All Posts In Food News

Celebrate National Peanut Month!

by in Food News, March 11, 2012

peanut
Another day, another wacky food holiday. This time, it’s National Peanut Month. So in case you need more reasons to love this nut (which is technically a legume), we’ve got plenty of reasons you should celebrate, all month long.

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New Rules for School Lunch

by in Food News, March 1, 2012
school lunch The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is in favor of the recently-announced school lunch guidelines.

What do the lunch lady and First Lady have in common? They’re both making school lunches healthier. Find out why the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (and registered dietitians everywhere) are in favor of new changes in the school cafeteria.

What’s new?
Less than a month ago, Michelle Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced new guidelines for school lunches across the country. Changes to school lunch offerings have been a long time coming. In recent years, nutrition professionals have been making positive strides to improve lunch options, but it’s been hard to make changes stick.  These new initiatives shine a light on the importance of making healthy meals that kids actually want to eat.

Kids can now look forward to properly portioned plates featuring more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Trans fats will take a hike and the high amounts of sodium packed into meals will be reduced.

A popular debate over chocolate milk has also been settled. According to the new guidelines, cafeterias will now serve low-fat plain and nonfat chocolate milk to help balance out the extra sugary calories in the chocolate version.

Since school may be the only consistent source of food for low-income families, some institutions are moving to providing 3 meals a day to students in need. In December 2010, President Obama signed a bill to help make this possible.

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Mars Candy Bars Are Shrinking

by in Food News, February 17, 2012
Candy bar
Mars is paying more attention to smaller portions.

King Size Snickers are on their way out: Mars Inc., the company that makes chocolate candy bars like Twix and Milky Way, plans to halt production of any chocolate product with more than 250 calories per serving by the end of 2013.

Spokeswoman Marlene Machut said the plan to stop shipping any chocolate product that exceeded 250 calories per portion by the end of 2013 was part of Mars’ “broad-based commitment to health and nutrition.”

As part of a “broader push for responsible snacking,” the company has also vowed to reduce sodium by 25 percent in all its products by 2015.

Tell us: What do you think of the new calorie restrictions?

New USDA Online Food Log: SuperTracker

by in Food News, February 12, 2012
my plate
Keeping track of the good stuff you put on your plate just got easier.

Keeping healthy eating goals on track just got easier thanks to the USDA’s free online food-and-exercise log, SuperTracker. This new tool uses the government My Plate recommendations to dole out eating advice, as well as quality nutrition information.

The SuperTracker’s main features include: a food tracker, a physical activity tracker, a weight manager and a Food-A-Pedia containing around 9,000 food items that have been analyzed for nutritional content by the USDA.

“If it says ‘burrito with whole-wheat tortilla,’ we did the calculation to know the exact amount of whole grains that contains,” says Dr. Robert Post, Deputy Director of the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. “That is very different than most databases that rely on the nutritional facts on product packages.”

Customize advice based on age, weight and gender, plus set goals, journal, track weight and even receive virtual coaching with recommendations on what to eat and how much to exercise. Get detailed reports of nutrient intake over time or simply find out how many calories are in your upcoming meal. Mobile apps are being developed, Post says. Until then, share progress on Facebook and Twitter.

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Super Bowl Food Face-Off

by in Food News, February 3, 2012
pizza and lobster rolls
Giants versus Patriots . . . or pizza versus lobster rolls?

As if the big game wasn’t enough excitement, we’re placing the teams’ hometowns head-to-head in a culinary battle. Put the football aside for one moment and decide – who’s got the better food?

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Food News: Food Presentation Affects Kids’ Eating Habits

by in Food News, January 29, 2012
pancake face
Could silly faces on a plate help feed picky eaters?

Kids may be picky eaters, but according to a new study from Cornell University, how food is presented to them makes a huge difference in the food they choose to eat.

Children crave a greater visual diversity on the plate, whether it’s varying colors or ingredients shaped into silly faces and designs.

According to the study, “On average, they [kids] preferred seven different items on their plates, and six different colors.”

Parents, however, found three items of different colors more appealing.

Could this trick allow for more nutrient-rich foods in kids’ diets?

Read the rest of the study. And get some fun plating ideas after the jump.

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Happy National Peanut Butter Day!

by in Food News, January 24, 2012
Peanut Butter
It's one of our favorite food holidays: National Peanut Butter Day!

In honor of National Peanut Butter Day, we’ve rounded up some of our best posts related to this oh-so-versatile spread. Whether you make a peanut butter smoothie or spread it on some apple slices is entirely up to you, but either way, it’s easy to see why there is a whole day dedicated to this addicting treat.

9 Reasons to Celebrate National Peanut Butter Day

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Applebee’s Adds Low-Calorie Entrees

by in Food News, January 13, 2012
applebees
Applebee's is jumping on the healthy restaurant menu bandwagon.

New year, new Applebee’s menu items. The restaurant chain started 2012 with three new dishes — all under 550 calories.

The entrees start with a Roasted Garlic Sirloin, 7 oz. of garlic-marinated sirloin served up with potatoes and creamed spinach stuffed mushrooms. The Sizzling Chili Lime Chicken is served over rice with Asian-style vegetables in a spicy chili sauce. Rounding out the new menu is an Asian Shrimp & Broccoli, a sweet and spicy dish with mixed vegetables and blackened shrimp.

“The focus is on the flavors,” said Chef Shannon Johnson, executive director at Applebee’s. “Even when they are watching their calories, our guests want great flavors, choices including proteins and carbs and full-size portions. With our Under 550 menu, the only thing missing is the calories.”

Tell us: Will you try the new menu items at Applebee’s?

The Importance of Family Dinner

by in Food News, January 6, 2012


In my years of practice, I found that many families don’t eat dinner together – or any meal for that matter. A recent study released by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University revealed what a big difference family meals make in your children’s lives.

About the Study
Family mealtime has drastically decreased since the 1950’s. Although you may not initially see the connection, family meals play a huge role in your kids’ lives. Yes, it’s important to eat together in order to sit down and catch up on the day, but there’s more to it. The study called The Importance of Family Dinners VI dug deep to see if there was a connection between the frequency of family meals and teen substance abuse. It also explored what teens thought about the concept of family dinners. The results will shock you.

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Happy National Spaghetti Day!

by in Food News, Healthy Recipes, January 4, 2012


Today’s National Spaghetti Day, but do you really need a holiday to give you an excuse to cozy up to a bowl of hot, comforting pasta? We encourage you to celebrate this festive day with one of our favorite spaghetti recipes, and in case you need more of a reason to eat some spaghetti, a few of our best posts on why we love the stuff.

12 Reasons to Celebrate National Spaghetti Day

Ellie Krieger’s Pasta Puttanesca

Serve Ellie’s traditional Italian sauce, made with tomatoes, olives, capers and arugula over your favorite pasta any day, but for today, we recommend whole-wheat spaghetti.

Spaghetti and Meatballs: Healthier Than You Think

Find out why this classic dish made our list of 10 Foods That are Healthier Than You Think.

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