Cross posted from the Huffington Post:
Last Friday, I celebrated School Breakfast Week with a lively group of students at William H. Hunter Elementary School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I was joined by the Philadelphia Superintendent of Schools and various state officials as I participated in an event which emphasized the important role of the USDA School Breakfast Program in fostering a healthier next generation. This year’s celebration was extra special, with news that total program participation grew by more than 24 percent nationwide over the last six years. Nearly 14 million of our nation’s school children are now eating school breakfast each day.
Here’s why that’s so important: A well-balanced breakfast offers an important nutritional foundation for a productive and healthy day, at any age. School breakfast fosters success in the classroom, and also plays a critical role in helping children develop healthy habits that last a lifetime. Read more »
A favorite U.S. Forest Service book for kids is “Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?” which explains to children that, yes, there are reasons to cut trees. (U.S. Forest Service)
The U.S. Government Bookstore, the place where you can buy the 2014 Counterterrorism Calendar for $20 or a loose-leaf copy of the Export Administration Regulation 2013 edition for $199, released its list of best-selling publications for 2013 that includes several items published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Why Would Anyone Cut A Tree Down?” is written by Roberta Burzynski, who works in the U.S. Forest Service’s Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry unit. The book shows children the life cycle of trees and how trees are a renewable resource. The 41-page book with 28 full-color illustrations can be used by parents and teachers along with online activities and lessons. Colorfully illustrated by Juliette Watts, the $10 book is ideal for parents, teachers and children. Burzynski also wrote the popular “Woodsy Owl’s ABCs” that is meant to be read by an adult to children. Read more »
Los días festivos son una buena ocasión para reunirse con familia y amigos. Pero cuando no se cuenta con tiempo y el presupuesto es limitado, preparar comidas saludables se convierte en un reto. Teniendo esto en cuenta, el USDA ofrece consejos saludables con el interés de ofrecer alternativas fáciles y de bajo costo que toda su familia indudablemente disfrutará. Read more »
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service will host a Twitter chat on holiday meal budget tips on Wednesday, December 4, at 3 pm EST.
Holiday celebrations are a great time to gather with family and friends. But when you’re on a tight budget and pressed for time, it can be challenging to prepare a nutritious, timely meal for your loved ones. With that in mind, USDA offers these healthy tips for creating low-cost meals your whole family will enjoy: Read more »
MyPlate On Campus Ambassadors are encouraged to use resources, such as this 10 Tips handout, to promote healthy eating to their peers.
The USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion launched a new initiative this past March, MyPlate On Campus, to help spread healthy eating messages to young adults during their college years. MyPlate On Campus is a unique program that encourages students to improve their own eating and physical activity habits as well as promote healthy eating to their peers. Most college students are emerging out on their own for the first time and perhaps vulnerable to the busy days of assignments, eating on-the-go, and making their own food decisions. MyPlate On Campus provides students around the country with the tools to communicate the messages supporting the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to their campus community. Students who are interested in promoting health and wellness are invited to sign up as a MyPlate On Campus Ambassador and become a member of the USDA/CNPP Nutrition Communicators Network. Read more »
Earlier today, Secretary Vilsack announced the results of the Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP) , a pilot project designed to test the impact of incentivizing fruit and vegetable purchases among SNAP recipients. The pilot showed that an ongoing investment of less than 15 cents per person per day may result in a 25 percent increase in fruit and vegetable consumption among adults. Adults receiving the HIP incentive consumed, on average, an ounce more fruits and vegetables per day than non-participants.
These are promising and exciting results. But we know that there is no silver bullet that can solve the problems of poor diet and obesity among American children and families. Despite increased public awareness of the vital role of nutritious food choices and proper physical activity on our health, the habits of most Americans—SNAP recipients and non-recipients alike—fall short of the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. And although research shows that healthy foods aren’t necessarily more expensive than less healthy options, many low income people face additional time and resource challenges when it comes to putting healthy food on the table that can make less healthy options seem more appealing. Read more »