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…


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

Display of the Month: Portion Control

Portion Control Table
The Nutrition Education Store Display of the Month fun continues this month with a spotlight on portion control!

Portion control is vital, and so many of my health educator friends say that it is near and dear to their hearts. Proper portion control can have far-reaching health effects, but it’s tougher than it appears at first glance. With all the oversized portions crowding coffee shop displays and restaurant plates, how are people even supposed to know what a healthful portion looks like?

That’s where a Portion Control Display comes in.

I’ve studied and studied the resources at my disposal, and I think the following plan would make a great portion control display for your next event…

The Materials:

The Activities:

  • Walk everyone through some meal and snack transformations.
  • Strategize about ways to scale down portions.

Portion Control TableLet’s talk details!

Set up your display area with a table. Top it with a tablecloth if you have one. Put the easel on the table, then place the Scale Down Your Portions poster on top of the easel and make sure that it’s easy to see. Place the Take Control of Your Portions banner on its stand in a highly-visible spot next to your table. Fan out a few Portion Control brochures near the front of your table, where they’ll be easier to grab. At another free area in the front of your table, arrange some MyPlate Temporary Tattoos and some Salad Temporary Tattoos. These will serve as prizes for the activities.

And speaking of activities, here’s what you’ll need to do.

For the meal transformation section, use a bit of blue painter’s tape and some plain white paper to cover the “made over” meals on the Take Control of Your Portions banner. Review the number of calories in the large value meal featured on the poster. Is this a healthful meal? Why or why not? Ask volunteers to brainstorm ways to “make over” the meal to make it more balanced and less calorically-dense. Offer temporary tattoos to anyone who shares a good answer. Remove the painter’s tape and paper from the “made over” meal on the banner. How does this one differ from the first meal? How can it be replicated in real life? Repeat the process with the chip and muffin images on the banner.

The second activity is more free form.

Have some volunteers share a few foods with which they have trouble controlling portions. Brainstorm as a group — what’s a good way to bring the portions back under control? You can also share strategies from some of the many portion control blog posts we’ve written over the years — here are a few of the current favorites…

And there you have it! Another fun display idea for the the Nutrition Education Store Display of the Month series.

And here are a few more display resources from the Nutrition Education Store. Which ones will make your life easier?

Display Kit: Color Your World with Food Display Kit: Take 10K Steps Each Day

Display Kit: Make Your Salad a Rainbow

PS Here’s a free PDF handout (from the blog post 3 Ways to Improve Portion Control) that you can also use in your display…

New Portion Control Ideas

Sneak Peek: Weight Management PowerPoint Show

It’s time for an exclusive look at of the most popular new presentations in the Nutrition Education Store. The Just Lose 10% PowerPoint presentation covers ways to live a healthful lifestyle while successfully managing your weight. Emphasizing the latest health and nutrition research, this life-changing presentation has been a hit for many dietitians and other health educators.

Today this blog will feature 2 of the sections in this show, just for you, for free. The full rundown includes…

  • Assess Your Weight
  • Set Your Goal
  • Benefits of 10% Loss
  • Weight Control 101

This post features the Set Your Goal and Benefits of 10% Loss sections. Are you ready for this?

Why Choose 10%

Speaker’s Notes: Okay, first things first. Why choose 10%? Why is this the goal of the show? Well, the answer is twofold. One, if you’re overweight or obese, losing only 5-7% of your current body weight can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. And two, losing 10% of your body weight can decrease your heart disease risk. Both of these are key for a long and healthy life. Improve your health with a little weight management!

The First Attainable Goal

Speaker’s Notes: Another reason to set “lose 10% of your body weight” as a weight management goal is that successful weight loss requires a sustained effort over time. Quick fixes are often hard to keep up and make it easy to backslide into less healthful habits. That’s why setting a goal is so important – it gives you something to strive for. And losing 10% of your body weight is attainable and will make a significant difference to your health.

Benefits of Weight Management

Speaker’s Notes: Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of managing your weight well.

What's In It for You?

Speaker’s Notes: So, what’s in it for you? Why is it so important to reduce your weight if you’re overweight or obese? The short answer is that it’s key for your health. When you get your weight into a healthy zone, you reduce your risk of heart diseases like hypertension or even a heart attack. You also reduce your risk of stroke, certain cancers, and type 2 diabetes. This in turn means that you are more likely to live longer, while being less likely to have to take medications to combat these chronic conditions. Getting to skip those medications further improves your quality of life.

