Are you looking for a hot topic for your next class, workshop, or client consultation? Or for Nutrition Month (R)?
As much as consumers want a magic bullet for their health, teachers want a magic topic that will engage, educate, and motivate their audience.
Here we have assembled all of the best and hottest topic predictions for 2023. With nutrition there is always plenty of lessons to help people learn anything from the basics, to skipping fads, to shopping and preparing meals with ease, or to making better choices when dining out!
The hottest topics listed here are chosen from our expert writers’ recommendations, research in the news, views from our blog posts, many telephone and email inquiries with customers and readers, Amazon bestseller book lists, and over 100 food, health, and nutrition professional blogs that we follow.
Here are the hot topics and trends that you can use to plan your own presentations and classes.
Dietary Guidelines: The Dietary Guidelines are here! Check out all of our resources that support the 2020-2025 messages. Many practitioners are focusing on nutrient density and the avoidance of ultra-processed foods. The Dietary Guidelines focus on getting the nutrients needed in the calories allotted based on age and activity levels. New this year are recommendations for children in specific age groups.
New Food Label: The new Nutrition Facts Label is ready to empower shoppers to lower their intake of added sugars. Check out the newest food label resources.
MyPlate On A Budget is very timely since most folks are pinching pennies with the current inflation bringing food costs up by about 7% – see the new app at MyPlate.
Plant-Based Diets: Plant-based food sales are a hot topic, and sales are steadily growing, according to Statista. Focus on a plant slant! How to Plan Meals, New Foods, Benefits.
Sugar: How to Find It, How to Consume Less now that added sugars are featured on the new food label and still mentioned in the latest edition of the Dietary Guidelines, particularly for the younger set and adults. Our clients are always looking to teach people to drink fewer sugar calories.
Fiber is a great lesson for consumers to understand gut health, plus all of the new research about the microbiome.
Kitchen How-To – Americans are still cooking at home after the pandemic, so they are open to learning about new foods and cooking methods to save time. There is no better time for cooking demos, social media tips, and more!
Weight Loss – Over 65% of all adults are overweight or obese, according to CDC. A CDC survey found that half of all adults over the age of 20 have tried to lose weight over the past year, but two-thirds of all adults in the US are still overweight or obese. Check out our 12 Lessons Program! The pandemic showed us the importance of avoiding chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, all of which can cause severe illness and death in COVID patients.
Sleep – for better habits and weight loss success – a new study shows how and there are numerous studies on sleep and weight control. Sleep is an important part of any healthy eating plan.
Diet is more important than exercise – Diet is more important than ever to help people keep BMI, blood pressure, and cholesterol low. Check out our new poster; You Can’t Outrun Your Fork!
High blood pressure is a concern. We get more searches on low-sodium shopping lists than any other topic. Furthermore, diet is an excellent strategy, with research showing the low-sodium DASH diet as the most effective approach. This can bring many great teaching opportunities for health professionals.
Prediabetes is an important educational topic. According to the CDC, diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate, with over 10% of the population diagnosed with this disease. This makes an excellent screening topic for health fairs.
One side is the typical American diet of fast food and sugary beverages. The other side is a healthier eating pattern filled with nutrient-dense, less-processed foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.
Which Side are You On? uses more than 50 professional photographs of real food to compare the two sides.
This is a great way to do nutrition education for visual learners, people with low literacy, or any audience you want to impress. They will appreciate the picture comparisons and the messages will be easy to remember.
Use Which Side are You On? to teach:
Older adults at a senior center or retirement community.
Parents of young children (maybe for parent’s night at a child care center or elementary school).
Middle, high school, or college students or student-athletes.
Bonus – it’s only about 20 minutes long, leaving you plenty of time for Q&A or a cooking demo!
There’s also a Which Side are You On? poster. The poster and the PowerPoint come with our Fast and Lean Meal Planner Handout, which will help your audience start choosing the healthy side for all their meals right away.
Have you ever thought about using adult coloring books with your clients or patients? Coloring can be meditative. It takes your mind off your worries. It relaxes the brain. And with our unique MyPlate adult coloring book, you get the added benefit of being exposed to healthy messages and images of healthy foods!
We have five ideas for how you can use our MyPlate coloring book, which is geared toward adults and teens:
Color-while-you-wait. In a waiting area, set up a table with a few of our MyPlate coloring books and a mug or two filled with sharpened colored pencils. Add a sign that invites people to sit down and color, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Maybe something like this: “Stressed out? Relax with some coloring!”
Color-for-a-tough-audience. Have you ever been asked to teach a healthy eating class and the audience is restless or just not that interested? We’ve all been there! Maybe it’s a group of high school students who have other things on their minds, a lunch-and-learn with stressed out employees, or an evening class where people are tired. Flip the switch with some MyPlate coloring!
Color-to-recharge. Teaching a seminar or workshop? When you give participants a restroom break, add an extra five minutes for some MyPlate coloring.
Color-to-recover. Coloring is great for patients recovering from surgery. It gives their brains something to concentrate on besides pain, discomfort, boredom, or worry.
Color-giveaway. Use our MyPlate adult coloring books as prizes at health fairs, biometric screenings, open houses, and other events.
And don’t forget to save one for yourself — your brain deserves a break, too!
There’s something about a rhyme that gets people’s attention. That’s why we love the catchy title of our newest materials for teaching the benefits of a plant-based diet—Plant Slant!
Plant Slant posters and bannersuse a colorful and simple illustration to proclaim the benefits of eating a plant-based dietary pattern with MORE vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds and LESS animal-based and processed foods.
