Focus on Fruit

The holiday season’s bright colors fade away in January when the reality of winter sets in. Plan now to cheer up those cold, dreary days with our beautiful Focus on Fruit poster.

Focusing on fruit means adding color, flavor, fiber, nutrients, and a little sweetness to meals and snacks. Here are some ideas to help your students or clients Focus on Fruit — use them for social media, classes, or individual counseling:

  • Peel something new … try different citrus fruits every week. Introduce your family to tangerines, blood oranges, kumquats (don’t peel them!), cara cara oranges, and satsumas.
  • Bake up some comfort … make warm, healthy desserts like baked apples or pears with cinnamon.
  • Keep cans on hand … create winter fruit salads using canned fruit like peaches, pears, and mandarin oranges.
  • Toss in some color … experiment with adding frozen berries to your oatmeal – what’s your favorite combination?
  • Say aloha to smoothies … bring the tropics into your kitchen by making fruit smoothies with frozen papaya, mango, or pineapple.

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

Strategies for Better Sleep

Who doesn’t want to get a better night’s sleep? Between screen time, busy days, crazy schedules, nightly worries, and unhealthful eating, getting a good night’s sleep can be tougher than we think!

But help is on the way!

Here’s a new tool to help your clients get more high-quality sleep: the Diet and Sleep Poster!

This poster comes at sleep from a bunch of different angles, so you’re sure to find a way that will appeal to your audience. Take a look and see for yourself!

This poster covers:

  • The myriad of health benefits of sleep
  • Ways to improve the quality of nightly sleep
  • Strategies to prioritize enough sleep
  • Sneaky things that undermine efforts to get better sleep

You can save 15% off of this poster or any other item in the Nutrition Education Store with the code FALLSAVE15, but hurry! This offer won’t last long!

Diabetes & Fear

When talking about diabetes, it’s tempting to spout statistics. The numbers are scary, but will hearing scary statistics over and over cause the average American to take action so that they don’t become a statistic? Or will it overwhelm and scare them into not doing anything at all?

Of course, it’s important to get the message out there about diabetes. But maybe we can do a better job of helping some people by addressing this disease in a less intimidating way. Our new Type 2 Diabetes Risk Poster and matching tearpad can help you do just that. It’s very straightforward, providing:

  • A checklist of risk factors.
  • A chart with blood glucose/A1C levels for normal, prediabetes, and diabetes.
  • Three steps to prevent diabetes.
  • A statement about how high blood sugar can damage the body.

This information is basic but should spark people’s interest enough to get them to consider what step they need to take, whether it’s getting a blood glucose test or talking to their doctor or dietitian.

You could also use the information on this poster as the basis for a short class, group chat, or Facebook Live session discussing these three questions:

  1. Are you at risk of developing diabetes? How many of your risk factors are in your power to change?
  2. Do you know your blood glucose numbers (A1C, fasting, glucose tolerance test)? More importantly, do you know what they mean?
  3. What are you willing to do to prevent diabetes? Consider changes to your diet and exercise routine and modest weight loss.

You can follow up on the discussion with time for Q&A. Or simply ask participants to submit their questions, to be answered in a future session.

Be sure to end with a call to action. Ask participants to write down 1-3 things they will do based on what they’ve learned. Will they make an appointment to find out their glucose numbers? Take a walk after dinner every night? Calculate 5-7 percent of their body weight and use this number as a weight loss goal?

Above all, encourage folks to visit their doctor and get a blood glucose/A1C test – even if they’re afraid to learn that they have diabetes. Remind them that knowledge is power, and power is better than fear!

Be Carb Smart

Americans love to hate carbohydrates. If cutting carbs means avoiding foods like white bread, big bagels, and sugary cereals, go for it. If it means you’re afraid to eat a banana or drink low-fat milk, we need to talk!

It’s our job to teach people two things about carbs. First, that carbs are the body’s main source of energy, so you can’t do without them. And second, that all carbs are not equal when it comes to calories, fiber, and important nutrients. Our Be Carb Smart PowerPoint, poster, and color handout can help you set the record straight.

