Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Out With the Pyramid

Last week, the USDA announced it was replacing the food pyramid with a new plate diagram. The USDA plate gives the largest portion to vegetables, with one the same size for grains. Fruit and protein round it out in equal portions. Off to the side is dairy, represented by a circle that might be a cup of milk or yogurt. Gone is any reference to fats, oils or sweets.

Some of the other tips on the USDA's new website are:

Balancing Calories
● Enjoy your food, but eat less.
● Avoid oversized portions.

Foods to Increase
● Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
● Make at least half your grains whole grains.
● Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Foods to Reduce
● Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals and choose the foods with lower numbers.
● Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Go to for more info

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Week

This week (May 2nd through 6th) is Teacher Appreciation Week. Teachers play a huge roll in every child's life and they deserve your appreciation. They put in more time for less work than almost all other professons out there. So take some time to show some appreciation to your teachers this week. Also, we at OSP are working to improve the school food that those teachers sometimes also eat. (Sometimes they Blog about it too Fed up with Lunch) So Happy Teacher Appreciation Week and also, Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Study Finds: Family Time Can Help Waist Lines!

Derived from 17 previous studies, researchers found that, "youngsters who joined family members regularly for meals were 24% more likely to eat healthy foods than kids who rarely ate with their families. They were also less likely to suffer from eating disorders," reports US News Health.

Amber Hammons, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as the study lead author for the findings that were recently published in May 2 issue of Pediatrics wanted to find if there was a relationship between family and nutrition.

Verdict: Yes and here are some of the findings:

3 or more meals with the family
- 12% less likely to be overweight
- 20% less likely to eat sweets, fried foods, pop, and other junk foods

5 or more meals with the family
- 25% less likely to practice poor nutritionn habits

The study suggests that eating with the family serves as protective benefits for children, but the reasons are unclear.

Families play important roles in children's lives. Most kids actually see their parents as their role models the article says, which could be a reason why there is a positive link between families and nutrition. Think of the potential the positive link has. If a child's parents helped him be more involved by growing and picking produce from the family organic garden, cooking, and sitting down to enjoy the work all of them put in, can you imagine the benefits? Not only would the child be more involved, he could also learn about good nutrition during the process.

I think the benefits can be two fold too. Parents can pack a lunch for the next school day made from leftovers, (because who doesn't want leftovers of a meal made from love? I don't think those people even exist...), which could continue the suggestions made by the study and lessen the chances of childhood obesity.


Read the original article yourself here.

Monday, May 2, 2011

OSP Webinars!

"Healthy Recipes Made Easy"

OSP will be doing webinars starting next week. It's a
free webinar series featuring easy healthy recipes for children.
For School Foodservice Directors, Managers & Registered Dietitians who are inspired to introduce children to healthier recipes during the school day.
Webinar supports why healthy cooking is needed in schools and presents 3 different recipes during each part of the webinar series that are easy to prepare and use healthy and fresh ingredients.

You must register in advance for the "Healthy Recipes Made Easy" Webinar. There is no charge for this event.
Click here to reserve your place.

Dates and times:

May 10th or May 12th at 2pm or 4pm CST

Lunch 1
May 17th or May 19th at 2pm or 4pm CST

Lunch 2
May 24th or May 26th at 2pm or 4pm CST

Side Items
May 31st or June 2nd at 2pm or 4pm CST

Monday, April 4, 2011

Guest Blog Post from the Green Parents Network

Chicago's Green Metropolis Fair April 16!

Chicago's Green Metropolis Fair on Saturday, April 16, at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox, Chicago is a fun, inspiring event for conscious and curious individuals and families to celebrate Earth Month and spring! Jointly presented by the Green Parents Network, an online community of 2300+ families, and Chicago's Mindful Metropolis Magazine, the Fair will be open from 10-4 with both indoor and outdoor activities rain or shine.

Do you want to learn new ways to achieve and maintain a more sustainable lifestyle? There is lots going on at the Fair, including:

- Presentations on gardening, composting, bee keeping, and urban farming;

- an outdoor barnyard experience with live animals;

- Delicious, organic, and locally sourced food and drink available for purchase;

- 100+ earth friendly vendors.

- Special showings of the "Dirt! The Movie" and "Vanishing of the Bees"

Admission is free - a donation of a non-perishable food item is requested for a local food bank. There will be $5 admission to see the movies.

Chicago's Green Metropolis Fair

Saturday, April 16 - 10AM-4PM

Irish American Heritage Center

4626 N. Knox, Chicago, 60630

Plenty of free parking around the Center - conveniently located off 90/94, CTA Blue Line, and multiple bus routes.

The Green Metropolis Fair welcomes the support and collaboration of The Organic School Project - and we applaud and thank OSP for the good work they do every day to make sure our children grow up healthier and happier! Come see them April 16 at the Fair!

Mary Beth Rebedeau

Green Parents Network - Where 2300+ families meet online! /

Follow Us On Twitter - @GreenParentsNet!