Teachable Moments

Educators call lessons learned in real life “teachable moments.” That’s the time that is just right for someone to learn something.

Wouldn’t you think that would be true with food safety? Especially when it’s related to cooking.

Cookbooks and on-line recipes could be a really good source of food safety information.  Putting the appropriate information—like cooking temperatures, cross contamination risks or storage times — right into a recipe would provide the cooks the info right when they need it.

This seems so simple. But it’s not being done. A study at North Carolina State University, that was recently published in the British Food Journal* looked at cookbooks and the advice they gave about food safety. The researchers evaluated a total 1,497 recipes from 29 cookbooks that appeared on the New York Times best sellers list for food and diet books.

One thing they specifically looked at was if a recipe did tell the reader to cook the food to a specific internal temperature. In other words—did they encourage the use of a food thermometer?

They also looked to see if the recipe perpetuated food myths. Some of these were cooking poultry until the “juices run clear” or hamburger until it is brown.  Both of these are unreliable for determining if the food has reached a safe temperature.

Some of the cookbooks recommended cooking temperatures. Yeah!  But not very many—only 8% or 123 of the recipes reviewed even mentioned a temperature.  But unfortunately not all of these temperatures were right. So even if a person followed the recipe exactly they may not be cooking the food to a high enough temperature reduce the risk of a foodborne illness.

Overall, only 89 out of 1,497 recipes gave readers reliable information that they could use to reduce their risk of foodborne illness.

This isn’t new info. A similar study was done about 25 years ago, and found similar results. So nothing really has changed in the past quarter of a century.

Ideas for educators:

  • put minimum cooking temperatures into recipes that you share with students
  • when doing food demonstrations use and explain good food safety practices including hand washing, heating to a proper temperature quickly, refrigeration or ice chests to keep cold food cold, avoiding cross contamination on cutting boards and with utensils, and using a food thermometer when appropriate
  • don’t use vague terms such as “cook till done” or “bubbly inside” to describe when a food is done; explain the process like cook chicken until the juices run clear and the internal temperature is 165 degrees F.
  • offer storage tips for finished products like refrigerate in shallow pan immediately

Here is one example from foodandhealth.com

Chili on The Grill

Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Total Time: 20 min | Prep: 5 min | Cook: 15 min

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked pinto beans
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 bell pepper chopped
1/2 jalapeno, chopped fine (no seeds)
Dash of cumin
Dash of chili pepper
Dash of dried oregano
Drizzle of olive oil
Juice of 1 lime

Directions:

Place all items, except for the lime, on foil with the drizzled olive oil. Place on preheated grill of 400 degrees F. Grill until the beans are heated through and the veggies are caramelized and tender, about 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with lime juice.

Serve the beans and vegetables with grilled chicken that is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and steamed brown rice. A side salad is great, too! Serve all food hot immediately. Refrigerate leftovers immediately.

Serves 4. Each 1/2 cup serving: 172 calories, 4g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 8mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate, 9g fiber, 2g sugars, 8g protein.
© Food and Health Communications

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

*Katrina Levine, Ashley Chaifetz, Benjamin Chapman, (2017) “Evaluating food safety risk messages in popular cookbooks”, British Food Journal, Vol. 119 Issue: 5, pp.1116-1129, https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-02-2017-0066

Here is our food safety temperature poster:

Check out our new materials now at 

Presentation Inspiration: Diabetes

According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 9.3% of all Americans have diabetes. That’s over 29 million people!

Over the years, my team and I have devoted ourselves to creating materials that can help you help people manage diabetes in a healthful way, and today I want to draw your attention to one resource in particular.

The Gold Member PowerPoint Archive.

This archive features hundreds of compelling PowerPoint presentations that you can use anytime. Available solely to gold members of the Food and Health family, the presentation library addresses a wide range of topics, including…

  • Cooking
  • Diabetes
  • Fad Diets
  • Health
  • Heart
  • Holiday
  • Hot Topics
  • Kids
  • MyPlate
  • Nutrition
  • Vegetarian
  • Weight
  • Wellness

Today, because of those crazy statistics, I want to offer a sneak peek into one of our most popular diabetes presentations. If you like what you see, consider a membership today!

