Hi everyone! I’m finally back from a blogging hiatus taken to celebrate — and then recover from — my daughter’s recent bat mitzvah. Many thanks to all the TLT’ers who shared their good wishes and mazel tovs (mazels tov?) on the blog’s Facebook page. It was a lovely, memorable event.
Due to that break and my less frequent posting schedule, I feel terribly behind in sharing so many items with you. So in the next few weeks I’m going to play catch up, following up on some loose threads from recent discussions we’ve had, sharing some interesting past news items and also hosting the giveaway of a lovely new children’s book I meant to tell you about way back in December!
For today’s post, I’m sharing three uplifting and/or useful tidbits:
Is the Diet of American Children Improving?
Today’s New York Times reports on the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey which shows some potential good news when it comes to children’s diets nationwide. The study indicates that children’s daily caloric consumption from the period 1999 to 2010 dropped modestly, by about 7 percent for boys, to 2,100 calories a day, and by 4 percent for girls, to 1,755 calories a day. The shift is attributed to decreased carbohydrate consumption — likely specifically due to a decrease in sugar consumption. While this is only a slight dip, it could be a sign that the current childhood obesity tide is turning. Fingers crossed.
Expert Advice on Family Dinner
As a loyal subscriber to Bon Appetit, I was thrilled to see in this month’s issue an entire section devoted to weeknight family dinner, complete with recipes and time-saving tips. Even better is the fact that the magazine is sharing the same information online in blog format, so you don’t need to be a print subscriber to access it.
It was validating to see that BA’s family dinner Rule #1 is a cherished maxim of mine as well, one I often share here on TLT: that family dinner goes much more smoothly when meals are “customizable” to suit every diner’s tastes. (In our house, this idea often takes the form of a baked potato bar, a taco bar, make-your-own pizza or top-your–own chili.) You’ll also find suggestions for grocery shopping, freezing and making several meals from one cooking session. Who doesn’t love that?
TLT’ers Help Solve a Reader’s Snack Dilemma
A short time ago I shared on TLT’s Facebook page a request from a reader. She belongs to a large church and was unhappy about the junk food snacks served at Sunday school. She waited until a healthy snack was served — apples and water — and used that positive development as a springboard to raise the issue with her church. (I love that approach!) In response, she was asked to come up with better snack ideas and TLT’ers came to the rescue with lots of advice, as well as the suggestion by several people, including the bloggers at Real Mom Nutrition and Spoonfed, that, um, maybe these kids don’t even need a mid-morning snack. (I couldn’t agree more.)
In a follow-up email to me, the reader reports what sounds like a very successful outcome:
Thanks again for posting that to your page! The responses were great!! I had a meeting with 2 of the children’s staff members last week. They already agree that something needs to change. The problem is that it’s 2 people in charge of buying for a few hundred kids. And the bible lessons they get come with “snack ideas” and they usually just do that because it’s easy. This week it was marshmallows and skittles filling up a cup. My suggestion was to use cotton balls and pennies or rocks and sand.
They asked if I’d want to be the “creative food director” or something along those lines. It’s something I can do from home so it’s perfect! They’re going to send me the lesson plans and I’ll come up with a snack or craft to go with it. As far as the tootsie rolls for bringing bibles or taking the stairs.. we decided to have a punch card type thing. The kids will get a card that they have to fill up with stickers. Once they get x amount, they can pick from the treasure chest.
There is a budget for snacks that’s really not that big. They said we could do whole fruit once a month. As long as I’m willing to help them find it. I belong to an organic co-op in town and know the farmers so I can definitely make it happen. The other 3 weeks they will do a cracker/pretzel but I’m going to give them a list of the most affordable with the least amount of junk in the bags.
I also copied some of the responses that you at Real Mom Nutrition got on your pages. They loved hearing from moms around the country about what they think. My conclusion was that nursery- pre k should have a snack, older than that can go without for 4 hours. IF they’re going to be offered a snack, it should at least be crackers if it can’t be fruit. And sugar should never be offered (unless it’s birthday cake or some celebration a few times a year). They definitely agreed! Thanks so much for your help! I know it will take a few weeks to get things rolling there, but I’ll keep you posted.
I love happy endings like this one, and nothing is more inspiring to me than when the TLT community bands together and helps someone out. Thank you for sharing your ideas and if you have your own kid/food dilemma you’d like me to “crowdsource,” just email me using the Contact tab above or via Facebook.
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