Even More Health Benefits

Speaker’s Notes: These are all benefits that accompany a healthful lifestyle and gradual weight loss. When you adopt a healthful lifestyle in your quest to manage your weight, you are more likely to sleep better, have more stamina, have more energy, improve your flexibility, and find it easier to do the things you love.

Do you like what you see? There’s a lot more in the show — over 35 slides of the latest research about weight management, health, and wellness. Check out the full presentation!

And here’s a PDF copy of the slides we featured today…

Just Lose 10%


Remember, we’re here to help you look your very best, right now. Don’t miss these other great weight management resources…

12 Lessons of Wellness and Weight Loss

Weight Control Poster Value Set

PowerPoint: Exercise to Lose and Control Weight

Display of the Month: Sugar

Set Up Your Display!Let’s start a new tradition, shall we?

Today I want to usher in a brand-new series — the Nutrition Education Store Display of the Month! Each month, we’ll take a look at a new way to display the most important information about a key topic. And, we’ll do it in a way that will engage your clients and make your lessons memorable. What do you think? Are you intrigued?

For the first display, I want to focus on sugar. Here’s what I think will come together to make the best option…

The Materials:

The Activities:

  • Guess how many lollipops would go into a large soda from a fast food chain.
  • Discuss the impact of added sugars on health.

Let’s talk details!

Set up your display area with a table. For an extra aesthetic bonus, cover your table with a plain white tablecloth. Put any chairs you might need behind the table (this comes in handy if you’re manning a booth at a wellness fair — it’s less necessary for a single presentation). On the table, arrange the sugar test tubes wherever you see fit. Add a cardboard easel to hold up a poster for easy viewing, then place the Are You Drinking Candy? poster on top of that easel. Find a spot for the prizes you’ll be handing out — in this case bookmarks and stickers that encourage water consumption over sugary drinks. For the last part of the tablescape, grab a large empty cup from a fast food chain of your choosing and keep it within easy reach. You may also want to have a handful or two of small lollipops. Next to your table, place the Beverage banner on its stand in a place that’s easy for all your participants to see.

Once you’re all set up, you can proceed to the activities.

For the first activity, hold up the large soda container. Ask people to guess how many teaspoons of sugar go into a sugary drink that would fit in this container. Since most lollipops also contain a teaspoon of sugar, you can ask your participants to guess how many lollipops would equal the amount of sugar in one large soda instead. Poll the group, then reveal the answer: on average, a large soda from a fast food chain contains 51 grams of sugar. That’s 12 and 3/4 teaspoons of sugar! (Or, if you’re using lollipops, that’s 12 and 3/4’s lollipops worth of sugar). Hand out prizes to the people whose guesses were closest to that total.

For the second activity, it’s time to talk about the impact of added sugars on health. Introduce information from MyPlate and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, explaining why moderation is so important when it comes to added sugars. It may also be useful to bring in some of these additional resources…

Additional Resources:

Here are a few blog posts with great handouts, charts, and information about sugar.

And there you have it! The first-ever display of the month! What do you think?

Oh, and here’s a closer look at a few of the resources we highlighted in today’s post. Remember, at the Nutrition Education Store, we’re here to help you look your very best, right now!

Sugar Test Tubes

Handout: Are You Drinking Candy?

Water Bookmarks

PS: Here’s a free PDF handout that you can also incorporate into your display!

Sugar Reduction Handout

Muscle vs. Fat: What’s the Difference?

Muscle vs Fat PosterToday I want to bring you a special treat from the Nutrition Education Store! This Muscle vs. Fat poster is one of our top-selling resources, popular with a wide range of health educators. Since all of the posters we make come with a handout, now I’d like to share the handout that comes with this popular poster, for free! I hope you like it!

Weight is weight, right? Does what makes up the weight actually make a difference? Surely a pound of muscle is the same as a pound of fat, right?

Well, it’s not that simple.

What makes up the weight you carry can have an impact on your health, appearance, physical abilities, and general well-being.

Muscle and fat could not be more different in terms of both structure and role.

