Daily Tips for Eating Right During National Nutrition Month
Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month?
National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to “focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.”
There’s plenty of information available to honor the month, from the National Education Association’s list of 10 free things for National Nutrition Month to the Partnership for Food Safety Education’s four pointers to enjoy fresh foods at home while taking steps to protect yourself from foodborne illness.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
And, in recognition of this year’s theme, “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right,” here are 31 tips from the American Heart Association on how to help your family eat right:
Vegetables and fruits are loaded with nutrients and low in calories. They contain fiber and water, which help you feel full. Enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables at every meal and snack. Fresh, frozen or canned can all be healthy choices.
Whole grains are generally a good source of dietary fiber. Eat more whole-grain foods, such as whole-wheat bread, rye bread, brown rice, popcorn, oatmeal and whole-grain cereal.
Help your children develop healthy habits early in life that will bring lifelong benefits. Be a good role model, make it fun and involve the whole family in lifestyle changes.
Chicken, fish and beans are good sources of protein. Use lean cuts and remove skin from poultry.
Reading food labels can help you make better choices. Learn what information to look for—for example, you want to limit sodium, saturated fat and trans fat but get more beneficial nutrients like dietary fiber.
When you cook at home you have more control over ingredients, so aim to cook at home more often than eating out. Get recipes and tips here.
For snack time, keep fresh fruit and pre-chopped or no-chop veggies (such as baby carrots, cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas) on hand, as well as single-serve containers of raisins or applesauce. Your family is more likely to grab fruits and veggies over other items if they’re readily available.
Include a serving of fruit at each meal, and try to fill half your plate with vegetables at lunch and dinner.
Enjoy fish high in omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout and albacore tuna are good choices.
A small handful of nuts or seeds can be a satisfying and healthy snack. Look for unsalted nuts or those with no more than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving size.
Join the gardening movement! Try growing fruits and veggies in your own garden. Even the smallest spaces have room for a container garden. Kids are more likely to try something they’ve grown themselves. Learn about teaching gardens.
Use fresh or dried herbs and spices when cooking. At the table, use salt-free seasoning blends instead of salt. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime to add flavor to fish and vegetables.
Try sparkling water, unsweetened tea or sugar-free beverages instead of sugar-sweetened soda or tea. Add lemon, lime or berries to beverages for extra flavor.
Enjoy fruit for dessert most days and limit traditional desserts to special occasions.
Let our heart be your guide when grocery shopping. Look for foods with the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark to make smarter food choices.
Instead of frying foods—which adds excess fats and calories—use cooking methods that add little or no fat, like roasting, grilling, baking or steaming.
Aim to eat less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. As you take steps to reduce sodium gradually, you’ll actually start to appreciate foods for their true flavor. Over time, your taste buds will adjust to less salt and you’ll look forward to how food really tastes!
Make it fun for kids to try new fruits and veggies. Let them pick out a new fruit or vegetable in the grocery store each week, and figure out together how to cook or prepare it. You might end up expanding your own palate as well.
Schedule time each week to plan healthy meals. Keep your recipes, grocery list and coupons in the same place to make planning easier.
Serving size does not always equal portion size. Check the serving size and servings per container because what might seem like a typical portion could actually equal two or more servings. That means double the calories, sodium, fat and cholesterol.
Get your kids in the kitchen! Kids will be more excited about cooking and eating healthy foods when they’ve been involved. Teach kitchen basics by giving family members age-appropriate tasks. Keep a step-stool in the kitchen to make it easier for little ones to help.
Using frozen fish and meats can make meal planning quick and easy. Canned tuna is a great source of protein; often you can save money by buying several cans. Choose the leanest meats and skinless chicken.
Try a meatless meal each week. Think vegetable lasagna or a portabella mushroom burger. Vegetables and beans typically are great sources of fiber. They’re often more affordable and may require less work to prepare than meats or seafood.
Package your own healthy snacks. Put cut-up veggies and fruits in portion-sized containers for easy, healthy snacking on the go.
Be an advocate for healthier kids! Insist on good food choices at school and childcare. Make sure your children’s healthcare providers are monitoring cardiovascular disease indicators like BMI (body mass index), blood pressure and cholesterol. Contact public officials and make your voice heard.
Eating healthy on a budget can seem difficult, but it can be done! Many fruits, vegetables and legumes (beans and peas) cost less than $1 per serving.
Watch out for added sugars. They add extra calories but no helpful nutrients. Sugar-sweetened beverages and soft drinks are the number one source of added sugars for most of us. Limit them to special occasions.
Nearly 1 in 3 kids and teens in the U.S. are overweight or obese. It’s important for parents and coaches to make sure kids have access to healthier foods—including post-game team snacks. All too often, kids are “rewarded” after healthy physical activity with unhealthy foods and sugary full-calorie drinks. Guide your team’s parents and coaches to healthier treats like 100 percent fruit juice, low-fat yogurt, fresh or dried fruit and veggies, and unsalted nuts and seeds.
