Do the Calorie Math

Paleo, keto, low carb, Mediterranean – no matter the diet, it still comes down to math. Calorie math, that is! And our new Calorie Math poster has something for you to show everyone.

  • For the Counter who asks, “So how many calories should I eat?”
    • The Calorie Math poster lists average daily calorie requirements based on activity level.
  • For the Carb Hater who says, “Carbs are evil. Gimme some bacon.”
    • The Calorie Math poster shows calories per gram for carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Where is the evil? Or the fiber?
  • For the Doubter who insists, “My grandmother ate fried chicken and lived to be 92.”
    • The Calorie Math poster provides calories per pound for different foods, including the fact that fried foods have 3x the calories as non-fried.
  • For the Justifier who claims, “A few extra calories here and there won’t hurt.”
    • The Calorie Math poster shows that 3500 calories make one pound of body fat.
  • For the Reluctant Counter who says, “I don’t want to count calories all day long!”
    • The Calorie Math poster says to aim for 400-500 calorie meals.
  • For the Rationalizer who says, “My doctor told me to lose 30 pounds, but since I took a walk this morning, I can have this cupcake.”
    • The Calorie Math poster shows that walking or jogging one mile burns about 100 calories and it takes walking 35 miles to lose a pound of body fat.
  • For the Busy Mom who complains, “I sit all day at work and I’m too busy keeping the kids going and the house clean to go to the gym.”
    • The Calorie Math poster says that any movement counts, even cleaning the house.

Help your clients learn how to do the calorie math – because numbers don’t lie!

Make Your Salad a Rainbow

There are many different ways to tell people to eat more fruits and vegetables. You might say eat a plant-based diet or eat more colorful foods or eat foods that grow. But with our new Make Your Salad a Rainbow poster, the picture says it all by showcasing the natural beauty and colors of fruits and vegetables.

This poster really takes nutrition education to the next level. Display it where people will see it every day, like in the cafeteria or in a busy hallway. The picture is so beautiful, the image is bound to stick in their minds, perhaps making them add more color to their plate without even thinking about it. Those who stop long enough to read the tip boxes will get a quick lesson on the nutrients associated with each color.

With 30 fruits and veggies pictured on Make Your Salad a Rainbow poster, it would be fun to have a contest to see who can name the most.

  • In a classroom setting, you can do this in groups or individually.
  • For health fairs, pass out index cards for people to write down the items they can identify, along with their name and contact information. (We have bookmarksbuttons, and wristbands to use as prizes.)
  • If the poster is displayed in a common area (like the cafeteria or hallway), make it a crowd-sourced activity. Use sticky notes or a dry erase board for people to write the fruits and veggies they see.
  • For a different twist, post a list of the fruits and veggies pictured and see who can find them on the poster.

Tired of Talking About Fiber?

Despite the many proven health benefits of fiber, most Americans still don’t get enough of it. Maybe they don’t understand that fiber is a one stop shop for so many health issues:

  • Trying to lose weight? Fiber helps control hunger.
  • Doctor says to lower your cholesterol? Fiber can help with that.
  • Worried about diabetes? Fiber helps control blood sugar.
  • Getting on the gut health bandwagon? Fiber supports your healthy microbiome.

If you’re tired of talking to people about fiber, show them the math – The Math of Fiber, that is! Our Math of Fiber materials tell the whole story about fiber, in numbers that people can understand and will remember. Let The Math of Fiber poster, banner, or handout tearpad do the talking for you and use these talking points and lessons:

  • How much fiber to eat every day.
  • How much fiber most Americans eat every day.
  • What foods are good sources of fiber.
  • Simple tips to get more fiber.
  • The proven health benefits of fiber.

With all that fiber does, and all the people who need to get more of it, The Math of Fiber is a great topic for any audience.

Not Enough Time in the Day

Exercise has lots of benefits, but it can’t make up for overindulging in not-so-healthy foods. When people say, I’ll burn it off at the gym later or I walked three miles this morning, they don’t understand that it’s not that simple. Most would be shocked to learn just how long they need to exercise to burn off those extra calories.

Our How Much to Work it Off? poster says it all – there is simply not enough time in the day to work off a bad diet. The poster features colorful pictures of foods with their calorie content and how many minutes of walking it takes to burn the calories. Just looking at the top row of pictures shows that the typical fast food meal of a quarter pound cheeseburger, large fries, and a large soda will take 3 hours and 19 minutes of walking to burn off. Talk about eye opening!

Whether you’re teaching a group or counseling one-on-one, make this concept personal by using an online calories burned calculator (like this one from WebMD). Show people how to look up calories burned for a specific activity based on their body weight. How many minutes of walking the dog will burn off last night’s dessert? How long will I need to swim to make up for that muffin I grabbed this morning? The answer is sure to make them think more about the food choices they make!

