Is it August already? You bet – that’s why this issue of the Know Newsletter™ features a full slate of back-to-school subjects.
Among the topics: Resources to celebrate the first-ever Kids Eat Right Month, new research on the nutritional adequacy of vegetarian weight loss diets, plant-based foods for school meals and info on the benefits of food fortification.
Celebrate Kids Eat Right Month
This August is the inaugural Kids Eat Right Month (KER), a nutrition education, information sharing and action campaign created by Kids Eat Right, an initiative of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and its Foundation.
The month spotlights good nutrition and active lifestyles for children and families, and offers simple steps to help families cook healthy, eat right and shop smart.
What can you do?
• Tap into the Academy’s Kids Eat Right Month ideas for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, parents and kids, schools and other groups. Check out the related articles, videos, recipes and tips, too.
• Log in to kidseatright.org/volunteer to become a KER campaign volunteer (it’s easy!). Then, teach kids about the morning meal with the Healthy Breakfast Everywhere You Go Toolkit (found in the Resources section). The kit contains ready-made presentations, activities and handouts for elementary, middle school and high school students, and for school and community stakeholders. This kit was made available by an educational grant from The Kellogg Company.
• Provide parents with our Snacktivate!™ handout to help kids snack smart, after school or otherwise. This colorful resource includes tips for smart snacking, what to stock, age-appropriate ideas to get kids cooking, and several super-cute snack recipes to make together (see a few to the left).
Download Snacktivate!™ now.
Take Care Planning Calorie-Trimmed Vegetarian Diets
Observational studies suggest that vegetarian diets are a good approach for weight management because vegetarians have lower BMIs and calorie intake than nonvegetarians. But are calorie-trimmed vegetarian diets nutritionally adequate?
Possibly not, according to a recently published literature review.1 Data show that mean intakes of fiber, vitamins A and C, magnesium, and iron are significantly lower for vegetarians with energy intakes 500 calories or more below Estimated Energy Requirements than for vegetarians who don’t restrict calories.
Further, vegetarians at any calorie level should optimize intakes of vitamin B-12, zinc and protein. Vegetarians and nonvegetarians alike should increase intakes of calcium, magnesium, fiber, and vitamins A, C and E.
The take-home message: With all vegetarian diets, educate people to look for foods that contain the above nutrients of concern. Take special care when helping vegetarians plan calorie-trimmed eating plans.
Read the abstract here.
Browse meatless options from Morningstar Farms®.
Looking for Plant-Based Meat Alternatives for Schools?
If you plan school meals – take note. Our plant-based meat alternatives below meet US Department of Agriculture meal standards for the National School Breakfast and Lunch programs. And the taste is grade-A!
Here’s how many Equivalent Meat Alternatives each serving provides:
Did you ever wonder why some foods are fortified with vitamins and minerals?
One reason is that fortifying foods, such as ready-to-eat cereals, may greatly benefit public health. For instance, since the early 20th century, food fortification has helped stave off diseases caused by nutrient deficiencies such as goiter, rickets, beriberi and pellagra – once common in developed countries.
A recent example is the fortification of cereal grains with folic acid. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named improvements in maternal and infant health as one of 10 great public health achievements, citing significant reductions in the number of infants born with neural tube defects (NTDs).2
The CDC explains that mandatory folic acid fortification of cereal grain products labeled as enriched in the US beginning in 1998 contributed to a 36% reduction in NTDs from 1996 to 2006 and prevented an estimated 10,000 NTD-affected pregnancies in a decade, resulting in a savings of $4.7 billion in direct costs.2
To learn more about food fortification, read the recent resources to the left.