Study: School Health Programs Get Kids Moving

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As summer wanes and back-to-school season approaches, kids may be cringing at the thought of getting back to long stretches at a school desk.  But can the school environment actually help kids increase their activity level? A new study published in Preventive Medicine suggests it can.PE

The study on 1,100 elementary and middle school students measured the effectiveness of a government program called HEROES, which was developed to increase physical activity during the school day.

The schools restructured their physical activity classes to focus more on movement than sports to ramp up active participation. Some schools added ten-minute bursts of physical activity into regular classroom time. Nearly all participating schools started before-school or after-school walking programs, adding another 15-20 active minutes to the school day.

Read more… “Study: School Health Programs Get Kids Moving”

Making the Healthy Choice the Tasty Choice

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roasted head of garlic
Roasted head of garlic: one of our “chef secrets” for a flavorful AND healthy meal.

Whether you’re a professional chef or just a busy professional or parent, it can seem like a real challenge to come up with meals that are both palate-pleasing and healthy. How can you help “tasty” and “healthy” get along better in your kitchen?

Last week during our Twitter chat, a variety of culinary and nutrition pros shared their ideas. We talked about how to use less sugar in desserts, how to add creamy mouth-feel in healthier ways (besides smothering in butter!) and alternatives to salt for flavor.

Here are some “chef secrets” shared during our chat:

Make it creamy without all the (saturated) fat:

  • Puréed or blended veggie-based soups provide a comfortingly creamy texture, and low-cost canned beans add a satisfyingly creamy texture when puréed while also offering fiber, protein and nutrients.

Culinary Nutrition: Shedding Light on Flavor and Health

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From top chefs to parents, it’s a question on everyone’s mind these days: how do we bring together flavor and healthfulness? fruit in fridge

Food scientists are already hard at work on this. Last week a study out of the University of Florida shed light – literally – on how much flavor matters to us. Researchers used light treatments to enhance the taste and aroma of tomatoes and berries – a technology that could one day make its way into your home refrigerator.

Now the culinary world is getting in on the action. A hot field of study known as culinary nutrition merges the art of cooking with the science of nutrition – in other words, how to make healthful food taste delicious.

Let’s face it: no one wants to eat a tasteless tomato or bland meal, no matter how healthy. Yet the impact of what we eat on our risk of chronic disease cannot be put by the wayside. AICR’s report and its continuous updates link a diet filled with a variety of fruits, vegetables and fiber with a lower risk of many cancers. Read more… “Culinary Nutrition: Shedding Light on Flavor and Health”