We’ll start this week with a “Happy Birthday” shout-out to Michelle Obama’s one-year-old “Let’s Move” campaign for curbing childhood obesity. Obama Foodorama has a great assessment of how the first year has gone, and Marion Nestle has weighed in too. A sampling of what makes Mrs. Obama’s campaign different from those of other First Ladies: Her willingness/ability to partner with large corporations, i.e. Walmart. Will all of this combined political/corporate muscle have a real impact? We don’t know, but we sure wish her well for Year 2. (And by the way, Let’s Move now has a Twitter page if you want to follow it.)
Corporate Pull-Out?: Speaking of corporate support, Jane Black reports that U.S. Food Service, one of the country’s largest food distributors, has ended its support for Huntington’s Kitchen, the healthy-food cooking school that celebrity chef Jamie Oliver established in West Virginia. Black says the company cited cuts to its marketing budget, but the timing is suspicious now that the cameras are gone.
Obesity Problem: Also in the news this week, a new survey in California (via the L.A. Times) finds that nearly 60 percent of Californians find childhood obesity to be a “very serious” problem and that unhealthy foods in schools should be restricted.
Smart Diet?: A new study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health finds that a diet high in fats, sugars, and processed foods in early childhood may result in lower IQ scores, while a diet rich in healthy foods packed with vitamins and nutrients may work in reverse. Sounds like yet another incentive to get your kids to eat right.
Sugar for Breakfast?: Also as reported in the L.A. Times, major cereal manufacturers are rolling out less-sugary versions of their most popular cereals. But still, those sweetened cereals can get most kids close to filling up their recommended daily added sugar intake before they even get to lunch.
ADHD Diet: As reported by MSNBC, a new Dutch study supports a restricted diet for kids with ADHD. The “elimination” diet is restricted to rice, water, white meat such as turkey, and some fruits and vegetables that are generally considered as unlikely to cause allergies. Additional foods are then gradually introduced while the child’s symptoms are monitored.
Starting Solids: The American Academy of Pediatrics has a new report out (via Thrive Childrens’Hospital) that finds that starting solids too early may increase kids’ obesity risk. Kids whose parents gave them solids before four months were six times more likely to be obese by age 3 than those kids whose parents waited. The AAP reiterates its recommendation that parents wait until babies are at least four months old before introducing solids.
Dietary Guidelines: Confused about those new USDA dietary guidelines? Dietitian Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen spent a whole weekend curled up with the report to break it down for us. Hint: Fruits and veggies = good. Soda = bad.
Valentine’s Treats: Last but not least, as you get ready for Valentine’s Day with your kids, don’t be tempted to haul out the food coloring. You’ve got plenty of healthy and natural options for making your food red and pink. Check out this meal suggestion from the Family Kitchen and these ideas from the Jolly Tomato.
Oh, and by the way, if you haven’t visited our Facebook page yet, stop by and “like” us.
Happy Friday to all!