New Fall Catalog!

Have you seen the new fall catalog yet?

I think it’s one of our best ones ever!

My graphic designer and I have been working on the newest poster designs for months! We came up with the concepts, created the photos, picked the colors, and then modeled everything. Then we rested. Then we assessed, re-assessed, and tweaked with the whole team until we had created posters that we were entirely confident you and your clients would love!

Let’s shine a spotlight on one of my favorites, shall we?

It’s time to Lead With Your Fork!

Traditionally, foods that you can eat out of a bag with your hands (including snacks and most fast food) are loaded with empty calories and devoid of the nutrients that you need for good health.

Foods that require a fork or a spoon to eat, however, are often chock-full of nutrients. Think salads, soups, rice, veggies, lean protein, etc. All this is a lot better for health than eating out of a bag!

We have created this amazing graphic poster, Lead With Your Fork, to help people visualize how their eating patterns impact their health.

What a great way to show how to put your best fork forward! This poster supports the messages of our two most important resources for education, MyPlate and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

  • MyPlate advises people to divide their plates between fruits, vegetables, whole grains, varied protein, and low-fat dairy at each meal.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans maintain that “All food and beverage choices matter. Choose a healthy eating pattern at an appropriate calorie level to help achieve and maintain healthy body weight, support nutrient adequacy, and reduce the risk of chronic disease.” That means focusing on variety, nutrient density, and amount of food while limiting consumption of added sugars, saturated and trans fats, and sodium.

This health and nutrition education poster, Lead With Your Fork, helps everyone visualize a balanced and healthful eating style. It is also very light-hearted and positive. It would be great for nutrition awareness or health fair programs!

And of course, there’s lots more in the fall catalog. Which items are you most excited about? The prizes? The handouts? The books?

Finally, just ’cause I love ya, I’ve come up with a new discount. Use the code FALLSAVE15 to save 15% on any and all products!

Let the Games Begin!

The Tokyo Olympic games begin later this month. Why not bring the Olympic spirit to your workplace, classes, or individual counseling sessions?

The five Olympic Rings fit nicely with MyPlate’s five food groups. Here are some ways to turn your nutrition education into the MyPlate Olympics:

  1. Discuss MyPlate and the five food groups, one for each Olympic Ring.
    • Have participants choose one ring/food group they need to work on. Maybe their plate doesn’t have enough veggies or perhaps they skip dairy frequently, for example.
    • Or challenge everyone to come up with five meals or snacks that are convenient, easy to make, and follow MyPlate guidelines.
  2. Give an Olympic twist to our MyPlate Trivia Game or MyPlate Bingo Game. See who can earn a gold, silver, or bronze medal with their MyPlate knowledge.
  3. Decorate your office, waiting area, or hallway with our MyPlate Bulletin Board Kit. Print out a graphic of the Olympic Rings or other Olympic symbols to go with it.
    • Add a spot where people can answer a question, such as ‘what’s your favorite Olympic sport?’
    • Or highlight local athletes who will be competing in the Tokyo games.
  4. Make an Olympic Rings fruit and/or veggie tray. Here’s one example, and there are many more if you search on Pinterest. Challenge your clients or employees to post pictures of their creations on social media.

15% off all products use code HOTSUMMER21

Happy Birthday, MyPlate!

MyPlate turns 10 in June. Celebrate with these 10 tips for teaching with MyPlate, using materials from NutritionEducationStore.com and MyPlate.gov:

  1. One look says it all. MyPlate is so successful because one glance tells you what you need to know about healthy eating.
    • Get the MyPlate graphic in 22 languages here.
  2. Use the App. With the Start Simple with MyPlate app, users pick simple daily food goals, see real-time progress, and earn badges along the way.
  3. Post the day’s menu with MyPlate. Our MyPlate Erasable Menu poster reminds everyone how to make healthy choices in the cafeteria.
  4. Look down. Who expects to see MyPlate on the floor?!
  5. Get cooking! Show your patients, clients, or students how to cook the MyPlate way with the MyPlate Cooking Demo Ideas Book and CD.
  6. Quiz time. Let everyone show what they know with online MyPlate Quizzes.
  7. Eat with your eyes. Take MyPlate further by using MyPlate Food Photos to show real, healthy, mouthwatering foods that go on real plates.
  8. MyPlate for moms. MyPlate is for everyone, but expecting and nursing moms need a few extra pointers provided by the MyPlate for Pregnant and Nursing Moms poster.
    • Bonus: It’s in Spanish on one side and English on the other.
  9. You’re never too old for MyPlate. Seniors will get a kick out of their own Healthy MyPlate for Older Americans.
  10. Make a plan. Get your personalized MyPlate Plan (English and Spanish) by entering age, sex, height, weight, and activity level. 

Find more ways to celebrate MyPlate’s 10th birthday here. Download free MyPlate Toolkits here.

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

45 is the New 50

When it comes to screening for colorectal cancer (CRC), 45 is the new 50.

That’s because CRC rates have increased for people under the age of 50, prompting experts to lower the recommended age to begin screening for those at average risk for the disease.

