New Year Resource Rundown

Lots of people choose the new year as a time to start fresh. Here are some great links to help you offer your clients everything they need to make 2015 the best year yet!

New Year’s Resolutions:

General Health:


Weight Management:

Resources for You:

And, of course, there’s more in the store!

Resolutions for 2017

Early each year every website, television newscast, and magazine at the grocery checkout offers advice on New Year’s resolutions. Most of these involve eating a better diet and getting or staying healthy. It’s almost obligatory that I post about making a new start to a healthier lifestyle in the New Year.

But, do you really want to read more about what you should or shouldn’t do, eat or drink?

Most people already know, or they won’t be making those resolutions. Our local newspaper projected that only 8% of all resolutions are kept.

The real key to resolutions is how to make them stick. If I ask in a month, will you still be “working on them?”

The experts say that in order to turn good intentions into long-term actions, you need to set small goals that you can keep. These small changes can add up. Other suggestions include making the goals specific. Don’t choose vague goals like “eat more fruits and vegetables” but instead choose something that is measurable and concrete, “cook one vegetable each night for dinner.” Another key to keeping resolutions is to write them down.

It may also be useful to change the title.

Instead of “New Year’s resolutions,” make them “Resolutions for the Year.” Think about of doing one new thing each month. Then, at the end of the year you’ll have 12 new habits and a more healthful lifestyle. Develop achievable goals based on the changes you’d like to make for yourself.

Here’s another tip: instead of making one long list, write a goal on the first day of each month on your new calendar or in your phone. That way, you’ll see it at the beginning of each month. Do something new each month, but don’t forget to keep going on the goal from the previous month(s).  You’ll just keep “adding on” each month.

Simple changes and goals can go a long way to making a big difference in your health.

Next year at this time, if someone asks whether you kept your resolutions from last year you’ll be able to say, “yes, 12 of them.”

By Cheryle Jones Syracuse, MS, Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University

Display of the Month: Portion Control

Portion Control Table
The Nutrition Education Store Display of the Month fun continues this month with a spotlight on portion control!

Portion control is vital, and so many of my health educator friends say that it is near and dear to their hearts. Proper portion control can have far-reaching health effects, but it’s tougher than it appears at first glance. With all the oversized portions crowding coffee shop displays and restaurant plates, how are people even supposed to know what a healthful portion looks like?

That’s where a Portion Control Display comes in.

I’ve studied and studied the resources at my disposal, and I think the following plan would make a great portion control display for your next event…

The Materials:

The Activities:

  • Walk everyone through some meal and snack transformations.
  • Strategize about ways to scale down portions.

Portion Control TableLet’s talk details!

Set up your display area with a table. Top it with a tablecloth if you have one. Put the easel on the table, then place the Scale Down Your Portions poster on top of the easel and make sure that it’s easy to see. Place the Take Control of Your Portions banner on its stand in a highly-visible spot next to your table. Fan out a few Portion Control brochures near the front of your table, where they’ll be easier to grab. At another free area in the front of your table, arrange some MyPlate Temporary Tattoos and some Salad Temporary Tattoos. These will serve as prizes for the activities.

And speaking of activities, here’s what you’ll need to do.

For the meal transformation section, use a bit of blue painter’s tape and some plain white paper to cover the “made over” meals on the Take Control of Your Portions banner. Review the number of calories in the large value meal featured on the poster. Is this a healthful meal? Why or why not? Ask volunteers to brainstorm ways to “make over” the meal to make it more balanced and less calorically-dense. Offer temporary tattoos to anyone who shares a good answer. Remove the painter’s tape and paper from the “made over” meal on the banner. How does this one differ from the first meal? How can it be replicated in real life? Repeat the process with the chip and muffin images on the banner.

The second activity is more free form.

Have some volunteers share a few foods with which they have trouble controlling portions. Brainstorm as a group — what’s a good way to bring the portions back under control? You can also share strategies from some of the many portion control blog posts we’ve written over the years — here are a few of the current favorites…

And there you have it! Another fun display idea for the the Nutrition Education Store Display of the Month series.

And here are a few more display resources from the Nutrition Education Store. Which ones will make your life easier?

