Don’t Forget About Water!

During the winter, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water.

Our Drink Water poster is a great reminder that, while you may not be hot and thirsty like you are in the summer, the body still needs water. This poster catches people’s attention with interesting graphics and easy-to-read tidbits of information.

Here are some discussion topics to go with the Drink Water poster:

  • Discuss the facts about water and hydration. For example, our poster points out that your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, and that your body is about 60% water.
  • Brainstorm strategies to drink more water throughout the day. Special water bottles, flavored water, and taking a drink whenever you pass a water fountain are just a few ideas.
  • Review other sources of water, like unsweetened tea or coffee, skim milk, and even foods that contain lots of water (another reason to eat lots of fruits and vegetables!).
  • Explain how replacing sugary drinks with water helps you cut calories. And even people who drink lots of diet soda might want to consider switching to water.

Raise a glass of water to toast good health!

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

Fill Your Bucket with Healthy Goals

Help your students or clients kick off the new year with a healthy bucket list.

Use our Healthy Bucket List poster to get people thinking about the goals they want to work on over the course of a week, a month, a semester, or a year.

What are the benefits of our healthy bucket list concept?

  • Bucket lists are much more positive than new year’s resolutions.
  • Bucket list items focus on small changes that add up over time.
  • Bucket list goals are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.
  • Bucket lists can be personalized – students or clients can choose how many goals as well as the time-frame.
  • Bucket lists are fun to share on social media.
  • Bucket lists are perfect for a class (touch on each item briefly) or series of classes (concentrate on one at a time).
  • Bucket lists can be created any time of year!

By Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

Focus on Fruit

The holiday season’s bright colors fade away in January when the reality of winter sets in. Plan now to cheer up those cold, dreary days with our beautiful Focus on Fruit poster.

Focusing on fruit means adding color, flavor, fiber, nutrients, and a little sweetness to meals and snacks. Here are some ideas to help your students or clients Focus on Fruit — use them for social media, classes, or individual counseling:

  • Peel something new … try different citrus fruits every week. Introduce your family to tangerines, blood oranges, kumquats (don’t peel them!), cara cara oranges, and satsumas.
  • Bake up some comfort … make warm, healthy desserts like baked apples or pears with cinnamon.
  • Keep cans on hand … create winter fruit salads using canned fruit like peaches, pears, and mandarin oranges.
  • Toss in some color … experiment with adding frozen berries to your oatmeal – what’s your favorite combination?
  • Say aloha to smoothies … bring the tropics into your kitchen by making fruit smoothies with frozen papaya, mango, or pineapple.

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

Freshen Up Your Veggie Game

When the days get colder, locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables aren’t available in most parts of the country. But fruits and veggies are vital to a healthy eating pattern all year long.

Don’t let your clients, students, or employees forget about healthy produce this winter!

Our new poster, Freshen up Your Vegetable Game, will get their attention with beautiful, professional photographs of colorful vegetables. And here are some messages to go along with this poster — you can use them for social media, classes, or individual counseling:

  • Keep fresh veggies in the game by looking for winter farmer’s markets where you live.
  • Stick to your budget by finding the season’s best buys in your supermarket’s produce department.
  • Stock up with frozen or canned vegetable options.
  • Explore the cafeteria’s salad bar for a variety of colorful veggies.
  • Don’t forget about salad! It’s not just for summer if you start with pre-washed bagged salad greens.

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD



Rising Food Costs? There’s an App for That!

Food prices are rising and they’re expected to keep going up next year. Teach your clients or students how to get the most nutrition bang for the buck with this one-two approach:

  1. Use our Healthy Shopping on a Budget PowerPoint show to put on a class or webinar that will prove that healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. Key points you’ll cover include:
    • The best deals in each food group.
    • How to avoid expensive food traps.
    • Meal planning to save money and reduce food waste.
    • Shopping and budget tips.
    • The secret to saving money AND eating healthy food: go for the least processed foods!
  1. Introduce the Shop Simple with MyPlate app, a new tool from that puts money-saving strategies as close as your mobile phone, computer, or tablet. This app will reinforce what you’ve taught your clients or students (and be there for them when you can’t be!). Just click to find:
    • Budget-friendly food choices by food group.
    • Practical tips on food storage and how to get the best price.
    • Serving ideas, recipes, and nutrition information.
    • Planning, shopping, and meal prep tips.

Another great feature of the Shop Simple with MyPlate app — you can enter your zip code to find local retailers that accept SNAP benefits and participate in additional incentive programs that help stretch food dollars.

The list of retailers includes supermarkets, farmer’s markets, and convenience stores. Be sure to talk to your clients or students about the difference in price and healthy food options typically offered at convenience/corner stores!

By Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD


Board the Train to Healthy Holidays

Keeping up positive eating and exercise habits can be tough for everyone during the holiday season. Taking time to reflect and plan can help us stay on a healthy track:

  1. Reflect … How have I handled the holidays in the past? What’s hampered my healthy eating and exercise habits?
  2. Plan … How will I handle these holiday challenges differently this year?

Help your students, clients, or employees reflect and plan their way through a healthier holiday season with our Holiday Train Game. This fun, interactive PowerPoint game is all about riding through the holidays without derailing healthy habits.