Here are some teaching tips to help people Be Carb Smart:

  1. Fiber is key. A high fiber diet helps reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer. Fiber also makes you feel full (so you’ll eat less), and helps control blood sugar and cholesterol. Guess which foods provide fiber? Carbs! Be smart – don’t cut out carbs that provide healthy fiber.
  2. Some carbs are high in calories, low in fiber, and low in nutrients. We call these calorie-dense carbs. Examples are French fries, cookies, crackers, and pretzels. These are the carbs you want to cut.
  3. Some carbs are lower in calories, higher in fiber, and high in nutrients. We call these calorie-light carbs. Examples are vegetables, fruits, hot cereals, brown rice, and beans. (Low-fat and skim milk count, too, although they don’t provide fiber.) These are the carbs you want to include in your diet.
  4. MyPlate makes it easy to be carb smart: If you fill your plate with half fruits and vegetables (especially non-starchy veggies), one quarter whole grains, and one quarter protein, you’ll automatically get more calorie-light carbs, plenty of fiber, and other important nutrients.
  5. Be smart about fruit. Fresh, whole fruit is your best bet. Frozen and canned fruit without added sugar is also a good choice. Look for fruit canned in water or fruit juice. Limit dried fruit and fruit juice – both are higher in calories than other forms of fruit.
  6. Be smart about veggies. Starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes are higher in calories than non-starchy veggies like broccoli, tomatoes, and spinach. But they are still calorie-light carbs — unless they’re fried. Fried potatoes (calorie-dense carbs) have 1400 calories per pound, while baked potatoes (calorie-light carbs) have about 500 calories per pound.
  7. Be smart about grains. Less processed is best — so choose more whole grains, like brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, oats, and barley. Whole grain bread is fine, but don’t use it as your grain for every meal. Try to mix it up to get more variety.

Carbs get a bad rap. We can restore their reputation by helping folks learn to be carb smart!

 

 

Prediabetes = Preventdiabetes

“Prediabetes = Preventdiabetes” – this phrase on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website says it all. A diagnosis of prediabetes is serious, but you CAN take steps to prevent or delay the progression to diabetes.

Use our Prediabetes Poster and Prediabetes Color Handout Tearpad to get these important messages out:

  • What is prediabetes? If your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes, you have prediabetes.
  • Who has prediabetes? One in three U.S. adults has prediabetes. The CDC says that 90 percent don’t know they have it.
  • How does prediabetes affect me? It can lead to type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Over time, uncontrolled high blood sugar can cause kidney, nerve, and eye damage.
  • What can I do? Research shows that doing just two things can help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes: Lose 5-7 percent of your body weight (10-14 pounds for someone who weighs 200 pounds) and get at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week, such as brisk walking.

MyPlate Goes Anywhere

Did you know that 90 percent of adults don’t eat the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables?* Maybe if we saw MyPlate billboards as often as we see signs for fast food or soda, this number wouldn’t be so high. Since that’s not going to happen, it’s up to us to plant the MyPlate image into everyone’s minds.

The MyPlate Start Simple poster is a great discussion-starter for helping people find simple ways to fill half of their plate with fruits and veggies, whether they’re eating at home, at a restaurant, at work, or at school.

  • At home – this should be the easiest because you’re in charge. Keep lots of fruits and veggies on hand to fill up half of your plate. Bags of pre-washed baby spinach and spring mix make it easy to fix a salad every day. Stock your freezer with a variety of frozen vegetables to steam, microwave, or roast in the oven.
  • At restaurants – you don’t have as much control, but checking out the menu online ahead of time can help. Look for vegetable sides and order an extra serving. If you’re getting subs or burritos, visually deconstruct them to see how they would look on a plate, then decide if you need to add an extra veggie or fruit, choose a salad instead of sandwich, or go easy on the rice.
  • Packing lunch – keep that plate in mind as you put your lunch together. Pile all the veggies you can onto sandwiches. Add sides of raw veggies like baby carrots and cherry tomatoes, and a piece of fruit. Or pack lunch the easy way – leftovers from a MyPlate-friendly dinner make the perfect MyPlate lunch.

*Source: CDC (read more here).

