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Posts tagged: Hunger-Free Kids Act

Promoting Healthy Choices Throughout the School Day

Promoting Healthy Choices Throughout the School Day

Promoting Healthy Choices Throughout the School Day

Schools across the country are working hard to ensure students experience a healthy school environment from the moment they walk in the door until the final bell rings.  Imagine for a second that you are back in sixth grade.  In health class, you’re learning about the food groups and how to eat a balanced diet.  During P.E. class, your teacher stresses the importance of exercise and leading a healthy lifestyle.  School breakfast and lunch included colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.  In between periods you are hungry for an afternoon snack from the school’s vending machine. Your eye catches a glimpse of a flashy picture of a bottle of water with a logo down the side of the vending machine, and you think to yourself that water would be a great thirst quencher. Still, you scan the vending machine and see that your options are bottles of water, 100 percent juices, and unsweetened tea—all healthy options! You are thrilled that the school is supporting your resolve to maintain a healthy lifestyle by making healthy choices so readily available. Feeling good about the choices you’ve made so far that day, you are able to choose a healthy snack to compliment the healthy meals you have eaten throughout the day. Read more »

Food and Nutrition Education: Growing Healthy Bodies and Minds

A nutrition educator teaches children about MyPlate

A nutrition educator teaches children about MyPlate.

Each March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages Americans to return to the basics of healthful eating through National Nutrition Month. To kick off the month-long celebration of nutrition and health, we wanted to recognize the Academy, who initiated this observance in 1973 as a week-long event that eventually grew into the established month-long observance in 1980. Today we hear from the Academy’s President on the value of nutrition education, such as MyPlate, and its importance to federal nutrition programs.

By Dr. Evelyn F. Crayton, RDN, LDN, FAND, President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Access to safe, affordable, nutritious foods is central to the missions of both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.

Access to nutritious food is just part of the solution: Building people’s motivation, knowledge, skills and abilities around food and nutrition makes a lifelong impact that reduces health care costs and improves hunger status. Read more »

MALDEF Event Focuses on Improving Quality of Life in Latino Communities

Representing USDA on a panel at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s (MALDEF) Fourth Annual Latino State of the Union in Washington, D.C. was a remarkable experience. The event examined how American public policy affects the Latino community, and assessed how future policy can lead to a better quality of life for Latinos.

While the discussions covered a range of topics important to the Hispanic community, much of conversation was dedicated to how childhood obesity is impacting educational attainment, future talent, and workforce capacity of not just Latinos, but of our entire nation. Read more »

Talking Nutrition with Stephen Colbert

A bust of Stephen Colbert sculpted in cheddar from the largest organic dairy cooperative in the country.

A bust of Stephen Colbert sculpted in cheddar from the largest organic dairy cooperative in the country.

Last night, I stopped by the Colbert Report to talk about the critical role the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plays in promoting healthy eating.  I am familiar with Stephen’s unfortunate bear phobia, so Smokey Bear  was asked to stay back at headquarters. The topics of hunger and nutrition, however, are no laughing matter, so I was excited to have the opportunity to discuss these important issues with Stephen and his viewers.   Read more »