As the conductor, you’ll take your audience on a ride through a typical holiday season, making stops at potential challenges like holiday buffets, cocktail parties, baking, travel, holiday stress, and more. 

Each holiday train stop has a question. If passengers answer correctly, they earn points and lose a pound. If they’re wrong, they gain a pound. 

But more important than keeping score, the train stops will generate discussion and encourage your passengers to share their experiences.

By the time the holiday train returns to the station, everyone will disembark with a plan for making it through the season with healthy habits intact.

All aboard for a healthy holiday season!

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

Water Week

When the weather gets cooler, people forget about drinking water and staying hydrated. Get them back on track with Water Week!

What’s Water Week? It’s five days of facts and tips about the importance of drinking water:

  1. W – Why do we need to drink water?
  2. AAmount – how much water do we need to drink every day?
  3. TTaste – don’t like the taste of water? There are many ways to add some flavor!
  4. E – Eat foods that have lots of water in them, like fruits and veggies.
  5. R – Routine – make drinking water a regular part of your daily routine and you won’t have to think about it.

Water Week can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be. Here are some ideas for activities:

  • Include a water-related fact in your school’s daily announcements.
  • Post messages about water on your social media pages.
  • Put up our Drink Water poster.
  • Give away fun water-themed stuff like our bookmarks, stickers, or wristbands.
  • Give teachers or employees special water bottles and have them track how much water they drink each day.
  • Offer free bottled water. (During non-COVID times, you could set out pitchers of water with various flavor-enhancers, like fruit and herbs.)
  • Have your students debate the pros and cons of bottled water versus tap water.

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD


Lead With Your Fork

Foods that require a fork (or spoon) to eat are usually chock-full of nutrients. This idea is beautifully illustrated in our new Lead With Your Fork poster.

Your students or clients will love this light-hearted take on the MyPlate concept that uses colorful photos of real food arranged in the shape of a person/plate, with a fork at the ready for some healthy eating. 

Leading with your fork is catchy phrase that might just make people stop and think before they eat. Here are some talking points to go with this concept:

  • Foods that you can eat out of a bag with your hands (think chips, fast food) usually provide lots of calories but not much in terms of nutrients.
  • Foods that you usually need a fork or spoon to eat (think salads, soups, vegetables, and lean protein) are usually nutrient-dense, healthier choices.
  • Leading with your fork rules out eating while driving!  
  • Leading with your fork means eating mindfully — sitting down, putting the food on a plate, taking small bites, putting your fork down between bites, chewing slowly, taking time to taste the food.
  • There are exceptions to every rule, and leading with your fork is no different. Yes, raw baby carrots are healthy and no, you usually don’t eat those with a fork. Same with an apple and other foods. But in general, the rule works. 
  • The next time you eat, ask yourself, could I eat this with a fork? If not, stop and think about whether it’s a healthy choice. Try it and report back!

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

Defeat Diabetes Distress

Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can be scary and overwhelming. Patients and their loved ones have so much to learn, but educators have to be careful not to push too much information on them too soon.

Help your clients avoid diabetes distress with our 12 Lessons of Diabetes program. Through PowerPoint shows, an e-book, and handouts, you’ll have everything you need to teach them key lessons one chunk at a time.

Here are some tips for putting the 12 Lessons to good use with individuals and groups:

  1. Record your PowerPoint presentations so participants can go back to lessons they need to spend more time on. Knowing that they have more than one chance to learn information takes the pressure off.
  2. Emphasize the importance of making small changes that add up to a healthier lifestyle. That’s what Lesson 2 on smart goal setting is all about. The sooner clients learn how to do this, the better!
  3. Reinforce key messages by sending follow up information after each session. The 12 Lessons program includes plenty of handouts to use for this.
  4. Share the CDC’s 10 Tips for Coping with Diabetes Distress. Let clients and their family members know that some stress and anxiety is normal and that you’re there to help them handle it.

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD



Ride on the Healthy Habit Wheel

We all know that healthy students are better learners. Healthy habits continue to pay off over the long term as kids grow up.

Our new Healthy Habit Wheel poster features habits in three categories — lifestyle, diet, and exercise — all centered on the Dietary Guidelines and the Physical Activity Guidelines. 

Here are some ways to use the Healthy Habit Wheel with students in the classroom:

  1. Healthy Habit of the Week: The class works on one habit per week. Start the week off with a brainstorm session on how to achieve the habit. End the week with students reporting on how they did.
  2. Healthy Habit Thought Box: On a slip of paper, students write a sentence or two telling how they practiced a healthy habit (like drinking water at lunch instead of soda), then put it in a special box or basket. When the teacher has a few extra minutes during the day, they can pull out some entries to share with the class.
  3. Healthy Habit Inventory: Have students check off the habits they already do. Then they can design their own wheel with the habits they need to work on. 
  4. Healthy Habit Journal: Students have a special notebook or document where they write about their journey around the Healthy Habit Wheel.
  5. Healthy Habit Expo: Break students up into small groups. Each group researches a habit, then presents their findings to the rest of the class. 

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD