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Friday, March 06, 2015

Senior Recipes for Healthy Eating

eating with elderly fatherRecipes for Elderly People

 

picture of herbs tied together to suggest cooking for example of recipe ideas for seniorsSoups

Yummy Fall and Winter Soups

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Drinks

Dips

Soups

Beef, Barley, and Mushroom Soup: Makes 6 Cups, hearty and high in protein

1 TBS Olive Oil
½ Cup Chopped onion
2 Cups sliced mushrooms
2 Cans low-salt beef broth (14.5 oz. each)
½ Cup water
½ Cup “quick-cooking” barley
2 Carrots sliced thin
½ tsp. thyme
Dash of pepper and salt (salt optional)
8 ounces roast beef cut thick from deli and chopped

Directions:
1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Cook onions 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally an additional 5 minutes.
2. Add broth, barely, carrots and seasonings to the pot. Mix and bring to a boil over high heat.
3. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 15 minutes or when barley and vegetables are tender
4. Stir in roast beef and serve

Butternut Stew: Makes 6 cups - no added fat or sugar!

1 large onion in small chunks
2 peeled or unpeeled sweet potatoes in bite-size squares
1 small butternut squash in bite-size squares
4 carrots peeled and sliced thick
2 parsnips peeled and sliced thick
1 TBS. Italian seasoning
Dash of pepper
1 cup of water

Directions:  Place vegetables in order listed into a large soup pot, add water and seasonings, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for one hour.

Corn Chowder: You can sauté vegetables in water! No need for oil.  Add cooked diced chicken to turn this low-fat soup into a hearty meal.

¼ cup water
½ celery stalk, minced
½ small onion, minced
¼ green pepper, minced
1 ½ cup water
1 10-ounce package of frozen whole kernel corn
2 small potatoes, peeled and diced
Pepper
Salt (optional)
¼ tsp. paprika
2 Cups skim milk
2 TBS. Flour

Directions:
1. Sauté the finely minced onion, celery, and pepper in ¼ cup of water in a large soup pot till vegetables are soft (2-4 minutes).
2. Add water, corn, potatoes, salt, pepper, and paprika - bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 15 minutes.
3. Put ½ cup milk in a jar with tight fitting lid and add flour and shake to mix – or put in small cup and whisk till blended. Gradually add milk/flour mixture to soup – then gradually add the rest of the milk. Turn up heat and stir constantly till soup is boiling and thickening. Garnish with parsley.

Italian Turkey and White Bean Stew: Makes 6 cups

2 TBS. Olive Oil
1 small chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 small green zucchini in chunks
1 can Italian chopped tomatoes undrained (14 oz.)
1 cup low-salt chicken broth or one cup hot water with a chicken boullion
½ tsp. rosemary, crushed
½ pound of deli (thick cut) roasted turkey breast - diced in cubes
1 can Great Northern Navy beans, rinsed and drained (14-15 oz)

Directions:
1. Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat and add onion cooking and stirring 5 minutes
2. Add garlic and cook 1 minute
3. Add squash and cook 2 minutes more
4. Add broth, tomatoes, rosemary and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
5. Stir in chicken and beans, simmer 8 more minutes

Lentil Vegetable Stew: Makes 6 cups, high in fiber and folate

Lentils are rich in protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals which are healthy for your cardiovascular system!
2 TBS. Olive oil
¾ cup celery diced
1 red onion diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups dried green lentils
8 cups of water
2 cans of low-salt chicken broth (14 ounces each)
2 cups tomato sauce

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium high heat and sauté celery, onions, garlic, and carrots – 5 minutes stirring constantly.
2. Add lentils and water and cook over medium heat 20 minutes
3. Add broth and cook over medium heat 15 minutes
4. Add tomato sauce and cook over medium heat 10 minutes

 

Yummy Fall and Winter Soups

Fall soups for caregivers
In the fall, we want comfort and warmth. No food does that quite like soup! So, we have modified some popular soups here with reduced sugar, fat, and salt. With a loaf of crusty bread and a salad, these hearty soups can serve as an easy make ahead meal for chilly fall evenings.

