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.
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.
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:
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.
PromoteMyPlate 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 optionsmight be available.
Read more about the new colon cancer screening guidelineshere.
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:
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?
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.
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.
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!
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 7Simple 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:
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.
Offer a 7 Simple Steps virtual group session. Present the seven steps and get a discussion going using the questions listed below in #5.
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.
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.
Ask questions in your group or individual sessions:
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.
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.
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
Just for Kids MyPlate – A class where students watch you prepare a MyPlate recipe, then try it at home with a caregiver’s help.
The Three S’s– MyPlate Sides, Salads, & Snacks: Go live on Facebook or YouTube with short cooking demos.
Ban Breakfast Boredom with MyPlate – a class or series featuring simple recipes for the first meal of the day.
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:
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.
Measure out all the ingredients so no one has to watch you do that.
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.
Always practice a dish a few times so it feels familiar and easy to you.
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 summerof 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:
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!
As we await the release of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines, this is a good time to review key parts of the 2015 guidelines that aren’t likely to change much. One of these topics is added sugar.
Specific sugar intake recommendations were included in the Dietary Guidelines for the first time in 2015 (whereas in years earlier they only recommended avoiding consuming too much sugar or moderate intake of sugar). The message: consume no more than 10% of daily calories from added sugar.
Sugar continues to be a hot issue. When the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee last met on March 12-13 (source), subcommittees presented their DRAFT conclusion statements. Here are a few related to added sugars:
Mean intakes of added sugar have significantly decreased over time, but remain high across age, sex, race-ethnic and income.
There is a notable increase in the intake of added sugars when 1-year-olds are compared with babies less than 12 months of age.
Nearly 70% of added sugars come from five food categories: sweetened beverages, desserts & sweet snacks, coffee & tea (with their additions), candy & sugars, and breakfast cereals & bars.
A large percentage of daily sugar intake comes from beverage consumption: 30% for young children, 50% for adolescents, and 60% for adults.
The top beverage sources of added sugars: regular soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports/energy drinks, smoothies, and coffee and tea with added sugars.
So what messages about sugar do we need to keep sharing?
Clear up sugar confusion. Consumers may not get it — ‘Doesn’t milk have sugar?! Fruit has sugar!’ But when it comes to sugar, ‘added’ is the key word. Don’t worry about the naturally occurring sugar in REAL food when there’s so much added sugar in PROCESSED food.
The new Nutrition Facts label is key! We no longer have to arm our clients with long lists of ingredients that actually mean sugar. Added sugar is now on the label – we just need to remind folks to look for it. See our New Food Label materials for ideas on how to do this.
To understand the food label, you have to understand Sugar Math. Teach clients and students how to get from “10% of daily calories” to the grams of sugar shown on the new Nutrition Facts panel.
Beverages matter. Choosing water and sugar-free drinks can make a big difference in your sugar intake. We have lots of materials on this — a favorite being Are You Drinking Candy?
Switch to fruit for dessert. This is a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth without a lot of sugar. We even have a Fruit Tooth Dessert Cookbook!