The following is from Diabetes 101, a presentation that covers the basics of life with diabetes…

This show is comprehensive, beginning by addressing the causes of and statistics about gestational diabetes, type 1 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes. It then covers common diabetes vocabulary words — everything from insulin to pancreas — before diving into the ABCs of diabetes management. The show ends with an exploration of meal planning with diabetes, and this exploration is as comprehensive as the rest of the presentation, addressing carbohydrate counting, protein servings, types of fat, and the importance of fiber.

Today we’re going to take an abbreviated look at the ABCs of diabetes management.

When it comes to successfully managing your diabetes and staying healthy, it’s important to remember your ABCs. In this case, A stands for A1C, B stands for blood pressure, and C stands for cholesterol levels. Let’s explore each one in more detail, shall we?

A1C is the “A” of diabetes management, and it’s a measure of the amount of glycated hemoglobin in the blood… So why on earth should this matter to you? Well, this number is a good indication of your blood glucose levels over the past few months.

When it comes to interpreting this measurement, you should know that the higher the number is, the greater your risk is of having some kind of diabetes-related complication. This could affect your heart, kidneys, or eyes!

The “B” of diabetes management is blood pressure. Do you know what your numbers are?

Blood pressure is a measure of the force your blood exerts against your artery walls. It’s recorded in two numbers, which are then stacked on top of each other. The top number is your systolic pressure. That’s the measure of the force on your artery walls when your heart beats. The bottom number is called diastolic pressure, and that’s the force on your artery walls between heartbeats.

Blood pressure is important for everyone, but it’s especially important if you have diabetes because having diabetes raises your risk of heart disease. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes keep their blood pressure below 140/90 (source) but less is better of course!

Cholesterol is the third part of the ABCs of diabetes. Like blood pressure, your cholesterol levels are indicators of heart health. It’s wise to get your cholesterol checked at least once a year. When you get those levels checked, you’ll likely learn about your triglycerides, HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, and total cholesterol levels. Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail, shall we?

I’m afraid we’re going to end on a cliffhanger here. I had to eliminate a few slides with more details for each of the letters in this section in order to fit the parameters of a “sneak peek,” but there’s an idea of what you can get as a gold member of the Food and Health family! I hope you enjoyed it and that it will be useful to your clients.

8 Things We Learned About Sugar

Sugar Math PosterWhen the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) released their recommendations about sugar intake, we thought they made a lot of sense. After all, the World Health Organization has been recommending a 10% calorie limit on added sugars for over a decade. The DGA committee now recognizes that sugar makes up about 30% of daily calories in our country, so changes are needed to cut down on sugary beverages, snacks, and desserts with added sugars. Treat foods and beverages are no longer treats but daily staples, which in turn is a significant cause of obesity when people are not getting enough physical activity and when high-sugar foods are replacing high-fiber foods that can help people feel more satiated.

Yet if you tell people to keep their sugar intake to 10% of their daily calories, this advice doesn’t necessarily have much real-world meaning.

People would have to do a bit of math to figure out how much sugar that that recommendation is allowing for each day. To calculate it, they would first need to land on a daily calorie intake. A 2,000-calorie-per-day eating pattern is pretty typical, so in our example let’s use that as a base number. 10% of 2,000 calories is 200 calories each day. There’s the maximum in an easier format to apply to day-to-day life.

Of course, some people prefer to calculate their sugar needs in grams. To do that, divide the daily total calories from sugar by 4 (calories per gram). For a 2,000-calorie diet, the max is 50 grams.

Just for kicks, let’s set that out in teaspoons too. There are 4 grams of sugar in a teaspoon. That means that the daily cap is set at roughly 12 teaspoons of added sugars per day.

I hope those mathematical measurements can help your clients apply the DGA’s sugar recommendations to their daily lives. You can find all these measurements in the Sugar Math poster, which is what started this entire mathematical exercise.

Of course, the importance of sugar math isn’t the only thing we learned as we were putting the poster together. Here are the top 8 lessons that really made us think as we created that resource…

  1. One 12-ounce soda can have about 40 grams of sugar. That’s almost a full day’s supply of added sugar. Kid-sized sodas at most fast food places are 12 ounces — the same amount as that can of soda!
  2. Regular and large sodas at fast food places are usually equivalent to 2 or more cans of soda.
  3. Sweetened iced tea contains a surprising amount of sugar, roughly 22 grams per cup. Most bottles contain a couple cups or more, which in turn makes it easy to consume a day’s supply of sugar in one bottle of iced tea.
  4. Sweet treats are not only high in sugar but they are also high in calories. The average large cookie contains over 400 calories and a day’s supply of added sugars.
  5. Coffee drinks, tea, sodas, snacks, sweetened yogurt, and dessert can easily supply three days or more’s worth of sugar. It all adds up.
  6. A surprise to our team was that a can of soda is equivalent to a serving of candy!
  7. 50 grams can add up quickly, but if we could get to dinner without putting sweetened beverages in our day, then we had a little of our sugar budget left over for a half cup of frozen yogurt. In a typical day, I used the rest of my budget on a cereal bar and jam for a sandwich. Overall, the guideline helped us lower our calories, especially in beverage calories.
  8. It’s a great idea to track what you eat and drink in a day so you can make better choices.

And there you have it! 8 things we learned while putting together the Sugar Math poster. I’m really proud of this poster — it’s a great resource for nutrition and health educators because it lays out key lessons about added sugars in a fun and memorable way.

Want to share these lessons with your clients? From our collection of free printable nutrition education materials comes a new PDF handout all about added sugars!

Free Added Sugars Handout

And here are some other fantastic sugar education resources, straight from the Nutrition Education Store!

Nutrition Presentation Introduction Ideas

We just heard a great new idea for nutrition presentation introductions! Diana Dyer, MS, RD, has developed a wonderful way to frame the idea of dieting. Check out the story, written in her own words…

The root of dietWhen I was on the speaking circuit, I always included a slide early in my talk that pre-empted — i.e. reframed — the word “diet” by showing people the root of the word. The root gives a much wider understanding of the original intent of the word, which is “a day’s journey.”

The way the word “diet” is used in our society today simply means disordered eating.

By contrast, the food I eat is one part of that day’s journey toward health, the ultimate goal. I learned to get that concept in early to give my audience time to reflect and then see the full day’s journey (as I talked about much more than food) and also to head off the very first question I used to get which was always “do you ever cheat on your diet?”

I then learned to talk about how the word “cheat” is not in my vocabulary and not on my radar screen. That’s because I choose to eat with intention, intentionally (i.e. thinking about) feeding either body or soul toward health.

Once that’s established, it’s all about portion size. After all, life without Thin Mints is not worth living. However, with my goal being overall health, I knew I could eat them (feeding my soul) but I also knew that I no longer needed to eat the entire box. Savoring 1 or 2 was plenty. Then I felt fine pitching the rest into my compost pile!

By Diana Dyer, MS, RD
Author: A Dietitian’s Cancer Story – www.dianadyer.com
The Dyer Family Organic Farm – www.dyerfamilyorganicfarm.com

Salad Bar Tabletop Sign

MyPlate Handout Tearpad

Change It Up Poster

New Presentation Tips

I’m so excited because I’ve finally gotten the tools I need to share an amazing new resource with you…

A Sauce Painting Kit!

This kit features the 3 tools that you need to arrange beautiful plates at your next cooking demonstration or presentation. It includes…

  • Stainless steel sauce spoon – This special spoon makes it easy to arrange sauce on a plate.
  • 4 ounce squeeze bottle – Put a sauce that you want drizzled on a plate into this bottle and see how beautiful your presentation will look. Plus, you can wash and reuse the bottle as many times as you want!
  • Silicone pastry brush – The is perfect for brushing thick sauces on a plate so that your food presentation looks like it was done by a professional chef!

Now I want to share a few fun ways that you can use the tools in this kit to create amazing presentations for different dishes. Know that you don’t have to actually buy this kit to make the most of these tips — the kit will just make it easier. Feel free to improvise with resources that you already have!

  1. Add a sauce to an entree plate by drizzling the sauce over the top of your food with the sauce bottle. You can also use the spoon to smear a colorful and flavorful sauce on the plate before adding a protein item, or you could even use the brush to put a highly-flavored sauce on the plate in a beautiful, artistic pattern.
  2. Use the spoon to add a beautiful dessert sauce and then drizzle a design into it.
  3. Use the brush to brush a sauce across the plate before placing food on top of it.
  4. Use the bottle to create dots in the white space around the food you’ve plated.
  5. Use the bottle to drizzle a sauce on top of anything.
  6. Use the spoon to pull a sauce or dressing across the plate before adding your food items.