 

Southwestern Soup (serves 2-4)

Soup Ingredients:
1 8-ounce jar of green salsa (Salsa Verde)
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 15-ounce can white northern beans - drained
2 cups low-fat, low-salt chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp chili powder

Optional (For garnish)
Low-fat sour cream
Low-fat Shredded cheddar cheese
Sliced green onion
Fresh cilantro
Baked Tortilla Chips

Mix all the soup ingredients into a medium sauce pan over high heat, stir and cook the salsa, chicken, beans, broth, cumin, and chili till boiling. Lower heat and simmer 7-10 minutes.

Butternut Squash (or Pumpkin!) Bisque (serves 2-4)

1/2 onion diced
1 TBS. olive oil
2 large Carrots diced
1 small butternut squash diced (or one 29-ounce can of pumpkin puree**)
2 cups low-fat, low-salt chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ tsp. nutmeg
½ cup half and half cream (optional)

• Saute onion in oil until soft, then mix in everything else except the cream.
• Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
• Let cool for 15 minutes.
• Take out batches at a time and puree in a blender until smooth. Return to pot on low heat and add cream.
**If using puree, you may skip the blender.

Leftover Turkey fall soups for caregivers and seniorsSoup: (serves 4-6)

(you can add more vegetables than listed below - like diced squash, turnips, raw sweet potato, or parsnips– just add more stock too).

2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 celery rib, chopped
1 onion – diced
1 clove garlic – minced
1 TBS. Olive Oil
2 14-ounce cans low-fat, low-salt chicken broth
About one pound of cooked leftover turkey meat
1 small box of packaged of wild rice mix – prepared/cooked
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
(Optional) Chopped fresh herbs to your liking: basil, thyme, parsley

Saute onion, celery, carrots, garlic (and any other vegetables) for about 8 minutes over medium high heat in a large stock pot. Add broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes on low heat covered. Last, add turkey, rice, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and any fresh herbs – stir and serve!

Super Easy “Cowboy” Soup: (this soup serves 4-6)

Dump some canned food in a pot – stir – and dinner is on! It tastes much better than you would suspect! Sort of like chili – but not so “beany” – tastes great with cornbread!  This soup is higher in sodium since it uses packaged prepared soups and vegetables.  Look for low-sodium varieties if needed.

1 lb. ground turkey – cooked and drained of fat
1 cup elbow macaroni or other small pasta cooked and drained
2 cans Condensced Campbell’s Minestrone Soup
1 can “mixed vegetables”
1 can original “Rotel” tomatoes
1 can
1 packet of taco seasoning
1-2 cans of kidney beans (depending on how beany you want it!)
2 cups of water

Mix all of the above together, bring to a boil, turn off heat and serve!!! Mmmm….and so easy!

Great Chicken Soup for Winter Cold and Flu Season

Chicken soup is one of the oldest “home remedies” around. Sometimes referred to as an old-wives’ tale, chicken soup is thought to “cure” the common cold. Does it really cure anything?

Well, for starters, it can’t hurt. We are told to drink plenty of clear fluids when sick to encourage the flow of mucus. Chicken soup has a lot of broth! And, who has not heard of the anti-germ properties of gargling with salt-water? Well, chicken soup is very salty. And maybe a cup of tea could do this trick too – but the steam may help clear sinuses.

It is also a food that is somewhat easy to eat to keep your strength up when you are sick and not feeling like you have much of an appetite.

But, apparently, there are more complicated reasons it may help reduce the symptoms of a cold or flu. It appears to have anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine qualities as well.

While some store-bought soups will work just as well, sometimes, on a cold winter day when everyone is sneezing and coughing, this soup is a nice thing to have on the stove-top brewing all day:

Rotisserie Chicken Soup:

1 small pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, meat cleaned off and about half of it chopped in small chunks – preserve the bones, wings, and skin

2-4 carrots

3 stalks of celery – some leaves too

One large yellow onion

Dry or fresh herbs like:

     Thyme

     Rosemary

     Sage

One Red pepper

32 ounces of store-bought chicken stock in a box (like Swanson)

One small container of dried tortellini

 

 

Directions:

Place the bones, skin, and wings cut up into a pot of about 4 cups of water (so the bones are covered). Add some herbs that you like, 1/3 of the onion in large chunks, one carrot in large chunks, and the celery leaves and “ends” and one stalk cut up in large chunks. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours on the stove. Add water if the bones are not covered.