Although it’s important to get this message across, we don’t want to discourage people from being active, so be sure to include some of our fun physical activity materials as well. The Be Active Every Day exercise color handout tearpad is perfect for this, with guidelines and tips for kids and adults.

School’s Out!

School’s out for summer, but kids can’t afford to take a break from healthy eating and staying active. Remind them to be active for 60 minutes a day and eat the MyPlate way with our MyPlate Kids and Physical Activity materials.

The MyPlate Kids Activity poster shows the many ways to get moving for 60 minutes every day, from stretching to walking the dog to playing a sport and more. There’s bound to be something that appeals to every child and inspires them to be active.

With the MyPlate graphic front and center, our materials will also remind kids to make each meal balanced, starting with plenty of high-fiber, nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables.

If you’re at a health fair, in the classroom, or anywhere with kids, try one of these activities to get them moving, having fun, and learning:

  • Put a colored dot on one side of small index cards, using the MyPlate colors (red, orange, green, purple, and blue). Turn the cards over so no one can see the colored dots. Let kids pick an index card to see what color they got. Then ask a series of questions, depending on their age and how much time you have. For example, if they pick red:
    • What foods are in the red group? Answer: Fruit.
    • What is your favorite fruit? Answer: Apples.
    • What does the word apple start with? Answer: A.
    • “Pretend your finger is a pencil and draw a huge A in the air.”
  • For older kids, do the above activity, but have them “spell” out the whole name of the food. For fun, change it up – “pretend your foot/elbow/nose/knee is a pencil and draw a huge A in the air.”
  • Write a variety of activities on index cards (different sports, running, jumping rope, hopping on one foot, etc). Each child picks an index card and does that activity in place (pretend to swing a bat, throw a ball, hop, etc).

Kids who participate can take home a Kids Activity and MyPlate bookmark to remind them to stay active and eat right all summer long.

Real Food Grows

Consumers are easily fooled by processed foods disguised as healthy food. It might a big red strawberry on the front of a box of toaster pastries. Or it might be the name of the food itself, as in banana nut oat bran muffins.

They won’t be fooled if they remember that real food grows. Is it something that grew into what it is today? Or has it been processed with ingredients added to create a new kind of food? 

Our Real Food Grows materials get this point across beautifully. Here are some activities to go along with them:

  • Print out a list of some real foods and processed foods in random order. Have participants circle all the real foods. Then discuss why they are real and why the others are not. For a super-quick way to do this activity, use our Real Food Grows bookmarks, which have a list of items on the back.
  • Pass out a variety of real foods and processed food packages. Have each participant say whether their food grows or not. Ask them to tell what ingredients are in their item. For an apple, the ingredient will just be an apple. For an apple fritter, the list will obviously be longer. You can also ask a volunteer to be the scribe who writes the ingredients on a whiteboard or flip chart. They’ll quickly get tired of writing out the long list of ingredients in processed foods and everyone will get the point!
  • Ask questions to get a discussion going about foods disguised to be healthy… Breakfast cereals that contain fruit or nuts? Fruit and grain bars? Banana nut muffins? Oat bran pretzels? Strawberry frozen yogurt bars? Veggie straws or crisps?

It’s so simple, but we need to be reminded every day that Real Food Grows!

Fall in Love with Salad

I was recently stuck at the airport on the way home from a trip to New Orleans. It was lunch time and after a weekend of jambalaya, etouffee, gumbo, bananas Foster, and beignets, what I really wanted was a big healthy salad.

Lucky for me, I found a pretty nice pre-made salad at an airport shop. That’s the great thing about salad – you can get one just about anywhere. The catch? When it comes to nutrition, not all salads are created equal. Teach your clients to build a healthy salad wherever they are with our beautiful Salad Themed materials.

Start with our Fall In Love With Salad poster. It’s a bestseller and the content is aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, MyPlate, and the Offer Versus Serve Program. And it comes with handouts, including salad fact sheets, fun puzzles, and recipes.

Use the poster’s key healthy salad messages for individual counseling or group sessions:

  • 6 Salad Lover Tips, like choosing darker greens, piling on colorful veggies and fruits, watching out for high fat toppings, adding protein, and using a healthy but tasty dressing.
  • 3 Reasons to Love Salad: it’s a great way to fit more veggies into your day, eat fewer calories, and get more nutrients and fiber.
  • How to spice up your salad with different ingredients, like Mandarin oranges, water chestnuts, or arugula.
  • Play “what should it be?”. Create a virtual salad using the audience’s favorite vegetables and writing these down on a dry erase board. Calculate the calories quickly by googling “calories for x” with x being the vegetable and let everyone in the audience help. Add them up. Most salads are less than 100 calories. Then go to the fast food websites and check out the calories for popular salads and check out those calories, which often go above the sandwiches and burgers. Why is there a greater difference? See if the audience can guess. By putting the dressing on the side and making smarter choices they can ensure that their salad is a low-calorie choice! Check out a visual comparison here.