As nutrition and health educators, we can teach diet- and lifestyle-related changes that lower the risk of developing CRC. But reminding people to get screened is also important, as many put off that first colonoscopy or fail to follow their doctor’s recommendation for future screenings.

Here are a few ways to incorporate CRC prevention into individual or group education:

  1. Explore the microbiome. Because gut health is related to colon cancer, our Microbiome PowerPoint and handout set is a great way to introduce people to this emerging topic. You’ll also want to check out the gut health poster and even a floor decal to go along with this theme.
  2. Discuss GI health in general using our Nutritional Strategies for Colon Health PowerPoint and handout set. This presentation includes information on diverticular disease as well as CRC.
  3. Promote MyPlate and regular physical activity. These topics may seem simple and routine, but when people eat the MyPlate way and move more every day, they’re cutting their risk of developing CRC. And because high intake of processed meats is also linked to CRC, be sure to emphasize that Real Food Grows.

Many people put off CRC screening because of the dreaded colonoscopy, so it may help to let them know that other screening options might be available.

Read more about the new colon cancer screening guidelines here.

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

 

 

5 Activities for Healthy Shopping on a Budget

We know eating healthfully doesn’t have to be expensive, but food shopping when you’re having trouble making ends meet can be overwhelming. Sometimes it’s easier to toss the cheap, processed food into your cart.

Help your clients or students learn to stretch their food dollars and purchase healthy food. I like the Healthy Shopping on a Budget PowerPoint because it provides practical information about low-cost choices in each food group. It also includes a collection of recipes that are inexpensive, easy to prepare, and tasty.

Here are some activities you could use along with the Healthy Shopping on a Budget PowerPoint:

  1. Track food spending: Have participants keep receipts for every food and beverage purchase they make over the course of a week. What stands out? What are they spending most on? What lower cost choices could they make?
  2. Learn about low-cost protein: Fancy plant-based burgers and sausages are all the rage, but they are expensive. Discuss budget-friendly cuts of lean meat, fish, chicken, and beans. Do a cooking demo using dried beans, a whole chicken, or other protein sources people may not know how to prepare.
  3. Take advantage of every resource: Find affordable farmer’s markets, including ones that accept SNAP benefits. Many states have programs that double SNAP benefits when you buy fresh produce. Don’t forget about WIC’s Farmers Market Nutrition Program, the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, and USDA’s Farmers to Families.
  4. Make a master list: Participants make a list of healthy items they typically buy, then print out copies to keep on the refrigerator. Circle items you run out of and take the list when you go shopping. Get this started with fun giveaways like our MyPlate Shopping List Notepads and Go Shopping with MyPlate Tearpad.
  5. Brainstorm barriers: Is there a full-service supermarket nearby? Do participants have transportation to get to a store that sells fresh produce? Is the closest supermarket a mega size monstrosity that is hard for an older person or someone with a disability to get around?

Any of your students or clients could be experiencing food insecurity, no matter where they live or how they dress. This makes healthy eating on a budget an important topic to cover!

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

 

7 Simple Steps to a Healthier Life

When it comes to nutrition and health education, it’s best to keep your messages simple. People are more likely to remember and follow recommendations that are straight-forward and basic.

Our 7 Simple Steps poster provides a lot of information, but it’s broken down into specific steps that can be taken one at a time. Each step will save you calories. If you add up all seven steps, you could end up saving 500,000 calories per year.

The steps touch on: MyPlate, healthy snacks and beverages, breakfast, portion control, nonfat dairy foods, and exercise.

Use the 7 Simple Steps concept to help your clients, employees, or students move step-by-step toward a healthier lifestyle. While the steps are numbered on the poster, people can choose where to start.

Here are some ways you could use the poster and accompanying PDF handouts:

  1. Create a 7 Simple Steps bulletin board display. The poster comes with a sample bulletin board layout. Adapt it to your audience, perhaps by focusing on a different step each week.
  2. Offer a 7 Simple Steps virtual group session. Present the seven steps and get a discussion going using the questions listed below in #5.
  3. Run a week-long 7 Simple Steps social media campaign. Present one step every day. Encourage followers to comment on how they could follow each step.
  4. Take a 7 Simple Steps poll. Whether your audience is made up of social media followers or employees who see the poster on your bulletin board, let them chime in on which step they want to work on most.
  5. Ask questions in your group or individual sessions:
    • Which of these steps do you already do?
    • Which could you start working on?
    • What step do you want to work on first?
    • How will you do it?

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

Get Their Attention with Food Photos

It won’t be long until people start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Ads for weight loss programs will show up in social media feeds. Health and nutrition influencers will tout their magic bullets.

When you stick to science-based recommendations, it can be hard to compete. How can you get your clients’ attention away from the flashy fads and quick-fixes?

We have just the answer! Our collection of MyPlate Food Photos can help you stand out while promoting a healthy, plant-based eating pattern based on the MyPlate concept.

