Tag Archives: school lunch

WIN an Applegate Half Time Prize Pack — Enjoy the Best Lunch Kit Ever

half-time-turkey

We love the new Applegate Half Time lunch kits so much that we want to share the awesome lunchtime joy with everyone! Seriously, you’ve gotta try these! And two of our DietsInReview readers are going to do just that — on us!

Lunch has never been easier, tastier, or smarter. Take it from me, these bad boys have effortlessly gotten both me and my four-year-old through our mid-day meals since this summer.

How to Win!

Comment on this Facebook Post! Tell us how Half Time is just the break you need from junky, boring lunches!

What You Win!

  • All three varieties of HALF TIME: Turkey & Cheese, Ham & Cheese, and Bologna & Cheese
  • A draw-your-own lunch bag
  • A set of permanent markers
  • Coupons
  • Activity book
  • DietsInReview T-Shirt

The total value of the kit is $50. (more…)

Chocolate Milk Gets the Boot from Schools with Surprising Results

Think back: Can you imagine school lunch with no chocolate milk? Many can, and some schools have made the thought a reality in an effort to make school lunches healthier for students.

chocolate milk

However, the efforts may have been misguided. Researchers from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab surveyed 11 elementary schools in Oregon where chocolate milk had been removed as an option, and found while the students did consume less sugar and calories, they also consumed less protein and calcium.

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Students Not Drinking Enough Water, Even When It’s Handed to Them

Less than one-third of kids and teens meet the daily recommended daily water intake for their age group. To improve that statistic, the USDA issued a mandate to go into effect at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year stating the schools participating in the National School Lunch Program must provide free drinking water to students.

water fountain

Researchers from the University of Michigan and University of Illinois have found the majority of schools have met the mandate and provide water to their students during lunch. But the real trick is getting students to actually drink more water.

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1944 Girl Scouts Handbook Has 10 Really Terrible Vintage Diet and Nutrition Tips

I recently found a 1944 copy of a Girl Scout Handbook, and what an interesting journey it was to another time that seems worlds away from the one I live in. There’s a lot of focus on developing skills to be a happy homemaker; while my understanding of a modern Girl Scout Handbook invokes a woman who is independent and an equal partner in business, sport, and life.

1944 girl scout

Young Ethel of Elizabeth, New Jersey owned the near-perfect copy I found, its aged pages revealing she was a member of troop 39. The rest of the book revealed some health and nutrition advice that I found down-right comical. I was unable to get my hands on a current Handbook, but I have to believe the recommendations for fried food, butter, and thousands of calories a day have changed just a little.

Hey! Where are the Cookies?

vintage girl scout cookies

Cookie sales first began in 1917 in Oklahoma and by 1936 they’d licensed their first commercial baker. But alas this book, printed in 1944, makes no mention of cookies – neither as a fundraiser or even a recipe. However, Wikipedia notes that around this time, 1943, the Girl Scouts sold fat in cans to support the war efforts.

Why You Should Never Buy Girl Scout Cookies

Girls Should be Eating ALL OF THE CALORIES!

phelps

“You probably need between 2,200 and 3,000 calories a day. A grown woman who does little active work needs only half of what you do, while a husky football player probably needs twice as much.” (more…)

Pink Slime is Back: Why do School Districts Continue to Serve Dreadful Byproduct?

It’s baaaack. Pink slime, an ammonia and beef byproduct that spurred one of the most talked about controversies in 2012, is being reintroduced to school lunches now that the media spotlight has dimmed. School districts in Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are patiently waiting for their pink slime burgers to ship from the USDA, all to save mere pennies on the dollar.

pink patty

Shocking as that may sound, schools in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota never stopped serving the pseudo beef. Beef Product Incorporated is the company that makes and sells pink slime, formally known as “ammonia-treated lean finely textured beef,” or LFTB. In layman’s, LFTB is unwanted bits of cow mixed with ammonia and sent through a centrifuge—just like mom used to make. This process was invented by Beef Product Inc to help get the most possible product out of cows. Then, they sell it for cheap, hence the reason school districts bought it in the first place—to save money.

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WIN the Ultimate Stuff Your Lunch Box Giveaway Just in Time for Back to School!

Back To School Giveaway

School is back in session and parents, you know what that means. It’s time to drag out the superhero and princess lunch boxes and pose the question you’ll be asking hundreds of times this year, “What do you want for lunch?” At DietsInReview, we want to help you branch out beyond PB&J and fill those boxes with healthy delicious food your kids will be bragging about in the cafeteria.

PRIZES:

One GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive 30 days each of:

  • Sneaky Pete’s all-natural oat beverages
  • Wholly Guacamole, featuring the new Wholly Guacamole minis
  • Angie’s Boomchickapop, 35-calories/per cup and non-GMO
  • Mini Babybel Mozzarella, 100% natural with 20% of daily calcium needs
  • GoPicnic, the leader in ready-to-eat, prepackaged, nutritious and flavorful on-the-go meals with GF options
  • Beanitos, corn-free bean chips that are gluten-free, non-GMO and low-glycemic.

One SECOND PLACE WINNER will receive:

  • One Case of Angie’s Boomchickapop
  • One Cooler of Whole Guacamole products
  • 30 days of of Mini Babybel Mozzarella

WINNER SELECTED AUGUST 30 – NICOLE H. GIVEAWAY IS OVER.

   TWEET THIS POST TO ENTER TO WIN!  