Eat the rainbow: A fun and tasty way to make sure your family is eating a good variety of fruits and vegetables is to eat as many different colors as you can each day.
Try to eat at least 25 g of fiber each day. Fiber can help lower cholesterol, control blood sugar and reduce the risk of heart disease. Good sources of fiber include beans, peas, raspberries, unpeeled apples and whole-grain pastas, breads, rice and cereals.
What are some of the pointers you follow to make informed food choices and to eat well?
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A report scheduled for release later Tuesday by Congress' non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) finds that the Trump administration undervalues the costs of the climate crisis in order to push deregulation and rollbacks of environmental protections, according to The New York Times.
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By Kristen Fischer
It's going to be back-to-school time soon, but will children go into the classrooms?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) thinks so, but only as long as safety measures are in place.
Keeping Schools Safe<p>What will safer schools look like?</p><p>In a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2766822" target="_blank">JAMA article</a> published last month, <a href="https://www.jhsph.edu/faculty/directory/profile/1781/joshua-m-sharfstein" target="_blank">Dr. Joshua Sharfstein</a>, a pediatrician and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, outlined suggestions — many of which are similar to AAP's.</p><p>Remote learning protocols must stay in place, especially as some schools stagger home and in-building learning. If another shutdown needs to occur, children will rely on distance learning completely, so it must be easy to switch to, he said.</p><p>He suggested giving parents a daily checklist to document their child's health. Kids should be screened quickly on arrival and be given hygiene supplies. Maintenance staff should use appropriate PPE and have regular cleaning schedules. A notification system should be in place if a case is identified, Sharfstein recommended.</p><p><a href="https://www.albany.edu/rockefeller/faculty/erika-martin" target="_blank">Erika Martin</a>, PhD, an associate professor of public administration and policy at University at Albany, said nutrition assistance and health services should be included. She called for tutoring programs with virtual options as well as technology access.</p>
Supporting Staff<p>Teachers and staff will be affected by safeguarding measures, noted <a href="https://directory.sph.umn.edu/bio/sph-a-z/rachel-widome" target="_blank">Rachel Widome</a>, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology and community health at University of Minnesota.</p><p>"In order for all of the in-school precautions to work well, we'll be asking a lot of teachers and staff," Widome told Healthline. In addition to their usual workload, they'll now be asked to monitor mask-wearing, ensure children are keeping distance, and be aware of any symptoms.</p><p>Along with Sharfstein, Widome called for an increase in financial support. More employees will likely be required so teachers and staff members can keep up with the added demands.</p>
Should Kids Go Back?<p>While these guidelines may help get some schools to reopen, many people don't think children should go back to school over fears they could contract the disease and spread it to other vulnerable family members like grandparents, infant siblings, or their parents.</p><p>In a <a href="https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2020/07/08/peds.2020-004879" target="_blank">Pediatrics</a> commentary, <a href="https://www.md.com/doctor/william-raszka-md" target="_blank">Dr. William V. Raszka, Jr.</a>, an infectious disease specialist at The University of Vermont Medical Center, argued that schools should open because school-aged children are far less important drivers of COVID-19 than adults.</p><p>But he says the risk and benefit is not equal among all students ages 5 to 18.</p><p>"Elementary schools are arguably higher priority for face-to-face schooling, since younger children are at lower risk for infection and transmission, and since parental supervision of younger children's distance learning may be particularly challenging," added Sorensen, who penned a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2767411" target="_blank">June article in JAMA</a> with reopening tips. "That means middle and high schools are more likely to emphasize distance learning."</p><p>Specific student populations, such as special education students and students with disabilities, would also benefit greatly from more time spent in face-to-face environments, Sorensen said.</p>
What Parents Can Do<p>Parents should ask for and receive frequent updates from schools about plans for the fall. They should also be informed about plans if and when COVID infections are identified, Sharfstein said.</p><p>"I'd like to see parents investing now, during the summer, in doing things that can slow and stop the spread of the virus in their communities," Widome said.</p><p>"Now is a good time for kids to practice wearing masks and get used to them as they may be wearing them for longer stretches if school starts up in person," Widome suggested.</p><p>She recommends parents try different mask designs and materials to see what children are more comfortable wearing.</p><p>"If you are using cloth face coverings, it's good to have extras on hand," Widome added.</p><p>Parents should model healthy behavior at home and while out in public — another thing that could affect how well children adapt to reopening practices, Sorensen said.</p><p>"Children may want to know more about face coverings," added <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/leescott/" target="_blank">Lee Scott</a>, chairwoman of the Educational Advisory Board at <a href="https://www.goddardschool.com/" target="_blank">The Goddard School</a>. "Dramatic play, such as creating or wearing a face covering, may help some children adjust to this concept." Schools can also show children photos of what faculty members look like in their masks so the students are familiar with that appearance.</p><p>Johns Hopkins University recently released its eSchool+ Initiative, a slew of resources surrounding education during the pandemic. These include a <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/reopening-checklist/" target="_blank">checklist for administrators</a>, report on <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/ethics-of-reopening/" target="_blank">ethical considerations</a>, and a tracker of <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/reopening-policy-tracker/" target="_blank">state and local reopening plans</a>.</p>
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Over 300 groups on Monday urged Senate leadership to reject a bill currently under consideration that would incentivize communities to sell off their public water supplies to private companies for pennies on the dollar.
