In the world of education, the end of summer is a busy time as teachers, parents, and kids are gearing up for the beginning of a new semester. For some, this is a drastic shift from the summer schedule and may warrant an adjustment period. Here are a few tips for parents to help ease the summer-to-school transition, and to ensure your kids start the school year with healthy habits:
Establish a routine early
If the summer schedule changed, it can be difficult getting back into the swing of the school year. To avoid the overwhelming number of shocks to a child’s physical and mental system, it’s a good idea to establish a morning routine a week or two before school begins. This will help synchronize their biological clocks and encourage some autonomy for when it really counts.
As we think about the health of our children and what’s offered at school, it is interesting to reflect on how priorities have shifted in both the public and private sector over the last several years.The list below is consistently top of mind among the school food service industry, educators, chefs, dietitians, parents and school communities at large.
New Ways to Incorporate More Fruits and Vegetables
Single-serve offerings of sliced fresh fruits and vegetables for students on-the-go; allergy-aware trail mix made with dried fruit; unsweetened apple and pear sauce; smoothies; fruit and veggie beverages, baked sweet potato “fries” and puffs; hummus and bean-based/vegetarian items
Whole Grain Rich Foods – For Snacking Too
Whole grain pancakes and waffles, whole grain pretzels, crackers, majority of breads served are whole grain, in addition to whole grain salads and incorporating whole grains in soups
As a Registered Dietitian (RD), or the new term for us, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), I often get questions about what it is that we do exactly.
What is the role of the dietitian?
Our role can seem mysterious to those that are not familiar with the profession, as nutrition and health fields are vast.
As the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) defines dietitians as:
The food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. RDNs use their nutrition expertise to help individuals and groups make unique, positive lifestyle changes in a variety of settings. They work throughout the community in hospitals, schools, public health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, food management, food industry, universities, research and private practice. RDNs are advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans an...
Admittedly, this post is LONG overdue. And then some. But while there is no excuse that truly makes up for this lag, there is some explanation.
Flik Independent School Dining had an extremely busy few months with the end of the last school year, summer camps, and the opening of all of our schools for the 2013-2014 school year, including many new schools! This fast pace, combined with all of the fabulous offerings and programming we have seen and want to share, has naturally led to a bit of a shift in focus. Translation: Snap and Shoot!
Most of us have truly gotten into an interesting social media groove, one that has really gained momentum and intensity over the last several months, when it comes to sharing photos and quick comments, mostly via Twitter and Instagram. (I also like to communicate nutrition news and updates both small- and large-scale.) As our operational support teams travel to different schools, these outlets keep us connected and in...
They just exceeded their donation goal of $1,000 for the school year!
This effort was part of the on-going commitment of PDS to social responsibility. A recent addition to this commitment is the FISD TAKE3 GIVE 3 meal program, a new food station concept in the dining hall introduced at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year.
What is TAKE3 GIVE 3?
Every day, this specialty food station offers 3 small-plates with a common theme, such as a healthful ingredient, locally-grown food or ethnic cuisine. For each dish purchased, 3 cents are set aside for donation to a local organization of the students’ choosing, which is determined at the beginning of the school year. All 3 dishes can be bundled as a full meal, resulting in 9 cents of the...
As the health of our children continues to be at the forefront of U.S. school foodservice policy, here’s what policymakers and school communities are thinking about, talking about and putting into action.
New Ways to Incorporate More Fruits and Vegetables: single-serve packages of sliced fresh fruits and vegetables for students on-the-go; allergy-free trail mix made with dried fruit; unsweetened apple and pear sauce; smoothies; fruit and veggie beverages, baked sweet potato “fries” and puffs; felafel and hummus.
Whole Grain Rich Foods – For Snacking Too!: whole grain pancakes and waffles, whole grain pretzels, crackers, majority of breads served are whole grain, in addition to whole grain salads and incorporating whole grains in soup.
Lower-Sodium Foods: reduced sodium sauces for stir fry dishes; reduced sodium salsa and pasta sauce; reduced sodium deli meats; fresh, whole foods prepared in house.
Kid Favorites Made Healthy: pizzas made with whole grain cru...
A recent study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine examined the availability of competitive beverages in U.S. public schools and discovered that schools are increasingly removing less healthy options and sticking with water, low-fat milk and 100% juice.
At FISD, we have long sought to not only meet the beverage guidelines as recommended by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) for all age groups, but to exceed them whenever possible. What is interesting for us, however, is that independent schools are not subject to USDA standards and may have other relationships with various groups (including student groups) or vendors that provide outlets or purchasing opportunities for sugary beverages or competitive beverages. School preference and philosophy is also a factor. While all of this tends to be more relevant with older age groups, the importance of an ongoing dialogue with our scho...
Nutrition and health professionals are always pushing for greater vegetable consumption. Eating a variety of vegetables is truly the basis for a healthy diet, as they are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals. In schools, we are always trying to encourage our students to try and taste new vegetables—and ultimately eat more of them!
There is no better time than summer to enjoy a bounty of fresh, seasonal vegetables. This summer, step out of the comfort zone of your seasonal favorites and try a couple of new veggies while they are at the peak of flavor, freshness and nutritional value! Some research has shown that consuming local vegetables in season (as opposed to when they are picked earlier to withstand transport) can be significant as far as maximizing nutritional benefits.