Use this link to get 15% off all MyPlate Teaching Resources – this week only! Good through April 13, 2019

Two Tools to Keep it Simple

Your clients are busy. They hear conflicting nutrition advice every day. When it’s time to shop for food, they’re overwhelmed by thousands of choices at the supermarket. But we know healthy eating doesn’t have to be so complicated. That’s why we’re excited about the new MyPlate campaign and theme coming in 2020 with the new Dietary Guidelines – Start Simple with MyPlate.

Keeping things simple is what we had in mind when we created our new Two Tools poster. Healthy eating is simple when you use the Dynamic Duo of MyPlate and the Nutrition Facts label.

Here are five lessons taught by the Two Tools: MyPlate and Nutrition Facts Label poster:

  1. Use MyPlate as a guide when shopping for food and you’ll take home the building blocks for healthy meals.
  2. You know you’re on the right track when half of your shopping cart is filled with fruits and vegetables and half is filled with whole grains and lean protein. And don’t forget some low-fat dairy!
  3. Beware of misleading claims on the front of food packages.
  4. Check the Nutrition Facts label for the information you need to make the healthy choice. Look at calories, portion size, saturated fat, sodium, added sugars, and fiber.
  5. With MyPlate and the Nutrition Facts label, it’s simple to build a more balanced eating pattern that will promote good health.

 

It’s Time to Change It Up!

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?

Here is a handout called, 9 ways to make easy and healthy switches for a better diet and exercise plan: 9 Easy Healthy Switches Handout

Plants: Many Beneficial Parts Poster

The Plants: Many Beneficial Parts poster is a beautiful visual for plant-based eating. The message goes beyond “eat more fruits and vegetables” to bring a positive message about how there are so many colorful and abundant choices you have for fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds. 

Use the poster to generate discussions like these:

  • The edible parts of vegetables are often wasted. You can eat the stems! And the leaves!
  • A cooking demo and taste test would be great for introducing many new plant foods listed on this poster. Items like salads or crudite platters require no cooking equipment while soups or smoothies provide a palatable way to introduce more plant foods to the picky eater. 
  • Each part of the plant provides different nutrients, tastes, and textures. What’s an example of a tuber? A root? What nutrients do they provide? This will reinforce why eating a wide variety of plant foods is important. Use these tips from Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD.
  • Moving toward a plant-based eating pattern might mean venturing into unfamiliar territory. Start out by asking people to name each item on the poster. What are those fruits on the top right, below the tomatoes and apple? What kind of nuts are those on the top left? Which of these foods have you tried? Do you like them? Brainstorm different ways of preparing some of the foods pictured on the poster.

 

 

Fruit: Nature’s Fast Food

I’ve got a fun new poster in the store, and today I want to share a little bit about it with you!

First things first, here’s my latest creation:

I was inspired by the fresh produce available last summer at one of my local markets, so when I got home I couldn’t resist setting up a quick still life to highlight these tasty stone fruits at their peak.

Imagine my surprise when this print won 1st place in the Open Print category of the 2016 Annual Print Competition at the Palo Alto Camera Club. Ron Herman was the judge, and I was completely floored by his decision.

Soon after this picture won, I decided to feature it in my gallery showing this past winter. The showing was titled “A Visual Feast” and took place at the Avenue 25 Gallery in San Mateo California. In fact, if you look closely, you can see this photo hanging with a few other favorites in the picture below.*

I was so proud of this original photo that I decided to turn it into a poster. But what to call it?

I wanted to steer clear of additional artistic commentary and let the image speak for itself, so I focused my brainstorming on key health lessons and nutrition topics. Then, out of the blue, it hit me. Fruit is nature’s fast food! I often grab a peach or a handful of cherries on my way out the door or to snack on as I work at my desk, and I realized that these snacking habits had — over time — gradually replaced my reliance on fast food. I’m sure that this change in my routine was great news for my health, and so now I want to share that epiphany with your clients in order to encourage them to also change their habits.

And that’s how this poster came to be. How will you use it?

* This image is copyright 2017 by Len Cook @expressionfood.com

And here are some other resources that can help make your life easier…