Engage your audience by inviting them to come up with rhymes that go with the Plant Slant concept. Or put some blank sticky notes on the wall next to the Plant Slant poster and let passers-by write down their own rhymes. Who knows? You might get enough to put together your own Plant Slant Chant!
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 dayandeat 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).
We’re constantly bombarded with images of fast food, junk food, and processed food. Marketers know what they’re doing by getting these pictures into our subconscious minds. Well, let’s fight back! It’s time to Change It Up!
Our Change It Up theme features a gorgeous butterfly made up of real photos of fruit. Now, this is an image we want in our clients’ minds! The message is simple but impactful – transform your life with healthy food and regular physical activity. Go from a fast-food caterpillar to a healthy butterfly.
Our poster and banners come with the free Change It Up printable handout. One side provides general tips on changing up your diet (MyPlate, portion sizes, and fruits and vegetables) and every day activity. The other side offers more detailed suggestions for transforming your meals, snacks, and exercise routine.
How can you use the Change It Up materials in different settings? Glad you asked!
Display the banner or poster in the cafeteria, a hallway, or waiting room. (We also have a salad bar sign!) When people see the beautiful, colorful, fruit-filled butterfly every day, they’re bound to think more about healthy food.
Give out the stickers and bookmarks so people can take the picture and the message with them.
Set up a Change It Up table in the cafeteria or at a health fair. Engage visitors with questions: Are you more like the butterfly or the caterpillar? What changes can you make to transform yourself into the butterfly? Give away the Change It Up handout, stickers, and bookmarks.
Teach a Change It Up class. Depending on your audience, here are two lessons:
Focus on how small shifts in eating and activity will make everyone feel transformed.
Go with the caterpillar to butterfly theme. How does the image of the butterfly make you feel? How about the caterpillar? When you eat healthy food and are active, which one do you feel like? How can a healthy diet and regular exercise make you feel transformed?
Keeping a food diary is a great way for clients to become aware of what, when, and how much they eat. There are plenty of apps for online tracking, but sometimes technology makes this simple task too complicated. Get back to the basics with our Food Diary Tearpad!
The Food Diary Tearpad is user-friendly and self-explanatory, making it perfect for health fairs or classes where you’re unable to provide in-depth individual attention. People can write down what they eat in a day, then use the checklist of MyPlate recommendations to “grade” themselves. There’s also space to check off water intake, exercise, movement (cleaning, chores, playing), sleep, and screen time. That’s a lot of information collected on one page!
Lessons to use with the Food Diary Tearpad:
Tracking food intake makes you more aware of the choices you’re making. This awareness helps you make better choices.
Knowing you have to write down what you’re about to eat is often enough to keep you from over-indulging. If you don’t want to see it on paper, you might decide not to eat it!
You can’t change what you don’t track. Whether it’s screen time, drinking enough water, or eating more vegetables, keeping track lets you compare what you are doing with what you want to do.
People use food diaries differently, and that’s ok. Some simply want to jot down the foods they eat to get a general view of food groups they are missing or overeating. Others are more detail-oriented and can learn even more by recording portion sizes, time, place, and calories.
Compare your food diary to your individualized MyPlate Plan, which you can get at ChooseMyPlate.gov/MyPlatePlan. How are you doing on calories? Portion sizes?
Look at when and where you eat each meal and snack. Do you eat most meals away from home? Do you skip meals during the day then snack all evening? How long do you usually go between meals?
Get a handle on emotional eating by writing down how you feel whenever you eat.
Keeping a daily food diary helps people lose weight. But even using our Food Diary for just one day provides a lot of information on your diet and lifestyle. Use this to choose a goal to work on.
“When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Truer words were never spoken, especially when it comes to healthy eating! In fact, research shows that planning meals is associated with healthier diets and reduced rates of obesity (1).
Menu planning also helps you:
Make a shopping list.
Stick to a grocery budget.
Eat more meals at home.
Get out of the “same old” mealtime rut.
Enjoy mealtimes with less stress.
There’s no doubt about it — planning sets clients up for success. Our new Menu Planning Handouts make it easy! Healthy menu items are pictured and listed at the top. Choose from these to fill out the one-week menu planning chart at the bottom.
The Menu Planning Handouts are great for a class or one-on-one counseling. They’re printed on both sides, so clients can do one side as a group or with your help, then use the other side to plan on their own at home.
I like the idea of using the Menu Planning Handout as a menu planner AND a food diary all in one. Clients can use it to plan meals and snacks for the day or the week, then check off what they eat as they go.
Adding the matching dry-erase Menu Planning Poster or Wall Decal makes this the perfect system to help your clients plan to succeed in their healthy eating goals.
Ducrot P, Mejean C, Aroumougame V, et al. Meal planning is associated with food variety, diet quality and body weight status in a large sample of French adults. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2017 Feb 2;14(1):12. DOI: 10.1186/s12966-017-0461-7.
Here are three banners that are custom-designed for Lisa Durand, a foodservice manager who works for Thompson Public Schools. She wanted to make sure all of her students know that breakfast is free by installing very colorful banners in her cafeteria. We gave her three choices because she has 3 grades: elementary, middle, and high school ages. She chose all three so one of each will be going into her schools shortly. The oranges are from a photo we made in our studio using 9 different oranges from a farmer who was selling direct to consumers in a farmer’s market here in California. The dancing people filled plant foods. And the running figure is filled with fruits and veggies.
Students are reminded to “fuel up to play 60” so they eat well and get physical activity for 60 minutes a day!
We love custom projects! Let us know if you need one!