Strain the cooking liquid and discard the bones and skin and large vegetables, etc. Add liquid back to a large stock pot and add the rest of the carrots, celery, onion, and pepper all diced, some more herbs to your taste, salt and pepper, chicken meat chunks and store broth and boil. Reduce heat and slow simmer another 60-90 minutes. Add the tortellini and cook until pasta is done – about 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite rolls and a salad.

 

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

 

Low Fat Mini-Quiche: (these freeze well – make ahead!):

4 eggs (OR for less fat - 1 cup of a plain egg substitute, like “Egg Beaters”)
½ Cup prepared biscuit mix, like Bisquick
1/3 Cup Melted butter
1 ½ Cup Skim Milk
Pepper
1 TBS. onion flakes or 2 tsp. onion powder
4 ounces shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
Sliced mushrooms and/OR steamed, chopped asparagus (optional)

Directions:
Put everything in the blender except cheese and optional vegetables till smooth, add vegetables and stir to mix in, pour into an oil-sprayed mini-muffin tray, top with shredded cheese, bake 30 minutes (or until eggs set) at 350 degrees. Let sit in tray 15-20 minutes to cool before removing. These can be frozen individually on a greased cookie sheet and once frozen, placed into a zipper freezer bag. Remove and microwave what you need for 30 seconds (or more – ovens vary) for a great make-ahead mini-breakfast.

Low-Fat Banana Bread:  Make one loaf for breakfast this week and freeze the other for up to a month!

3 Cups all-purpose flour (or 2 cups white and 1 cup whole-wheat)
1 ½ Cups sugar
2 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 egg whites
4 small or 3 larger mashed bananas
½ cup unsweetened applesauce

Directions:
1. In one bowl, combine egg whites, bananas and applesauce.
2. In another larger bowl, stir flour, sugar, powder, soda, and cinnamon.
3. Add the wet bowl to the dry bowl and stir until just combined. If thick, add TBS. hot water
4. Pour batter into a greased 8 inch X 4 inch bread pan and bake 45-55 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool on a wire rack.
 

Super Easy Pasta Salad:

1 pkg. bow-tie pasta (16 ounce)
1 bottle of low-fat Italian Dressing (16 ounce)
2 chopped cucumbers
6 chopped tomatoes
1 bunch chopped green onions
4 ounces grated parmesan cheese
1 TBS. Italian Seasoning

Directions:  Cook pasta according to directions for al dente, drain and rinse under cold water – then place in a large bowl. Toss vegetables and pasta together with the salad dressing. In separate small bowl, mix parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning and gently fold into pasta salad. Cover and refridgerate. Makes 8 cups. Good idea for a family meal.

Low-fat Oven-Baked Chicken Nuggets: Make ahead and freeze these great finger foods – terrific with honey mustard dip!

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in strips
1 Cup Italian-flavored Bread Crumbs
½ cup low-fat Paremesan cheese
1 tsp. salt (optional)
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. basil
1 egg white
¼ cup skim milk

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees, place an oven-proof greased cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet (or grease the cookie sheet and skip the cooling rack – the cooling rack makes it crispy on all sides!).
2. In One low wide bowl, mix bread crumbs, seasonings, cheese and salt; in another low wide bowl, whisk together the egg white and milk.
3. Dip the chicken strips in the egg/milk mixture – then into the bread crumb mixture to coat on all sides. Place the strips on the cooling rack (or directly on cookie sheet).
4. Bake 20 minutes
5. Freeze on a greased cookie sheet – when frozen, put nuggets into a zipper bag and only pull out what you need. Reheat in microwave for 40 seconds (oven times may vary) for three strips.
 

Drinks

picture of milk shakes which are an excellent source of extra calcium and calories for those seniors who need to gain weight.Simple Smoothie:

½ banana
Six strawberries OR a handful of blueberries
3/4 cup of 100% fruit juice
3/4 cup of skim milk
Handful of ice cubes

Directions:
Blend all ingredients until Smooth and serve. You can use frozen fruit.  Old bananas freeze well (peel and place in plastic wrap) for smoothies.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake:  Great high calorie shake for seniors who need to gain weight and have lost their appetite

1 scoop of chocolate ice cream
1 TBS. chocolate syrup
2 cups skim milk
A banana
1 TBS. wheat germ (optional)

Directions:  Place everything in a blender and serve!