With this trio of tools, anything is possible! Plus, with this kit, you will be taking your cooking skills and presentations to the next level for you and your family and clients!

And here are a few other resources that would be great for your next cooking demonstration or presentation…

Activity Idea: Making MyPlate Plates

MyPlate is an excellent tool to encourage balanced eating.

For visual learners, having an image of MyPlate is a great starting point on the road to healthful eating habits. You can take this image even farther in an interactive project. Not only will this project help cement the basics of MyPlate in the minds of your visual learners, but it will also draw in your kinetic learners as well. Almost everyone can benefit from learning by doing!

So, what’s the project? Making a physical MyPlate plate.

There are a bunch of ways to approach this, but I want to point you toward a few of my favorite styles…

Color a Paper PlateApproach #1: Color a Paper Plate

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Display an image of MyPlate and walk your clients through the basics of how and why the plate is divided. After that, you can distribute paper plates to each of your participants and let them create their own MyPlate plates with crayons or markers. They can draw their designs right on the plate!

Be sure to choose crayons or markers that are safe for kids — these won’t have harmful chemicals that could be dangerous to ingest. Not that a lot of anything would transfer from the plate to the food placed on it, but it’s best to play it safe.

If you’re distributing food as part of the activity, have people use their plates to portion out what they eat. They may want to make several MyPlate plates so that they can use the guide a few times. After all, paper plates don’t last past one meal.

Materials needed: A MyPlate image example, paper plates, and markers or crayons

Use the Plates Again and AgainApproach #2: Create Melamine Plates

To help your clients make MyPlate plates that they can use again and again, create melamine plates. These plates are embedded with the images that people draw, and they’re reusable. In fact, they can be treated just like regular plates — without fear of flaking, fading, or general destruction.

To create these plates, you’ll need a Make-A-Plate Kit with specialized markers. Hand out the plate papers from the kit to your clients after your discussion of MyPlate, and then let them use the markers to create their own MyPlate images.

This is a relatively inexpensive project that produces long-lasting results.

There is one thing to be aware of, however, and that is production delays. It often takes 2-3 weeks to return the MyPlate drawings as physical plates, so be sure to plan for this holdup.

Materials needed: A MyPlate image example, melamine plate kits, melamine plate markers, materials for shipping the plates

Approach #3: Paint Potted Plates

For more immediate results and a long-lasting plate, there’s always painting pottery. Yes, this is a generally more expensive and involved approach than the other two, but it also often produces beautiful results. You can turn the project into a festive outing or party, and it makes a great end-of-session finale.

Hanging a MyPlate poster or enlarged drawing in the studio can help inspire your participants as they work. It also offers a great example to guide their painting.

Materials needed: MyPlate image example, a pottery studio, potted plates, paints and brushes

Try Word ArtDetails: Creating the Plates

Now that we’ve discussed a few general ways for your clients to make their own MyPlate plates, let’s get into the specifics of plate creation.

Make sure that there is an image of MyPlate available for your participants to look at as they create their plates. After all, the goal is to have an accurate guide to balanced eating available for their reference. A MyPlate with the wrong proportions on it is not helpful.

Now, when it comes to drawing the plate within the guidelines set forth by the USDA, there is plenty of room for innovation.

Yes, clients could copy the MyPlate image exactly “as is” from the USDA website, but they could also innovate when it comes to decorating the plates. For example, some participants could use pictures to highlight what goes in each section, drawing images of their favorite foods from each food group. Or each section of MyPlate could become a word cloud (as pictured here). This word cloud can also feature the foods that fit into each food group.

The possibilities are endless!

Examples, Giveaways, Prizes, Shortcuts, or Take-Home Ideas for Clients

Of course, if you’re looking for examples, giveaways, prizes, shortcuts, or take-home ideas for clients, then you need look no further than the Nutrition Education Store. At the store, you can purchase…

These are wonderful examples that people can pass around while they create their own MyPlate plates. The plates also make perfect prizes for giveaways and can be distributed as take-home ideas for clients. Plus, if you don’t have the time, budget, or resources to have participants make their own plates, these plates offer a fantastic shortcut.

So. There you have it. A bunch of ideas for a great MyPlate project. Enjoy!

