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The next time you’re in the local school, check out the vending machines. This is where your kids are getting food when it’s not lunch time (and in some places, even when it is lunch time). If your kids go to school early or stay late for academics, arts, or sports, the vending machine is probably what’s fueling them.
So what can you do?
First, pack an extra before school/after school snack. If you have a high school football player, it’s going to look more like a second lunch, but at least you’ll be offering better nutrition.
Discuss good food choices with your child. What can they get in the vending machines that will provide nutrition and fuel? What boundaries do you want to set as a parent?
Finally, get informed about your state, school district, and school policy on vending machines. When are they available to the kids? What’s for sale? How can you help provide more nutrient-dense (and still tasty) choices?
Here’s some information to take to the schools from the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity.
Nutritionally Poor Foods Are Widely Available in Schools
Between 1991 and 2005, the percentage of middle schools with vending machines increased from 42% to 82% and the percentage of high schools from 76% to 97%.1
Although healthy foods and beverages are increasingly available, the most common items sold outside of school meals include candy, sugary drinks, chips, cookies, and snack cakes.1,2,3,4
Junk Food Is Having a Negative Impact on Children’s Health
Over the last two decades, rates of obesity have tripled in children and adolescents.5
The sale of low-nutrition foods in schools outside of school meals is associated with increases in children’s body mass index (BMI).6 It is estimated that a fifth of the average increase in BMI in teens between 1994 and 2000 was attributable to increased availability of junk food in schools.7
Current Practices Are Costly to Federal Taxpayers
By developing a pattern for eating low-nutrition foods, children increase their risk of developing diet-related diseases, such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. U.S. health-care costs due to obesity are $123 billion a year, half of which are paid for by federal taxpayers through Medicare and Medicaid.8
1- U.S. Department of Agriculture. School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study-III. Washington, D.C.: USDA, 2007.
2- O’Toole T, et al. “Nutrition Services and Foods and Beverages Available at School: Results from the School Health Policies and Programs Study 2006.” Journal of School Health 2007, vol. 77, pp. 500-521.
3- Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Dispensing Junk: How School Vending Undermines Efforts to Feed Children Well. Washington, D.C.: CSPI, 2004.
4- Kann L, et al. “Competitive Foods and Beverages Available for Purchase in Secondary Schools – Selected Sites, United States, 2004.” MMWR 2005, vol. 54(37), pp. 917-921.
5- Ogden C, et al. “Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in the United States, 1999-2004.” Journal of the American Medical Association 2006, vol. 295, pp. 1549-1555.
6- Kubik M, Lytle L, Story M. “Schoolwide Food Practices Are Associated with Body Mass Index in Middle School Students.” Archive of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 2005, vol. 159, pp. 1111-1114.
7- Anderson P and Butcher K. “Reading, Writing, and Raisinets: Are School Finances Contributing to Children’s Obesity?” National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Working Paper Series. Cambridge, MA: NBER, 2005.
8- The Endocrine Society and the Hormone Foundation. Economic Impact of Obesity. Chevy Chase, MD: The Endocrine Society and the Hormone Foundation. Accessed at on October 8, 2008.
The National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity is the policy arm of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). NANA advocates national policies and programs to promote healthy eating and physical activity to help reduce the illnesses, disabilities, premature deaths, and costs caused by diet- and inactivity-related diseases such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
NEW! Each Monday and Thursday, we’ll bring you some of the best recipes from Marilu’s table. You can check the index over there on the right – the one for Recipes – and find previous recipes you may have missed.
Today’s recipes were featured at the recent SPArty in New York City. They’re so delicious you can serve them to company.
4 cups arugula
1 fennel bulb
2-3 Tablespoons mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Italian flatleaf parsley (or use curly parsley), roughly chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
juice of one small lemon
Slice the root and fronds from the fennel bulb. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise, and then slice it lengthwise into moons. Separate the moons. Toss the fennel with the arugula, chopped mint leaves, and chopped parsley leaves.
Put the olive oil and the lemon juice in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and shake well. Dress the salad with about half the dressing. Toss gently.
1/3 cup tamari
3 Tablespoons mirin
3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 Tablespoon yellow miso paste
1 Tablespoon arrowroot starch
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
3 Tablespoons canola oil
1 small English cucumber, chopped
1 cup peeled, chopped daikon radish
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 zucchini squash with skin, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into matchstick-size strips
8 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded Napa cabbage
6 cups cooked brown rice
Stir the tamari, mirin, syrup, miso, arrowroot, sesame oil, garlic and ginger in a
large bowl until well blended and smooth. Set the sauce aside.
Heat the canola oil in a large heavy wok over a high heat. Add the vegetables and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir in the sauce and stir-fry until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the vegetables to a large serving bowl. Serve with brown rice.
It may be with something as simple as a new nail polish color or as sublime as your partner (all over again!).
It could be a book, a piece of music, a new recipe, or a sunset.
It could be the color you painted your bedroom.
It could be the way your dog looks at you.
It could be the gas mileage you’re getting.
It could be your best friend.
It’s back-to-school time! That clean, crisp feeling in the air – new books, pens and pencils – new classes – new clothes – a fresh start! Lots to learn – and lots of fun! That’s the feeling that inspires us to get Back to BOOTY School. Back to the basics of healthy eating and exercise! In BOOTY School, you’ll make the grade by eating right, exercising, losing weight, and living a balanced, organized, energized life!
Join Marilu and coaches MplsMom and Healthful starting Wednesday, September 9 right here at Marilu.com. Together, they”ll guide you through 21 days of mini-meals and fitness challenges, and make you think about your approach to health and wellness.
Marilu Henner’s Total Health Makeover® is a proven program that WORKS. Enjoy weight loss – increased energy and stamina – improved digestion – better skin – more restful sleep – a sense of balance in your body and in your life – even organized closets! Health is a “total picture” and this program addresses the total YOU.
Here’s what you’ll find in BOOTY School –
Get daily announcements from BOOTY School principal, Marilu Henner – emailed to you!
Follow the BOOTY School Meal Plan – 5 mini-meals each day from delicious (no-deprivation!) recipes! Loaded with vegan recipes, recipes that are easy to brown-bag, family-friendly recipes, and recipes that are perfect for entertaining.
Check in every day for assignments and turn in your accountability “homework” on the members-only message boards.
Attend “classes” in the chat room with Marilu and class coaches.
Create your own “class schedule” – exercise and activities to do each day.
Download and print recipes and the daily planner.
Track your Booty Points for a friendly competition.
Here’s another great treadmill song to get you going.
What – no treadmill?
Get up; get moving. No excuses.
Shake it, baby.
And if you’re looking to shake a better booty, the Back to Booty School class starts September 9! 21 days of amazing menu options and fitness challenges to help you get a healthy, fit, hot body. Don’t be late for Booty School! Join today.
Make water your only beverage today. Keep it with you. Carry a refillable bottle – and refill it!
Carry it in your purse, briefcase, or backpack.
Keep it in your car.
Bring it to your meetings, classes, office, the gym.
Keep it with you while you exercise, while you talk on the phone, while you answer your email.
Drink half your weight in ounces of water each day, up to 100 oz/day.