Let’s Talk About Muscle:

Some muscles attach to your skeletal system. Others are key to the circulatory and digestive systems. Your heart is a muscle, and so is your bicep. Muscles are vital to the way your body runs!

Muscles use up calories in order to function, and they generally use up more calories than fat does (1). According to a paper published in the Exercise and Sport Sciences Review, “exercise improves the capacity of muscle to oxidize fat” (2). Since “reduced rates of fat oxidation […] have been shown to predict weight gain” (2), regular exercise can give muscles a boost in their fat oxidation, making it easier for you to control your weight.

Muscle is also denser than fat, which means that a pound of it will take up less space than a pound of fat. This can impact your physical appearance.

Let’s Talk About Fat:

Your body does need some fat, but it doesn’t need a ton of it. Fat helps store energy, insulate organs, and can even help the messenger systems in your body function. It also stores some nutrients, like vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Fat doesn’t use up as many calories as muscle does. Meanwhile, fat cells store more calories than muscle cells do (1).

In terms of appearance, a person with a higher body fat percentage will appear larger than a person with a lower percentage, even though they weigh the same.


Like what you see? Here’s the handout, for free! How will you use your copy?

Muscle vs Fat Handout

And there’s lots more in the Nutrition Education Store

Great visual aids!

Muscle and Fat Replicas

BMI 101 Education Set

Ideal Body Weight Bookmark

What Do You Know About Banners?

Have you ever used a banner as an educational tool?

Portion Control BannerIt turns out that banners are perfect for health fairs, presentations, displays, cafeteria decorations, classroom adornment, and more. The key is in how you use them.

So that’s why I ask — what do you know about banners?

Banners are vital to visual learning, one of the three learning types outlined by the Fleming VAK/VARK model. Can you think of the other learning types?

They’re kinesthetic (learning by doing) and auditory (learning by hearing).

But let’s get back to visual learning. Visual learning happens when a person engages with concepts, data, and ideas through visual tools like images. Displays, posters, charts, graphs, and other illustrations of key concepts all appeal to visual learners.

MyPlate BannerSince many studies indicate that a holistic approach to various learning styles is often the most effective (offering auditory, kinesthetic, and visual resources together), visual resources can play a key role in any educational endeavor.

So, how do people incorporate these visual resources?

The most common ways that health educators use visuals like banners in the workplace are in either health fairs or cafeteria decorations. The latter offers a chance to brighten up dull cafeteria walls while reinforcing nutrition and health lessons when they can be the most useful. The former, in health fairs, provides a way to draw people to their booths. Once they’re there, people can try sample foods, read handouts, and learn the lessons that the presenters want to offer.

Whole Grain BannerIn terms of health education, banners make great visual aids — illustrating key concepts and distilling information down to the most important bits. They’re perfect for presentations, health fairs, office decoration, and displays.

How do you use visuals?

We’ve been hard at work on brand-new banners to help make you look your very best, right now. There are three kinds of banners that you can get — banners with standsposter-style banners, and wall clings. Banners with stands are perfectly portable and can be placed wherever you need them, whenever you need them. Poster-style banners can be hung on the wall or incorporated into a bulletin board or other display. Wall clings do exactly what it sounds like they do — stick to any wall, any time. Here are some of our top-selling banners!

Physical Activity Promotional Banner

Fruit and Vegetable Banner with Stand

3 Steps to Good Health Banner

Oh, and before I forget, have you seen the inside look at how the materials in the Nutrition Education Store are packaged and shipped? It’s pretty neat — check it out!

And here’s a free handout! It accompanies one of our banners — can you guess which one?

Start Slow, Keep Steady

Thanks for scrolling! Here’s a special discount code — just for you. Use MYPLATE to get 10% off your next order!

Great Bulletin Boards: A Breakdown

Want some insight into your next display?

We’ve studied visual engagement strategies and explored balance and composition for so long that we can’t remember a time that we weren’t immersed in the science of bulletin boards as educational tools.

Along the way, we’ve found some winning combinations that manage to make health lessons both appealing and memorable. Those lessons are what I’d like to share with you today.