By Judy Doherty, PC II and Founder of Food and Health Communications, Inc

There’s always more in the store. Check out these fantastic MyPlate resources!

MyPlate Poster

MyPlate Wristbands

MyPlate PowerPoint Presentation

MyPlate Handout for Kids

MyPlate Apron

MyPlate Basics: A Handout

I’ve been having so much fun designing new floor stickers for the Nutrition Education Store!

As you know, every floor sticker comes with a free printable handout, and today I’d like to share one of the most popular ones with you.

How great is that?

These floor stickers are perfect for cafeterias, break rooms, wellness fair booths, and even presentations. And handouts are as versatile as they come. The combination of both is one of my favorites because it appeals to a variety of learning styles and presentation formats. This can help make lessons more meaningful and easier to remember.

Anyway, back to today’s free handout.

This handout covers the basics of MyPlate and was designed to go with the MyPlate Floor Sticker. I’ll copy the text of the handout below so that you can preview it, then, if you like what you see, keep scrolling for your very own PDF copy.

MyPlate
Meet the USDA’s guide to balanced eating!

MyPlate’s 5 Food Groups:

  • Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed. Fruit and 100% juice both count, though whole fruit has more fiber than juice.
  • Vegetables may be raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried. They may be whole, sliced, or mashed.
  • Grain foods are made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain. Choose whole grains instead of refined grains whenever you can.
  • Foods like meat, poultry, seafood, beans, peas, eggs, soy, nuts, and seeds are all part of the protein group.
  • Dairy foods include yogurt, milk, cheese, and calcium-fortified foods. Choose skim when possible and limit options with added sugar.

Food Group Tips:

MyPlate advises people to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables at each meal.

Make at least half of all the grains you eat whole grains, every day.

Variety is the key to the protein food group. Choose options that are low in saturated fat whenever you can.

For the most nutrients with the fewest empty calories, choose fat-free and low-fat dairy foods.

The balance of foods on MyPlate will help people get all the nutrients that they need in a day. How can you make your plate look more like MyPlate?

For more information, visit MyPlate’s home website, http://www.choosemyplate.gov.

What do you think? Will this handout be good for your clients? Here’s a printable copy of the free MyPlate handout!

MyPlate Floor Sticker Handout

And here are some more MyPlate resources, fresh from the Nutrition Education Store!

 

 

 

It’s National High Blood Pressure Education Month!

It’s National High Blood Pressure Education Month!

Help educate your audience about hypertension with these free slides, which are excerpted from the top-selling presentation Blood Pressure 101, available now in the Nutrition Education Store.

BloodPressure101 Slide 1

This little preview will also include the speaker’s notes for each slide, so welcome to today’s show! At this presentation, we’ll discuss what blood pressure is and how to measure it. We’ll also cover the effects of hypertension and how you can lower your health risks.

Blood Pressure101 Slide 2

First let’s talk vocabulary. Blood pressure measures the way your blood presses against the walls of your arteries. To measure it, first a doctor will measure the pressure on your arteries during each heartbeat. Then that doctor will measure the pressure on your arteries between each heartbeat.

When you measure pressure on the arteries during each heartbeat, it’s called taking the systolic pressure. When you measure pressure on the arteries between each heartbeat, it’s called taking the diastolic pressure. As you age, your diastolic pressure generally decreases and you should pay more attention to systolic blood pressure. However, you should never ignore your diastolic blood pressure. In fact, when you’re young, that’s the number you really want to watch.

A doctor generally looks at both your systolic and diastolic numbers when determining whether or not you have high blood pressure. How the two factors interact is important, as is the level of each. High blood pressure is also called hypertension.

BloodPressure101 Slide 3

Now let’s take a look at how to interpret blood pressure results. Normal blood pressure is 119/79 or less. If your blood pressure is between 120/80 and 139/89, then you have prehypertension. If your blood pressure is 140/90 or more, then you have hypertension.

BloodPressure101 Slide 4

Ah! It’s time for a quiz. Now, If a person has a systolic reading of 118 and a diastolic reading of 78, what is that person’s blood pressure? The correct answer is 118/78.

Let’s move on to the next question. True or false? High blood pressure is also called hypertension. That answer is true!

