School Lunch Hero Day

Food Service professionals using The OrganWise Guys in Wayne County, Tennessee

Between preparing healthy food, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating student food allergies, and offering service with a smile, school nutrition professionals have a lot on their plate. To celebrate their hard work and commitment, a number of schools will celebrate School Lunch Hero Day on May 1. This day, celebrated annually since 2013, was designated by The School Nutrition Association and Jarrett Krosoczka, author of the “Lunch Lady” graphic novel series. School Lunch Hero Day provides an opportunity for parents, students, school staff and communities to thank those who provide healthy meals to 30 million of America’s students each school day.

We are such firm believers in the important role that school nutrition professionals play in promoting healthy school meals for our children. Why not take a few minutes to create something special for the lunchroom staff in your school?

Here are a few simple ideas:

Write thank you cards – Have the students thank the lunchroom staff for the great job that they do! Each student can create their own card, or make a large one and have everyone sign it.

Name their favorite foods – Older students can let the lunchroom staff know which food items are their favorite and why. This is a great time for you to emphasize the healthy food options that they enjoy.

Draw food pictures – The younger kids can draw pictures of their favorite foods served either for breakfast or lunch.

Perform a skit – Come up with a fun little song that several students or the entire class can perform during lunch. Everyone will have fun with this!

Cook for them – How about bringing the lunchroom staff your favorite healthy treat! Try a yummy Greek yogurt parfait with fresh fruit and granola or a tasty fruit smoothie to brighten up their day!

However you choose to say thanks, whether it be on School Lunch Hero Day or during School Nutrition Employee Week (May 4-8), it’s a great opportunity to show the school nutrition workers a little bit of appreciation for the hard work that they put in each day!

Share with us what you plan to do to celebrate these important workers!

Hey everybody,Hardy teach your kids about gratitude

It’s important to teach your kids about gratitude. Teacher Appreciation Day is next month, but why do we have to wait until a certain day of the year to say thank you to the important people in our lives, who deserve appreciation and gratitude all year long? Why not teach your kids to be grateful and vocal about this gratefulness each and every day? Teach them about gratitude from an early age and show them how it can positively affect people’s lives. What a great life lesson to learn and carry out on a daily basis. It’s the little things that can make a big difference in someone’s life!

Here’s to teaching gratitude and saying thanks to your teachers today!

Hardy Heart

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Healthy nuts are an April Foods of the Month. Did you know they taste great in salads? Consider swapping out croutons, or other crunchy/fried toppings you may typically put on your salads for nuts instead. Adding a handful of healthy nuts like almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, or hazelnuts to your favorite salad recipe provides a dose of good fats. Also, as a budget saving tip, visiting a higher end supermarket may pay off when shopping for nuts. Many of them have dispensers where you can select the exact amount you need.  Continue reading

We want to talk obesity by the numbers. Obesity, specifically childhood obesity, is consistently in the news these days. Kids are growing up in the technology age, offering a more sedentary lifestyle. Busy families and the convenience of fast food prevents kids from eating healthy meals. What we have found in our 20+ years of working in this arena is that early intervention is key; the younger, the better!

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Hello!Calci should ask questions

There are many situations that arise with kids requiring a little bit of explaining or clarification. Sometimes things that may seem crystal clear to one person (this includes adults, too!), is not always as obvious to another. Whether a small ordeal, similar to what I got myself into this weekend, or a huge life-changing decision, it’s a good idea to teach your kids to ask questions about any uncertainties they may have. Now, make sure and share this funny story and the coinciding coloring and activity sheets with your kids. It will be a good lesson for them to learn about inquiring further to get the right information! My mouth sure would have thanked me if I had followed my own advice!

Talk to you later,

Calci

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Once again, we are thankful for our great partners over at the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) who provided us with the great content below. Happy Spring!

Family walking on path holding handsWas it was dark when your kids boarded the school bus this morning? Did you happen to notice birds chirping instead of the distant rumble of a snowplow? Although it’s hard to believe, spring has finally sprung! Wherever you are in the country, you likely had some record-breaking weather event that made this winter a particularly tough one. We’ve earned a couple of warm(er) days and mild(er) evenings, haven’t we?

A fun way to welcome spring and to make it a family affair is to turn it into dinner conversation starters. You and your family can make the most of this happy and rejuvenating time of year and learn a little something in the process with the following ideas:

Listen – Notice the sounds of spring morning and night by trying to identify back yard birds by their songs and calls. Songbirds and woodpeckers are among the first to be very active in the early spring. Grab the kids after dinner and take a fifteen-minute “bird listening” walk. Owls and red tail hawks will be active in the evening. Talk about what you’re hearing and see if the sounds are different at breakfast time. For more family outing activities check out the Together Counts™ blog.

Discover – Birds aren’t the only movers and shakers in springtime. Look down during those family walks and notice caterpillars, worms, a trickle of water from the thawing earth. Start a journal and have each person in your family note what they’re discovering. Discover more energy balance activities here.

Get moving – Spring means it’s time to get kids moving outside. Check out these energy balance tips for Pre-schoolers in celebration of Head Start’s 50th To commemorate the event, HWCF has created a new grant encouraging Head Start programs to encourage active healthy lifestyles. To apply or share with your local Head Start, please click here.

As members of the HWCF, we encourage active, healthy lifestyles as a way to stem overweight and obesity. HWCF’s free resources available on the Together Counts™ website, center around energy balance and being active and healthy together as a family. With summer approaching, it is important to bridge the gap between summertime and the school year with a continued emphasis on healthy lifestyle choices so make sure and and keep your children active and eating healthy during the summer months. You can find The OrganWise Guys programming at nearly 1,000 parks and recreation sites across the country this summer. Please contact us to locate a site near you!

Share your spring family fun with us by commenting below and also on the TogetherCounts Facebook page.

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Apr, 2015

Sir Rebrum grocery shoppingHello, hello!

We know that you want your kids to make healthy food choices, right? We know you want your kids to eat healthy meals, right? Well, why not involve your kids in the meal planning and grocery shopping? If they are responsible for selecting the meals (with a little guidance, of course!), going to the store and picking out all of the healthy ingredients, and then even helping to cook the meal, they are highly likely to actually eat it! So, get planning and next time you head out to do your grocery shopping, make sure and have your kids in tow to “help.” Bring your patience and remember, it’s not just a trip for buying groceries, but an educational tool, as well. Happy shopping!

Think healthy thoughts,

Sir Rebrum

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Earth day

Tomorrow, April 22, 2015, commemorates the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. People around the world will do their part to help protect the environment. What a great opportunity to educate your kids on some of the simple things that can be done on a daily basis to make a positive impact. This year, make it a goal to celebrate Earth Day in your own way as a family.

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April features fresh beans as a Foods of the Month. Fresh beans include foods like fresh green beans, edamame and lima beans. These little veggies give a nice flavor to your meals while also brightening them up with color.

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