Display Kit: Color Your World with Food Display Kit: Take 10K Steps Each Day

Display Kit: Make Your Salad a Rainbow

PS Here’s a free PDF handout (from the blog post 3 Ways to Improve Portion Control) that you can also use in your display…

New Portion Control Ideas

Make Healthful Eating Fun!

January is Soup Month!

Makes sense, right? It’s cold, gray, and winter is in full swing. With all that, what could sound better than a warming bowl of soup? Plus, so many people are making health resolutions at this time of year — soup is the perfect resolution food. Choosing a soup that is loaded with vegetables is a low-calorie way to get tons of nutrients and fiber, and it’s filling too!

Here’s one of my very favorite soups, perfect for this time of year. Enjoy!

Soup Month SoupRoasted Winter Vegetable Soup

Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 1 and 1/2 cups

1 butternut squash, halved, stemmed, and seeded
1/2 onion
1 yellow bell pepper
2 carrots
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup fat-free half and half
Dash black pepper
Dash hot pepper sauce

Place the vegetables in a roasting pan and roast for 90 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Puree the roasted veggies with the broth and fat-free half and half in a blender. It will take a few batches to puree all of the veggies until smooth. Don’t overfill the blender or the top may blow off!

Place puree back on the stove and bring to a simmer over low heat. Season with pepper and a little hot pepper sauce. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later use.

Nutrition Information:

This recipe makes 4 servings. Each 1 and 1/2 cup serving contains 194 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 166 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 11 g sugar, and 9 g protein.

Each serving also has 561% DV vitamin A, 200% DV?vitamin C, 17% DV calcium, and 11% DV iron.

Chef’s Tips:

I love to show off the gorgeous color of this soup, so I serve it in onion soup crocks. Add a few whole grain crackers and a small salad for a perfectly light lunch or dinner.

Want to see more great January resources? Check out these options!

Take Control of Your Portions Poster

Phytochemical PowerPoint and Handout Set

Healthful Choices 1-2-3 Poster

I almost forgot! Here’s your free handout with this great soup recipe!

Soup Month Soup for Everyone

Goals for 2015

New Year’s Eve is only 2 weeks away! Are your clients ready to jump-start their health goals?

ResolutionsTo help your clients set achievable goals that they are excited to pursue, consider this advice, excerpted from the Communicating Food for Health member newsletter

What kind of goals are you setting?

Unrealistic Goals:

Don’t jump the gun and ask too much of yourself. If you do this, you’ll be starting down an unsustainable and unhealthful path. Make sure the unsustainable goals below aren’t on YOUR list…

  • Exercising every day.
  • Never go out to eat.
  • No snacking or desserts.
  • A strict diet that eliminates macronutrients or whole food groups.
  • Skipping breakfast or lunch daily.

Choose realistic goals instead! Here are some examples…

Realistic Goals:

Realistic goals can be challenging, but should be achievable. Look for ways to improve your lifestyle, diet, and activities. Not all at once, mind you. Start slowly and keep steady. How? Try one of these…

  • Losing 1-2 pounds per month.
  • Exercising for 5-6 days per week.
  • Try new-to-you healthful foods.
  • Find satisfying, low-calorie snacks.
  • Follow MyPlate’s advice and enjoy your food, but eat less of it.

Need a reminder? Here is the 2015 Goal Guide — free! Distribute it however you see fit.

2015 Goal Guide


There are more motivation and goal resources in the Nutrition Education Store. Make sure you’re ready for 2015!

Online Wellness and Weight Management Program

Ways to Lose Weight Poster

Healthful Lifestyle: How to Get Started PowerPoint

Fruit and Vegetable Montage Print

Celebrate Family Fit Lifestyle Month with a Free Handout

January is Family Fit Lifestyle Month and we’re celebrating with a free handout. Join the celebration and download this free exercise guide today. It’s full of strategies to get active and stay active. What better resource for Family Fit Lifestyle Month?

Exercise for Weight Control

This handout is featured in the 12 Lessons of Wellness and Weight Control program, which has been a huge hit among school faculty and company departments. Check out this amazing resource, or pick up some nutrition posters to go with your brand-new handout. All that (and more!) is available in the Nutrition Education Store, and some of our favorite brand-new products are below…

Perfect for Heart Month in February!

Heart Health Brochure Set

Dance with your veggies -- they're great at the salsa!

Salsa Wellness Fair Kit

Get a boost from fruits and vegetables

Rise Up to Health Poster