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Pizza Hut Now Delivering a New Whole Wheat Pizza to Meet School Lunch Nutrition Guidelines

UPDATE: NOVEMBER 11, 2013: Wichita, Kansas is now a test market for rolling out the whole wheat pizza crust to their standard menu. Available for testing only in Wichita, the wheat crust option is $1 more, “due to the premium cost on the dough,” said Kym Money, director of marketing for Fugate Enterprises. She expanded, letting us know, “This is the same crust type that we use on our School Lunch pizzas, but topped with our regular toppings. It is very good, and I am hopeful it will be a successful test.”

Pizza Hut is known for its inventive approaches to the delivery pie, but few have been as impressive as their latest innovation. Pizza Hut has never been healthier, a requirement to let them keep up with the newly mandated school lunch nutrition guidelines. The brand expressed their excitement to us about being able to recreate its world-famous pizza in a way that kids could enjoy this Americanized comfort food.

“It’s a healthier option,” says Rachel Huber, MPH, RD, senior nutritionist for the Dallas-based Pizza Hut. While pizza could never be defined as a health food, Pizza Hut has made remarkable strides to make it a better part of a child’s school-day diet.

pizza hut school lunch pizza

Stores facilitating the pizza for school lunch programs now have two sets of ingredients – one for the public and one for the public schools. In order for any school lunch program to receive its federal reimbursements they must meet new nutrition guidelines that took effect for the 2012-2013 school year. Pizza Hut didn’t want to miss the huge sales opportunity that is placement in these hungry cafeterias, so they made a better pizza.

A slice of the whole wheat cheese pizza has 270 calories and 8 grams of fat. The pizza beats the school lunch guideline expectations, with 26% of the calories coming from fat – the guideline is at or less than 30%. The slice of cheese also has three grams of fiber, attributed to the 51% whole wheat crust. Pizza Hut did not share the nutrition information for the other options – sausage, pepperoni, and veggie.

To make it, they went back to the drawing board, but not square one. (more…)

Healthy School Lunch Reform is Fighting Childhood Obesity, Tackling TV is Next Step

A team of cardiologists at the University of Michigan has found that among obese middle schoolers, 62 percent watched two or more hours of TV a day. The data suggests that when “screen time” replaces physical activity, obesity is likely to ensue. When you pair this decreased activity with the calorie-rich, fat-laden lunches served in schools, you have a full on epidemic.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 was meant to provide healthier food for the national school lunch program, which took effect last year. It’s certainly a step in the right direction, but still far from perfect. As for the other side of the coin, it’s ultimately up to parents to tackle the TV problem. The life-long effects of poor dietary and activity habits can lead obesity, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.

Boy in Cafeteria Line

Our resident nutrition expert, Mary Hartley, RD, has been an ardent supporter of the school lunch overhaul, and told us that for many kids, half of a child’s calorie intake comes from school lunch, and those calories were 34 percent fat.

“French fries and other potato products accounted for a disproportionate number of the vegetables on kids’ trays,” she said. “But improving school lunches is only one part of the obesity problem. Parents at home have a far greater impact.”

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35 Kid-Friendly Snacks that Meet the New Smart Snacks in Schools Guidelines

Students are going back to a healthier school environment this year, as schools continue to advance Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Last year, USDA added more fruit, vegetables and whole grains to the school lunch program. This year, those healthy advancements extend to school vending machines and school stores. Expect to see more of the foods we should encourage – whole grains, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables and leaner protein – and less of the foods we should avoid – sugary, salty and fatty items. Read the guidelines in Smart Snacks in School, the USDA’s guide to the new nutrition standards.

healthy snacks usda guidelines

Download this Printer Friendly Version for your home or classroom.

We took those guidelines one step further by translating them into brand name foods to help busy parents and even teachers know what to look for at the store. Our list contains ­only foods that meet the new standards. There are no cookies or soda (too much sugar), nor meat jerky (too much salt), and several snack bars didn’t make the cut because they exceed the 200-calorie limit. While our list doesn’t include every acceptable packaged food on the market – and let’s make it clear, we love snacks made at home from healthy, fresh ingredients – we hope our list will help school administrators, teachers and parents to identify better-for-you commercial snacks that are more apt to promote our kids’ healthy lifestyles. (more…)

Candy-Free Valentine’s Day Treats Kids Will Fall in Love With

If you’re a parent, Valentine’s Day means your kid will be offered a tremendous amount of sugar right before he’s sent home from school. Valentine’s parties are tough. You want to send a great treat, but if you’re like me, you have a conscience and you can’t send sugar bombs to kids, it’s just not right.

Never fear, just because you choose not to send unhealthy treats to school, doesn’t mean you can’t be the star of the class party. I’ve had to get creative over the years, but I’ve seen first hand that most kids actually like a unique party favor or a savory healthy snack. Many choose it over the heap of candy being loaded into their Valentine mailbox.

Here are several candy-free ideas to keep you and your kid on track this Valentine’s Day.

Fruit and Veggie Trays. Yeah, it doesn’t sound that amazing, but kids actually like most fruits and vegetables, they’re just not offered very often. I’ve watched a herd of third graders make quick work of a fruit tray and my heart smiled. If you want to add some extra holiday fun, try making your fruit heart shaped. Strawberries can easily be sliced into heart-shaped medallions or melons can be formed into the heart shape as well.

Kind Bars. Have you tried these yet?! You’re going to have a hard time sending them to school because they’re just that good. The KIND bars are mostly nut based and often have dried fruit with them. They are low in sugar and full of natural healthy ingredients. The best part is that kids will probably think they’re candy bars. Check out our KIND Bars giveaway now and win a case of 20! (more…)