Dips

Salsa:  Don't make it!

Buy store-bought salsa (usually mild works best).  Most varieties come without any added sugar, salt or fat.  You can use this as a dip for vegetables or as a topping for corn chowder, lentil stew, or a plain baked potato instead of butter.

Honey Mustard Dip:  Great with Chicken Nuggets

¼ Cup dijon mustard
¼ cup honey
Keeps in refridgerator for 2 weeks.
Healthy Bean Dip: (Nice with Pita Triangles)
1 can refried beans
¼ cup mild store-bought salsa
Chopped Cilanto (optional)

Directions:  Mix the beans and salsa in a bowl and top with fresh cilantro.

Old Fashioned Onion Dip: (great with vegetables)
Olive oil
Salt
4 medium white onions chopped
1 can beef broth (14 oz.)
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
8 ounces reduced fat sour cream

Directions:  Saute onion in a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Keep cooking till just starting to turn brown. Add beef broth all at once and stir to scrape the bottom of the pan – bring to a boil and then turn down heat to simmer until most liquid evaporates ( 15 minutes or so). Stir in onion powder, vinegar and keep stirring and cooking until the vinegar evaporates (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat and cool for 30 minutes. Mix sour cream and onion mixture in a bowl and chill 30 minutes before serving. Makes 2 ½ cups and you can freeze in smaller portions for up to 2 months. Keeps 3 days in refridgerator.

Healthy Bean Dip: (Nice with Pita Triangles)

1 can refried beans
¼ cup mild store-bought salsa
Chopped Cilanto (optional)

Directions: Mix the beans and salsa in a bowl and top with fresh cilantro
 

  

Nutrition News

Two Million Students Eating More Fruit and Veggies at School Salad Bars Every Day: Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools is Making it Happen!
Posted by: 
Lorelei DiSogra, Vice President of Nutrition and Health, United Fresh Produce Association

How can schools get kids to fill up their lunch trays with fresh fruits and vegetables? Offer a salad bar in the school cafeteria!  Salad bars offer an enticing array of fresh fruits and vegetables and kids get to choose what they want to eat.  When children have access to a salad bar they eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.  Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools is making this happen nationwide by providing salad bars to schools.   


Students at Adams Elementary School in Santa Maria, California love selecting fresh veggies from their salad bars.

Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools was founded by the Chef Ann FoundationUnited Fresh Start Foundation, National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, and Whole Foods Market to support First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative.  Since the establishment of the partnership in 2010, the initiative has donated 4,000 salad bars to schools nationwide, benefitting more than 2 million children.

The Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools website is the central hub to learn about salad bars and how to apply for one. It also includes an at-a-glance map of the country indicating schools that have received salad bars and schools that are waiting.  With assistance from the Chef Ann Foundation, the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools website also provides access to a comprehensive operational support site for schools that need help with salad bar implementation.   Visitors to the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools website will also find our blog, The Mix, which includes school success stories and tips related to salad bar implementation, as well as results from our first evaluation, showing the widespread benefits of salad bars in schools.


Loading up on broccoli is daily occurrence at the Calvin M. Rodwell Elementary School in Baltimore.  Rodwell Elementary was the site of the announcement made by Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools that salad bars have now been donated to 4,000 schools nationwide.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the co-chair of the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, and the lead federal agency partner for Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, has played a critical role in the partnership.  Working with public health departments across the country, CDC has promoted school salad bars as a strategy for developing healthy school food environments, and has provided resources to schools in states throughout the U.S. 

Most impressive, however, has been the support of School Food Service Directors, many of whom are seeing the benefits of salad bars first hand.

Linda Waters, Food Service Director at Gilmer County schools in Georgia has seen first hand how salad bars can change the school lunch program: “if you give children choices you’re going to get better participation.”

Misti Figuero, Food Service Director at Cardinal Ritter High School in Indiana was forwarded the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools grant application by a friend and she says it has changed her program.  “It’s very visible, which helps. When they’re [students] walking into the cafeteria to go to the lunch line, they walk past the salad bar.”