Use these beautiful, professional photographs of real food to get your message across. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Inspire your social media followers with beautiful photos of plates that follow the MyPlate guidelines. Kick off 2021 by posting a MyPlate meal of the day for the first 15 days of the year.
  • Motivate your readers with a blog series on healthy choices from each food group. With our pictures, you won’t have to add many words to make your point.
  • Guide your students through the important topic of serving sizes with a presentation that features pictures of appropriate portions of real food.
  • Instruct everyone about what makes up a healthy eating plan with photos showing how many servings of each food group you need every day.
  • Remind your clients what healthy eating looks like by sending them pictures of real food in emails or text messages.

Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words!

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

Cooking demos: What’s holding you back?

There’s never been a better time to use cooking demos for nutrition and health education. Your clients and students will love seeing something new and engaging on your Zoom calls or social media pages.

Even if you’ve never done a cooking demo, we make it easy for you! Our books and PowerPoint shows are based on simple, tested recipes. We guide you step-by-step through the process of planning and executing a cooking demo.

One of my favorites is our MyPlate Cooking Demo Ideas Book & CD. It has something for everyone – recipes for children and adults, different cooking methods, and even a 5-step plan to prepare for your demo.

Here are some ideas for virtual cooking demos you could do using our MyPlate Cooking Demo Ideas Book & CD:

  1. Four Ways to MyPlate – A series for new or busy cooks, featuring four basic cooking methods for MyPlate recipes:
    -Clever cooking with a rice cooker
    -Simple skillet suppers
    -Marvelous microwave meals
    -Fast meals with the slow cooker
  2. Just for Kids MyPlate – A class where students watch you prepare a MyPlate recipe, then try it at home with a caregiver’s help.
  3. The Three S’s – MyPlate Sides, Salads, & Snacks: Go live on Facebook or YouTube with short cooking demos.
  4. Ban Breakfast Boredom with MyPlate – a class or series featuring simple recipes for the first meal of the day.
  5. Bonus! Shopping with MyPlate PowerPoint presentation – Offer this add-on to your class or series. With speaker’s notes and handouts, we’ve done all the work for you.

With cell phones, tablets, and laptops, anyone can record their own food demo. Let your clients and students choose a recipe to demonstrate for the group — they’ll love being a celebrity chef for the day!

More ideas include cook-a-longs. Now they can cook with you while you are using Zoom or going live on social media channels.

The same tips apply:

  1. Think about how you can show a meal that is relevant to your audience considering local food sources, seasonal and pandemic availability, cultural and local tastes, and of course nutrition lessons and making a  healthy plate.
  2. Measure out all the ingredients so no one has to watch you do that.
  3. Consider having multiple stages pre-prepared. For example, have an item baked or cooked if it takes a long time to do that. So you can show how to do it and then what it looks like when done.
  4. Always practice a dish a few times so it feels familiar and easy to you.
  5. Smile and have fun!

Splash Into a Healthy Summer

After a challenging spring, everyone is ready for summer break. While we continue to live with the pandemic, summer can still mean the start of something new and fresh and healthy. What better way to add joy than to add cooking skills, adventures, and projects in the kitchen!

Whether you work with children or adults, here are some ways they can splash into a summer of healthy eating:

Fresh Herbs: Plant a few of your favorite herbs to use in summer salads and salsas. Or buy fresh herbs at the farmer’s market. For more on herbs:

Knife Skills: Practice your knife skills by cutting up summer fruits and veggies. Make it fancy or keep it simple. Even kids can be taught to use a knife safely. Chopping tips:

Plan It: Meal planning keeps healthy eating on track all summer long. Plan for a week or plan for a day … whatever works for you! Tools to use:

Cook Together: Make meal prep a group effort by giving everyone a job … even if it’s a little messy.

Buy Something New: Buy yourself something a new kitchen gadget to use with summertime fruits and veggies. Maybe a salad spinner, a special container for fresh produce, or a new vegetable brush.

Try something new:

  • Outside: Grill salmon, pizza, or a head of romaine lettuce. Imagine all the things you can cook on a grill and have fun making new favorites.
  • Inside: Try salad in a jar. And make your own salad dressing.

Summer with MyPlate: Check out MyPlate Summer Resources, including this cute idea for a “mad-libs” type of activity.

 

MyPlate Coloring Page

Today is your lucky day!

To celebrate the release of the brand-new MyPlate Coloring Book, I want to share a page from that book with you, for free!

You see, coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. Emerging studies indicate that coloring could help reduce stress in adults as well as children. Plus, it’s just plain fun!

Of course, I couldn’t leave things there. As soon as I learned about the possible health benefits of coloring, I began to brainstorm ways to sneak a few lessons about wellness and healthy eating patterns into my coloring pages. Before I knew it, the MyPlate Coloring Book was born. With patterns intricate enough to be fun to color, and an added dash of simple and memorable health lessons on each page, this book is sure to be fun for all ages!

And now, without further ado, here is the free page from the MyPlate coloring book! How will you use your copy?

MyPlate Coloring Page

Remember, there’s always more in the Nutrition Education Store! Check out these fantastic MyPlate resources…

My Plate Coloring Book

MyPlate PowerPoint and Handout Set

My Plate Banner and Stand