Nutrition Month Best Ideas from Subscribers

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“All the dietitians get together for a 2 hour period around lunch time in the cafeteria to explain how to decrease high-fat/cholesterol foods in the diet and incorporate fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains for a nutritious meal.

We offer employees apples, cholesterol screenings and pamphlets on how to reduce the risk of obesity and heart disease.

Our cafeteria is decorated with National Nutrition Month posters, table center pieces and lively bulletin boards. Daily meals are calculated for fat, calories, carbohydrate, and (new this year) fiber.”

– Angela Freeman RD

“The dietitians of St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center plan on going to the local mall and having Wi-Fi internet to 4 lap tops. We will be doing individualized MyPlate plans for who-ever would like one.”

– Jean Bouche,RD

“I have done a lecture on hidden sugars in (junk) foods and beverages and the exercise output needed to burn those unnecessary calories. An example is for every plain M&M eaten, one has to walk the equivalent of a football field to burn its calories. Food for thought!”

– Carmen P. Smith, RD

“At Good Samaritan Hospital, we have a display board that we fill with the cardpaper food models (using velcro). We put a plate in front and ask the participants (usually kids) to remove some food models and place them on the plate to make a meal that they think is good for them and that they like. Then, we go over their selections, make any recommendations according to the MyPlate and the dietary guidelines, and have them to make any corrections. If we have some prizes to give away, we have a large "homemade" dice that has the prizes listed on the dice or according to number, and they then get to roll the dice for a prize after completing in the activity.”

– Lynne Bobe

“The Somerville/Cambridge WIC program is discussing the key messages that are based on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations. We are using visual food plates and demonstrations put into a 30 minute "show" that is being shown on local access television. The information, presented by myself and another dietitian, will be demonstrated and the information given in 3 languages.

– Alayne Gatto RD

“I work at a continuing retirement community. I plan to have the residents sign up to have a 1:1 with me showing them how to use the SuperTracker. We'll print out their reports so they can see how their diet compares and where they can improve. Plus they will learn how to use the site on their own.”

– Mary Blake, RD, LDN

“Going with the theme of STEP UP TO NUTRITION AND HEALTH I am planning on creating a mileage club at my kids Elementary School for the last week in March. The last day will be a FOX TROT (our mascot is a fox) for all the kids. This is where they will walk or trot a circuit and accumulate points that go toward a school goal of 750 miles for the day.

During the week we will have a voting booth in the cafeteria for kids to vote on a new fruit for vegetable that they tried. They will be given a sticker saying "I voted." Along with this, handouts will be sent home (haven't decided on this yet) and teachers will be given a daily message for the students. I am still finishing the details and forming my committee. Last year we did a Jog-a-thon. This year is about nutrition.”

– Sheila Leard, RD,CPT

What a Way to Celebrate!

Rebecah Hunt, RD, teaches a 16-week weight management class at Centra Health in Lynchburg, VA. On the last day of class, she asks the participants to bring in nonperishable food that could be used at one of the local food banks.

The amount of food needs to be the same as the amount of weight they have lost. For example, if they lost 20 pounds then they bring in 20 pounds of food. She asks them to take notice of the extra effort they have to put into carrying this food and to realize how hard this extra weight was on their heart and body.

One Change Campaign

Make One Change to Lose 10 Pounds is a campaign idea by Alice Henneman, MS, RD. It takes an excess of about 3,500 calories to gain a pound. Break that into smaller bites and 100 extra calories a day can put on about 10 pounds a year. The good news is losing 10 pounds can be as easy as eating 100 calories less each day for a year.

One dietary change may be all it takes. Here are some simple changes, involving just one food; each will decrease your daily intake by about 100 calories. The amounts of calories saved are approximate; check Nutrition Facts labels on specific foods for exact amounts.

1. Switch from two tablespoons of regular mayo to two tablespoons of lowfat mayo.

2. Substitute a 12-ounce can of a diet soft drink at 0 calories for a similar amount of a regular soft drink at 150 calories. Or, drink a glass of cold water with a slice of lemon instead!

3. If you’ve been drinking from a 20-ounce container of a regular soft drink, switch to a 12-ounce size.

4. Instead of drinking two cups of whole milk, switch to two cups of lowfat or skim milk.

5. Dress, don’t drown your salad. If you’ve been using 3 (or more!) tablespoons of regular salad dressing per two cups of salad, try cutting back to 1-1/2 tablespoons or less of dressing.

The Family Meal Contest

Shauna Schultz, RD, is a Public Health Nutritionist with Solano County Health and Social Services. They are promoting Family Meals. They encouraged their clients to bring in a family photo of everyone eating together. Those who brought in pictures would be entered in a raffle for a family dinner out and other prizes. Their pictures will be posted on the bulletin board in the clinic.

MyPlate Walk

Elovia Peddle, MS, RD, LD, CDE, and the staff at Southwest General Health Center did a “MyPlate” walk. Participants signed in and walked a predetermined indoor route. Participants received a handout with a printed myplate brochure. Along the way, there were stops where participants recieved pretzels, V-8 juice, raisins, lowfat cheese sticks, peanuts and a mini candy bar. The staff initialed the plate at each stop and the completed sheet became a raffle ticket for some cookbooks. The nutrition department staff had been focusing on MyPlate, but this was the FUN event! Participants said it was like Trick or Treating!

Educational Snack Time

During one break time in March, Karla Arrigoni and the staff at the Lakeview Medical Center presented a nutritious snack and a display with recipes and handouts with the theme of fiber. They provided fruits, vegetables and a bean dip with whole-grain crackers.

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