To remind people to eat a healthy salad every day, give them one of our I Love Salad wristbands. What’s not to love about salad?

Nutrition Facts for Everyone

The Nutrition Facts label is a valuable tool, but many people don’t use it. Maybe they’re in a hurry and don’t take time to read it. Or maybe they see a bunch of numbers and unfamiliar terms and turn the package right back over.

Tufts Researchers estimate that the new food label, showing added sugars, could save up to $31 billion dollars in health care expenses over 20 years. The amount saved for societal costs is about double that amount.

Our Food Label theme has lots of options for helping your clients make sense of the Nutrition Facts panel. A good place to start – our simple Food Label handouts, poster, and banner. This version breaks it all down to the basics, making the Nutrition Facts label easier for everyone to understand and use.

Take a look at our simple Food Label Handout Tearpad. One side has an easy-to-read Nutrition Facts panel with three basic tips on how to read it:

  • Step 1 is to Count Calories – check the serving size, calories per serving, and number of servings per package.
  • Step 2 is to Check These for Heart Health – choose foods that are lower in saturated fat and sodium; keep trans fat to zero.
  • Step 3 is to ask Is This Nutritionally Valuable? – select foods that are nutrient dense and a good source of fiber.

The other side is a very handy MyPlate Healthy Shopping List featuring healthy choices:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Lean protein
  • Whole grains
  • Low fat and low sugar dairy products
  • Other foods (like condiments and seasonings)

As you are shopping, why not create a small bookshelf of interesting packages that have good lessons? Some examples include bottles of beverages that look like one serving but are 3. Or healthful sounding rice mix packages that have a full day’s supply of sodium in a small 160 calorie serving. Or the soup that says reduced sodium that is still high in sodium for the calories it contains? And of course there is the “all natural food” that is filled with saturated fat. I am sure you have a lot of examples. These can make great ice breakers for classes, counseling sessions, and health fairs. And it can make for a fun, find the best label contest if you offer a variety of choices for the same food like a tomato soup or can of beans or packages of frozen entrees.

These handouts are the perfect start to learning to shop for healthier food. If you want a more in-depth approach, check out our Food Label Math banner, poster, and tearpad.

By Hollis Bass, MEd, RD

Get 15% off all food label education items this week only by using this link.

References:

  1. https://now.tufts.edu/news-releases/fda-added-sugar-label-could-be-cost-effective-way-improve-health-generate-savings
  2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141104141731.htm

DIY Photo Booth

Registered dietitians talk a lot about fruits and vegetables. Give yourself a break from all that talking with our Colors of Health theme. Beautiful photographs of 16 fruits and veggies communicate the healthy eating message without words.

Our Color Your World With Food banner makes the perfect background for a photo booth. The simplest way to do this is to have people pose for a selfie next to the banner. Or you could make it more fun with some props. We suggest our Fruit and Vegetable Mask and Fruit and Vegetable Shaped Balloons. Fruit- and vegetable-shaped plush toys or pillows would also be good.

If you use props, people won’t be able to take their own selfies. They can hand you their phone and let you take their picture. Or you can use an iPad or your own camera, then send the pictures by email or text message with instructions to tag your organization or hashtags. You could also upload them to your Facebook page (you may need to have people sign a simple release form). This could be a great way to get more followers! People can find their picture, tag themselves, and share it with their friends.

The photo booth would go over well at a health fair. You could also set it up in a cafeteria or lobby area. This summer, it would be neat to take it on the road to a summer meal program site. Kids love to get their pictures!

And if you want to give them a little more, you can always give away our Color Your World With Food bookmarks or stickers.

We can also design any banner you can use in a DIY photo booth – send us a request for quote!

Re-portion Your Portions

It’s been 15 years since Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me documentary came out. While customers may no longer be asked if they want to “super size” their fast food meal, portions are still out of control. So if you’re looking for a topic for your next class or health fair, check out the materials in our Portion Control theme.

The high-impact photos on our Portion Control posters, banners, and tearpad will open your clients’ eyes to over-sized portions, teaching lessons like these:

  1. Take a “value meal” out of the bag and put it on a dinner plate – it barely fits! This image will pop into their minds the next time they’re ordering fast food.
  2. Split that fast food meal in half and add a side salad – now it feeds two people and the calories are cut by more than 50 percent. That’s a much better value!
  3. That bag of chips is only one serving, right? Wrong! Pre-portion single servings of chips, crackers, and other snacks so you won’t be fooled again.
  4. A massive muffin has more calories than a single meal. When baked goods like this are too tempting to pass up, take just one quarter of the muffin and fill up the rest of your plate with fruit and yogurt.
  5. Big bottles and cups of soda contain multiple servings. If you’re going to indulge, pour a single 8oz serving into a glass.
  6. You don’t have to eat the over-sized portions given to you by manufacturers and restaurants – take control of your portions!

Get 20% off all portion control education resources this week only – good through May 4, 2019. Click here – no code needed! Discount shown in cart.