstacles in serving their families more nutritious foods, citing, for example, that their children were picky eaters who only like certain foods (39%); that healthy meals “take a lot more time to prepare” (25%) or require ingredients that are “often more expensive” (25%). Looking to “upgrade” the nutrition in the meals served to children? Shape Up America! And NTF created an online meal upgrade calculator that gives users ideas on simple changes to make meals healthier (www.mealupgrade.com). Enter to WIN The Goodness of Grains The Whole Grains Council congratulates the winners of its fifth annual Whole Grains Challenge. The winner in the K-12 Public Schools category was Osseo School District in Maple Grove, Minn., which developed whole-grain recipes in partnership with locally based food manufacturer Cargill, Inc., and now serves its own, scratch-baked dinner rolls and French breads. For more information about the winners, visit www.wholegrains council.org/newsroom/2011-whole-grainschallenge- winners-announced. Cookie Time Your favorite light-but-delicious holiday cookie recipe could make you a winner. Healthy Cooking seeks cookies of any type that include healthier modifications. Be sure to include any time-saving tips or variations. One grandprize winner will receive $600, first prize will receive $400, second prize $200 and third prize $100. Runners-up will receive a Healthy Cooking subscription. Entries must be received by March 15, 2012. To enter, mail submissions to Lightened-Up Holiday Cookies and Bars, Healthy Cooking, 5400 S. 60th St., Greendale, WI 53129. For more details or to enter online, visit www.Tasteofhome.com/Contests/Recipe- Contests/Lightened-Up-Holiday-Cookiesand- Bars. Now Casting Do you love to make cornbread?Prepare your favorite original main dish cornbread recipe in Lodge® Cast Iron cookware using at least one package of Martha White Cornbread Mix, and you could win the $5,000 first prize in the 2012 National Cornbread Cook-Off. Finalists will compete during the National Cornbread Festival in April in South Pittsburg, Tenn.The first-prize winner also will receive a 30-in. FiveStar® stainless steel gas range and gifts from Martha White and Lodge Cast Iron. Second prize will receive $1,500 and Special gifts, third prize will receive $1,000 and special gifts and seven runners-up each will receive $150 and special gifts. Entries must be received by February 29, 2012. For more details or to enter, visit www.Marthawhite.com/promotions_news/2012/ cornbread_cookoff.aspx. Equipment Excellence Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazine has named the winners of its 2011 Best in Class Awards. Foodservice operators, consultants and dealers evaluated manufacturers on characteristics that included product quality, design and aesthetics, service and support and sales representation. Vulcan was named Operators’ Best in Class. Among the other winners, Winston Industries received Best in Class honors in the Cook & Hold Ovens category. For more information about the awards, visit www.fesmag.com/index.php/ products/best-in-class. Love Those Lentils The USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council has announced the winners of its 2011 cookoff. First place and $1,000 went to Jane Bacher of Robertsdale, Ala., for Magical Mayan Salad.Other winning recipes included Caramel Lentil Brownies Sprinkled With Sea Salt, Mango Lentil Chili, Mediterranean Summer Lentil Salad, Campfire “Can Do” Lentil Chili and Bangali Dal. To learn more about lentils, visit www.pea-lentil.com. Baking’s Best Duncan Hines has announced the winners of its 1 MILLION Cupcake Challenge. Five winners each received a trip to the Prime time Emmy Awards last September in recognition of their support of the Great American Bake Sale, a national initiative that raises funds for Share Our Strength to end childhood hunger. For more details and examples of creative cupcake recipes, visit www.duncanhines.com/bakers-club. Kids.gov www.kids.gov This kids’ portal for the U.S. government links to more than 2,000 web pages from government agencies, schools and educational organizations, featuring content that is geared to various learning levels and interests. The portal website divides the list of linked websites into three audiences (Grades K-5, Grades 6-8 and educators), as well as by subject, such as arts, math and history. A list of state government websites also is included on the portal site. FoodChamps.org www.foodchamps.org The Fruit & Veggie Color Champions ™ on the Produce for Better Health Foundation’s engaging site guide young visitors toward games for kids ages 2-5 and 6-8, as well as activity pages and coloring sheets. In addition to posting their own creations to the Artwork section of the site, kids can print calendar stickers, as well as cards for recipes that feature a variety of fruits and vegetables. MARS Foodservices www.marsfoodservices.com Operators can sign up for Grain Notes, a new e-newsletter from MARS Foodservices that highlights information that impacts daily foodservice operations and also provides details about rebates and special offers from the company’s Uncle Ben’s brand. Also available on the website are recipes, trend insights and training videos.
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.
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