All sorts of interesting news bites crossed our desk this week. Let’s jump right in:
Kids’ Energy Sources: A new report in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that the top sources of energy for kids ages 2 to 18 were grain desserts, pizza, and soda. Researchers expressed concern about the “flow of empty calories” into the food supply.
Water Intake: Kids are not drinking nearly as much water as they should, according to a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shared by Dr. Sue Hubbard, a.k.a. The Kid’s Doctor. Too many children are getting much of their water from sweetened beverages rather than plain old H2O, the researchers found.
Happy Meals: The debate is back, this time with the city of San Francisco being next in line to consider banning toys in these McDonald’s meals. A Board of Supervisors committee has approved the ban; it comes before the full board October 19, but Mayor Gavin Newsom has threatened to veto it.
Food Waste: More than 25 percent of available food is thrown away every year, according to the USDA. Slashfood reports that a group of University of Texas researchers calculated this waste to be equal to 360 million barrels of oil, or enough energy to power the U.S. for a week. Waste not…
Broccoli Sales: A series of wacky TV ads in Canada “promoting” broccoli (they were actually ads promoting the benefit of TV advertising) resulted in an 8 percent jump in sales of broccoli. The power of television, indeed.
Whole Wheat Breads: Confused about whole wheat, whole grain, or white whole wheat breads? So are we. This helpful explanation from food guru Marion Nestle in the San Fransciso Chronicle might clear things up.
Snack Packaging: Lisa Cain, a.k.a. Snack Girl, interviews the author of a study on how kids preferred snacks packaged with popular characters on them; and then gives suggestions for packaging your own healthy snacks (via Fooducate).
Food Allergies: Eat, Drink and Be reports that more than 30 percent of food-allergic children are reported to have been bullied, teased or harassed because of their food allergy, according to a new study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Food allergies affect an estimated 3 million children.
Gluten-Free Definition: October is Celiac Disease Awareness Month, and activists are pressing the FDA to define exactly what “gluten-free” means. The current, non-specific definition only calls for gluten-free labeling to be “truthful and not misleading.”
Nutritious Halloween?: Yes, it’s possible. MyOptumHealth has some great ideas for healthy black and orange foods, and nutritious Halloween snacks; Nourish Interactive also offers a nice list of recipes that feature “the colors of the season.” Carrots and raisins, anyone?
And last, it appears that spaghetti tacos are taking over the world, or at least the world of 6 to 13-year-olds, according to the New York Times. It’s an iCarly thing, and apparently you have to taste it to believe it, because it sure sounds weird to us. But hey, as long as your kids are mixing it up, it’s a good thing, right?