In some cases school salad bars have helped create a bridge with school garden programs like in the Kittery, Maine School District. Nutrition Services Director Wendy Collins notes that since introducing the salad bars, students have become increasingly excited about working in their greenhouse and gardens. As a result, school produce yields have risen and kids are overjoyed to see and taste the fruits of their labor on the salad bar.

Ann Cooper, Nutrition Services Director at Boulder Valley School District in Colorado, has seen over the last 5 years kids making fruits and veggies a staple in their daily meal. “It’s now just part of their day, the majority of the kids are eating fresh fruit and veggies every day now and hopefully this will evolve into a life-long habit.”


The salad bar at Western High School in Anaheim, California is a big hit.  Students enjoy loading their trays with a variety of fresh fruits and veggies every day.

Thanks to Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, schools are serving more fresh produce every day, and salad bars are demonstrating that kids will make half their plate fruits and vegetables when given the opportunity to make their own healthy choices.

Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools is making a difference!

Another Study Shows Kids Eating More Healthy Food at School, Throwing Less Food Away
Posted by: 
Cullen Schwarz and Brooke Hardison, USDA Office of Communications

Ed. Note: This is a cross post from the blog of usda.gov. You can find the original post here.

new study published in Childhood Obesity has again confirmed that students are consuming healthier food at school as a result of the updated meal standards.  The study further demonstrates that, contrary to anecdotal reports, the new standards are not contributing to an increase in plate waste.  The study was conducted by researchers from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut, the University of California Berkeley, and Yale University.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement on the report’s findings:

“Updated healthy school meal standards were developed based on doctors’ recommendations to help ensure our children would be able to get healthy food at school. This new study adds to a growing body of scientific evidence/research that shows these standards are working. It is clear that kids are now eating healthier food and throwing less food away. This is good news for parents and teachers, who overwhelmingly support healthier meals because they know kids learn better when they have proper nutrition. For Congress to meddle with doctors’ recommendations and go back to less healthy meals now would not be in the best interest of our children.”

This new study is very encouraging because it shows that the updated standards for school meals are helping students eat healthier. USDA’s updated nutrition standards for school meals—which have been implemented successfully by more than 90 percent of schools nationwide—are working.  Here are some of the key findings from the report:

More students are now choosing to add fruit to their lunch tray than they were before the updated standards went into effect (54 percent in 2012 to 66 percent in 2014).

The percentage of the vegetables on their plates students consumed increased by nearly 20 percent, decreasing the amount of vegetables thrown away.

Students consumed more of their lunch entrées (71% in 2012 to 84% in 2014), which also decreases food waste.

This study follows on a previous study on school nutrition by Harvard University School of Public Health which found that student consumption of fruits and vegetables increased by 23 and 16 percent, respectively, and that the updated meal standards did not increase plate waste per student. The study released by the Rudd Center continues to refute the anecdotal reports of increased plate waste as a result of the healthier meals being served in schools.

Together, these studies are good news for parents and students.  We know that over 70 percent of parents nationwide favor strong nutrition standards for food served in school, and that schools are seeing widespread acceptance of the healthier meals by students across all grade levels.  In fact, 70 percent of elementary and middle school students and 63 percent of high schools like the new, healthier meals.

USDA is working closely with the school nutrition community to help overcome barriers to serving healthier school meals and ensuring that all children have access to safe, healthy meals.  Throughout the month of March, which is National Nutrition Month, USDA will highlight several initiatives designed to support schools and the implement the healthier meal standards, and support America’s children so they can grow strong.

Read the full report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, University of Connecticut: New School Meal Regulations Increase Fruit Consumption and Do Not Increase Total Plate Waste

Hunger In Our Schools: Breakfast Is A Crucial “School Supply” For Kids In Need
Posted by: 
Posted by Tom Nelson, President, Share Our Strength

Ed. Note: This is a cross post from the blog of usda.gov. You can find the original post here.