Here are 3 tried-and-true bulletin board tips…

  1. Use a poster as your guide. We’ve had the best feedback for bulletin board displays that feature a poster. This poster can bring together your core lessons and highlight the most important points of your topic. A poster also offers a way to visually balance your board, with a large image featured prominently. Our posters are also super focused, presenting only the most vital information, which further helps your bulletin board communicate key messages.
  2. Use photographsPhotographs add an air of professionalism to your board. There’s something about a good photo that makes a bulletin board appear more polished. Make sure the photos are lit well and not grainy, then put them up wherever your need a splash of color. Photos also offer a real-world demonstration of an idea, which makes them extra effective for cooking or exercise boards.
  3. Make it interactive! I love to watch people interact with a bulletin board. The process could be as simple as signing up for an upcoming activity related to the bulletin board’s theme, or as complex as finding a spot for a healthful recipe someone would like to share. Engagement dramatically increases when people feel involved with the board in some way, so devise a strategy to help people interact with your display.

After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words, just imagine what a bulletin board can do!

Like what you see? Check out the bulletin boards that we’ve created for you over at the Nutrition Education Store!

Don’t miss this free handout! It’s from one of our bulletin board kits — can you guess which one?Get Active HandoutAnd, as always, there’s more to love in the Nutrition Education Store. We’re here to help you look your very best, right now.

Nutrition Poster Value Set

Healthful Eating Display Kit

Beverage Better Banner and Stand

Announcement: Free Nutrition PowerPoint Show Template

There’s a new PowerPoint in town.

But that’s not all! In fact, it’s only the beginning.

I have to say, I’m really proud of the way that Food and Health Communications, Inc. supports nutrition and health educators. We offer well-researched, scientifically-accurate, engaging, creative, and colorful materials to help you do your jobs well. Plus, there are tons of free resources too! We offer…

Today we’re adding to that list with a free nutrition PowerPoint template. This template has brand-new clipart, a lovely slide background, and all the tools you need to start designing your very own PowerPoint presentation.

So, how can you take this free resource and use it to your advantage?

I recommend starting with a great title page.

Now, I’ve designed more than my fair share of nutrition presentations, and, as you might expect, I’ve learned a lot along the way. Here are some tips that can help you make a marvelous title page in no time at all.

  1. Use a collage app to create art out of photos that you’ve taken. I love featuring my favorite healthful dishes.
  2. Take closeups of fruits and vegetables. Then you can have participants guess which photo belongs to which food as an icebreaker activity.
  3. Use images of people happily eating a meal together. (Pssst, there’s free clipart for that).
  4. Add a photo of a beautifully-set dinner table.
  5. Feature a picture or diagram of a well-balanced meal that highlights some key lessons of portion control.

Happy designing!

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

Of course, you can also save time and effort on your next presentation by purchasing one from the Nutrition Education Store. To start, here are the top 3 nutrition PowerPoint presentations…

Introduction to the Mediterranean Diet PowerPoint and Handout Set

Heart-Healthy Cooking PowerPoint and Handout Set

Eating with Diabetes PowerPoint and Handout Set

Free Radical Display Idea

Dottie Stambaugh, RD, set up a gorgeous free radical display for her latest presentation, and she even sent along instructions for how you can make your own. Here’s the step-by-step guide…

Free Radical PosterDottie began by enlarging our Free Radical poster to 27 inches by 16 inches. Then she tacked it onto a bulletin board.

From there, Dottie added a few free radical magazine articles and a copy of the Color Your Diet: Stave Off Aging handout. That handout’s lists of various food color groups and its guide to what to eat from each color in terms of which antioxidants are present was a perfect way to highlight how a balanced diet can combat free radicals.

The final element of the bulletin board was a poster that Dottie made herself. It illustrated the way that oxygen-free radicals disrupt cellular metabolism, proposing that they are the root cause of chronic disease.

So that was the bulletin board.

Below the bulletin board, Dottie arranged a basket of foods in various colors in order to drive home the point that colorful foods contain antioxidants that destroy free radicals.

But wait — there’s more! There were also two cans in the display. An old, rusty can illustrated what happens to the body when free radicals run wild, while a clean, shiny can highlighted the way antioxidants can rid the body of free radicals. Dottie asserts, “The two cans really got their attention.”

Now, because we love you, we’re making the Free Radical poster available for free! Download it here and get started on your own display.

Looking for more? Check out the featured free radical resources available in the Nutrition Education Store

Phytonutrient Poster

Nutrition: Get the Facts PowerPoint Presentation

Colors of Health Poster