<div id="fea63" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9a6f211c2bc5aedd34837944cb8eeedf"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1281000111481294849" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Water in Illinois is overwhelmingly public. Why is Tammy Duckworth sponsoring a bill that aims to change that? https://t.co/1V36Kkd99s</div> — The American Prospect (@The American Prospect)<a href="https://twitter.com/TheProspect/statuses/1281000111481294849">1594249201.0</a></blockquote></div>
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By Alyssa Murdoch, Chrystal Mantyka-Pringle and Sapna Sharma
Summer has finally arrived in the northern reaches of Canada and Alaska, liberating hundreds of thousands of northern stream fish from their wintering habitats.
A Good News Story?<p>On the surface, the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/fwb.13569" target="_blank">results from our study</a> appear to provide a "good news" story. Warming temperatures were linked to higher numbers of fish, more species overall and, therefore, potentially more fishing opportunities for northerners.</p><p>Initially, we were surprised to learn that warming was increasing the distribution of cold-adapted fish. We reasoned that modest amounts of warming could lead to benefits such as increased food and winter habitat availability without reaching stressful levels for many species.</p>
Photo of Arctic grayling (left) and Dolly Varden trout (right). Alyssa Murdoch / Lilian Tran / Nunavik Research Centre and Tracey Loewen / Fisheries and Oceans Canada<p>Yet, not all fish species fared equally well. Ecologically unique northern species — those that have evolved in colder, more nutrient-poor environments, such as Arctic grayling and Dolly Varden trout — were showing declines with warming.</p>
Fish Strandings and Buried Eggs<p>Recent news headlines run the gamut for Pacific salmon — from their increased escapades <a href="https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/more-pacific-salmon-showing-up-in-western-arctic-waters/" target="_blank">into the Arctic</a> to <a href="https://www.juneauempire.com/news/warm-waters-across-alaska-cause-salmon-die-offs/" target="_blank">massive pre-spawning die-offs</a> in central Alaska. Similarly, results from our study revealed different outcomes for fish depending on local climatic conditions, including Pacific salmon.</p><p>We found that warmer spring and fall temperatures may be helping juvenile salmon by providing a longer and more plentiful growing season, and by supporting early egg development in northern regions that were previously too cold for survival.</p><p>In contrast, salmon declined in regions that were experiencing wetter fall conditions, pointing to an increased risk of flooding and sedimentation that could bury or dislodge incubating eggs.</p>
Headwaters of the Wind River within the largely intact Peel River watershed in northern Canada. Don Reid / Wildlife Conservation Society Canada / Author provided<p>Interestingly, we found that certain climatic combinations, such as warmer summer water temperatures with decreased summer rainfall, were important in determining where Pacific salmon could survive. Summer warming in drier watersheds led to declines, suggesting that lowered streamflows may have increased the risk of fish becoming stranded in subpar habitats that were too warm and crowded.</p>
The Fate of Northern Fisheries<p>The promise of a warmer and more accessible Arctic has attracted mounting interest in new economic opportunities, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2019.103637" target="_blank">including fisheries</a>. As warming rates at higher latitudes are already <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/" target="_blank">two to three times global levels</a>, it seems probable that northern biodiversity will experience dramatic shifts in the coming decades.</p><p>Despite the many unknowns surrounding the future of Pacific salmon, many fisheries are currently <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/03632415.2017.1374251" target="_blank">thriving following warmer and more productive northern oceans</a>, and some <a href="https://doi.org/10.14430/arctic68876" target="_blank">Arctic Indigenous communities are developing new salmon fisheries</a>.</p><p>As warming continues, the commercial salmon fishing industry is poised to expand northwards, but its success will largely depend on extenuating factors such as <a href="https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060023067" target="_blank">changes to marine habitat and food sources</a> and <a href="https://www.yukon-news.com/news/promising-chinook-salmon-run-failed-to-materialize-in-the-yukon-river-panel-hears/" target="_blank">how many fish are caught during the freshwater stages of their journey</a>.</p><p>Even with the potential for increased northern biodiversity, it is important to recognize that some northern communities may be unable to adapt or may <a href="https://thenarwhal.ca/searching-for-the-yukon-rivers-missing-chinook/" target="_blank">lose individual species that are associated with important cultural values</a>.</p>
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