"Good nutrition is just as important to a child’s future as a quality education—maybe even more so. We can’t expect kids to learn, excel and achieve if they aren’t properly nourished from day one. Share Our Strength’s new report, Hunger in Our Schools, illustrates how the healthier school breakfasts and lunches are working to address the twin crises of childhood hunger and obesity, particularly for low-income children. Healthy meals set up our kids for success, and school meals are a critical and effective part of that." –Secretary Tom Vilsack

As a nation, we spend a lot of time, effort and money on ways to better educate our children. In recent years, there have been fierce debates on No Child Left Behind, Common Core, teacher qualifications, textbook standards and more. These battles ignore one key factor, however: If our children are too hungry to learn, their success is doomed before we’ve even begun.

Working with the research firm SalterMitchell, No Kid Hungry recently completed a new national survey of 1,000+ educators across the nation as well as a series of focus group interviews with dozens of teachers and principals. The new report, “Hunger In Our Schools,” underscores the fact that hunger hampers a child’s ability to learn, but school breakfast offers a chance to solve this problem for millions of children.

At a time when a majority of America’s public school students come from low-income backgrounds, childhood hunger is a reality in American public schools. Among educators surveyed in the report, 76 percent say they have students who regularly come to school hungry.


A healthy breakfast is a critical school supply. Just as you would never expect a student to excel without access to their textbooks, we can’t expect them to excel without the daily fuel they need for their brains and bodies.

A healthy breakfast is a critical school supply. Just as you would never expect a student to excel without access to their textbooks, we can’t expect them to excel without the daily fuel they need for their brains and bodies.  As teacher Tony Notarides told interviewers, “The problem of hunger leads to all of these other problems. It has a snowball effect. These students fall behind and they never really catch up.”

In fact, educators who regularly see children come to school hungry describe seeing long list of associated effects, including an inability to concentrate (88%), a lack of motivation (87%), behavioral problems (65%), illness (53%) and poor academic performance (84%). “It’s heartbreaking when I can’t do my job because my students are hungry,” said third-grade teacher Audrey Harris.

Hunger in our schools, however, is a solvable problem. School breakfast is a critical but underutilized national program that bears a direct impact of children’s academic achievement and health. Nine out of ten educators in the Hunger In Our Schools survey say breakfast is critical to academic achievement, and 97% of educators say it’s important that children from low-income families have access to free, healthy breakfasts during the school year. This is borne out by research; a study conducted by Deloitte Consulting shows that when kids consistently eat breakfast at school, attendance rates improve and test scores rise.

The trouble is making sure children who need this meal are able to access it. Parents, kids, and school leaders cite a variety of barriers such as stigma of eating breakfast alone in the cafeteria; transportation problems (buses not delivering kids to school in time for breakfast); and misperceptions about the value of serving breakfast in new ways (such as serving it in the classroom as part of first period) as reasons why more low-income kids aren’t getting this vital meal as intended.

Many schools have found better ways to feed children. One particularly effective way is to move breakfast out of the cafeteria and makes it a seamless part of the school day for students. Of those teachers who have classroom breakfast programs, 75% say the program has been positive experience for their students. After bringing breakfast into their classrooms, three out of four teachers surveyed say students were more alert, while half said they saw discipline problems drop and attendance improve.

After instituting breakfast in her classroom, first-grade teacher Margot Shaver sees an immediate response in her students: “The light turns on; they’re able to function in the classroom.”

It’s time to turn the light on for more students. We can wipe out hunger for more students in more schools, but we must work together.

Tom Nelson is the President of Share Our Strength, the national non-profit working to end childhood hunger in America through its No Kid Hungry campaign. Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. When we all work together, we can make sure kids get the healthy food they need. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.

 

Take the #GimmeFive Challenge!
Posted by: 
Kelly Miterko, Deputy Associate Director, Let's Move!

This year marks the fifth anniversary of Let’s Move!, and we’re celebrating the progress of the last five years, challenging ourselves and everyone to do even more, and committing to championing kids’ health for the next five years and beyond.

As part of the anniversary, the First Lady is challenging everyone to #GimmeFive things they are doing to eat better, be more active, and lead a healthier life. We have already seen people from across the country join in – from eating five fruits and vegetables to doing five pushups or lunges to sharing five healthy recipes.

Check out some of the folks who have joined in the challenge below or on the Let’s Move! Storify.

Now it’s your turn to #GimmeFive! Share what you’re doing to lead a healthier life on Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Facebook, or Tumblr using #GimmeFive and then be sure to pass on the challenge to someone else!

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