The PowerPoint goes on to explore the health effects of high blood pressure, how to test blood pressure and interpret the results, and how to treat and even prevent hypertension. The presentation is peppered with quick quizzes to test knowledge and promote participant engagement too. If you like what you see, consider getting the whole show!

And of course, here are PDF copies of the slides we featured today. What will you do with yours?

BloodPressure101 Collection

And here are some more materials for High Blood Pressure Education Month!

Health Hopscotch Handout

Have you seen the latest floor stickers to hit the Nutrition Education Store?

These are the perfect resource to add zing to your health fair booth, nutrition display, or cafeteria project. To celebrate these brand-new materials, I want to share the handout that comes with the Health Hopscotch Floor Decal. Since this is our most popular floor sticker, I thought you’d love to get a little peek behind the scenes and access content that normally only accompanies a purchase or two.

So, without further ado, here’s a closer look at Hop to Health

Hop to Health

It’s time to move through the components of a healthy life!

Activity: Regular physical activity reduces the risk of several chronic health conditions including coronary heart disease, stroke, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and depression. It also decreases high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol. Regular physical activity also promotes weight loss and maintenance of a healthy weight, improves bone health and plays a role in relieving depression.

Components of a Healthy Eating Pattern: A healthy eating pattern features fruits, vegetables, whole grains, varied protein, and low-fat dairy. It also limits certain foods. Keep your consumption of saturated fats, trans fats, added sugars, and sodium to a minimum.

One wonderful way to follow a healthy eating pattern is to make each plate look like MyPlate. MyPlate advises people to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables at each meal. Make at least half of all the grains you eat whole grains, every day. Variety is the key to the protein food group. Choose options that are low in saturated fat whenever you can. For the most nutrients with the fewest empty calories, choose fat-free and low-fat dairy foods. The balance of foods on MyPlate will help people get all the nutrients that they need in a day.

Sleep: During sleep, your body repairs the heart and blood vessels. Sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Getting enough sleep, on the other hand, has been connected to a lower risk of obesity. Sleep regulates the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin. Plus, the immune system is healthier when sleep is adequate and the fight against infections is more effective too.

Your brain needs sleep in order to function, and the benefits of getting enough sleep are far-reaching.

Like what you see? Get the printable nutrition handout right here, for free!

Health Hopscotch Handout

And here are a few of the top-selling floor decals from the Nutrition Education Store!

Display of the Month: Beverage Better

Set Up Your DisplayIt’s time for another edition of the Nutrition Education Store’s Display of the Month series! This time, we’re going to focus on drinks! Are you ready to help your clients “Beverage Better”?

The Materials:

The Activities:

  • Drink Makeovers and Trivia Game
  • Brainstorm Better Beverages

And now it’s time to discuss the details!

Cover your table with a tablecloth if you have one. Arrange the Don’t Drink Your Calories poster on the stand on the table, then place some Beverage Better handouts in front of or next to it. Put some water bookmarks and stickers next to the handouts, and put some sugar test tubes on their other side. Set up the Beverage Better banner and stand next to your table and, if you’re playing the trivia game outlined below, cover the calorie savings information with some colorful Post-It notes.

Check Out This DisplayFor the first activity, walk your audience through the makeovers outlined on the Beverage Better banner. Start with hot cocoa, and after you’ve outlined the changes people can make to turn it into a more healthful drink, ask if anyone knows roughly how many calories those adjustments would save. Take guesses, then reveal the answer by removing the Post-It note that had covered that information. Award prizes (bookmarks, stickers) to the person who had a guess that was closest to the actual total. Now use the sugar test tubes to simulate how much sugar was in the drink before and after the makeover. Poll the group — was this lower or higher than they were expecting? Why? Do the same with the tea and soda.

For the second activity, gather your participants into a small group and brainstorm healthful drinks. How can the information on the handouts, poster, and banner inform the discussion? Explore possibilities with seltzer water, fresh fruit, tea, coffee, herbs, spices, etc. Award prizes to people who offer healthful suggestions.

Additional Resources:

Here are a few more materials that you can incorporate into your display and discussion…

Here’s a free PDF handout that discusses ways to sweeten drinks without adding sugar…

SweetenDrinks

More Displays of the Month:

And finally, here are some other fun posters from the Nutrition Education Store!

Eat from the Rainbow Poster

Nutrition Poster Set

Change It Up Poster