Archive by Author

Most school districts expected to meet updated federal nutrition standards

Kids’ Safe & Healthful Food Project reports some good news…

Ninety-four percent of U.S. school districts expected to meet updated federal nutrition standards for lunches by the end of the 2012-13 academic year, according to a national survey commissioned by the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project. However, many school districts say that their current kitchen equipment and infrastructure limit their ability to do so and that food service staff need more training as they work to implement the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA, guidelines.

The same article remarks on some of the challenges to going healthy…

The two challenges districts reported most frequently in their efforts to meet the standards were purchasing healthier foods (76 percent) and training staff (64 percent). Other challenges included needing more staff hours; an incomplete understanding of the new meal requirements, including how to qualify for the additional 6-cents-per-lunch reimbursement; and the need for updated equipment and infrastructure.

Learning ZoneXpress is pleased to offer some solutions to the training issue. We have two games that have been very popular with foodservice workers…

game to learn school breakfast standardsMeal or No Meal School Breakfast Training Game
Review the new USDA School Breakfast Program guidelines while identifying qualifying reimbursable meals under Offer vs. Serve with this fun PowerPoint training game. The game challenges foodservice workers to identify reimbursable food combinations that meet the guidelines through review of planned menus and corresponding photos of different food combinations. Players must determine if the combination shown is a “meal” (reimbursable) or “no meal” (not reimbursable) in a fun and entertaining game that takes into consideration requirements for two different school years (2013-2014 and 2014-2015) Perfect for training sessions or individual review to test your knowledge of the requirements. The Meal or No Meal School Breakfast Training Game has been reviewed and recommended by foodservice directors. Price: $49.95

meal-or-no-meal-school-lunch-training-gameMeal or No Meal School Lunch Training Game

Review the new National School Lunch Program guidelines while identifying qualifying reimbursable meals under Offer vs. Serve with this fun PowerPoint game.  The game challenges foodservice workers to identify trays that meet the guidelines through photos of different food combinations.  Perfect for training sessions. Price: $49.95

We also have a range of products to help kids make the connection between what’s on their plate and why it’s there! Our 1 Great Plate® product line was developed to bring life to MyPlate and ensure healthy, balanced eating by dividing your plate with visual representation!  A healthy meal is pictured showing the USDA MyPlate divisions of 1/2 fruits and vegetables, 1/4 whole grains, and 1/4 lean protein, equaling 1 Great Plate!



New Product Announcement: Eat to Win Game

Learning ZoneXpress is pleased to unveil one of our newest education nutrition products – Eat to Win Game. Great for reinforcing lessons learned in a health or nutrition class.

Eat to Win Game

A fun and interactive board game where the players becomes the game piece, Eat to Win Game tests players’ knowledge of nutrition and physical activity through challenge cards promote healthy food choices and regular physical activity. The game includes three sets of cards that require players to do a physical activity, test their own nutrition smarts or challenge another player to answer a question. Optional way to play includes eating healthy snacks from different food groups, making Eat to Win a fun, reality-based wellness game that students will love.

Game includes:
• 40 “Do It” Activity Cards
• 40 “Eat It” Trivia Cards
• 20 Challenge Cards
• 6 Game Pieces
• Game Board
• Player Guide
• 30 Food Tokens
• Play Money
• Die

For ages 6-13
2-6 players

Choking Hazard – Contains small parts. Not for children under 3 years.

Item # 500011

Price: $29.95 

Would you like melon with that?

fast-food-nutrition-dvdMcDonald’s is getting healthier! According to the New York Times

It plans to make the changes to its menu in 20 of the company’s largest markets, which account for more than 85 percent of its overall sales, including overseas. But it will take three years or more to put them into place in about half the restaurants in those markets, and the remainder may not have the changes until 2020.

The offerings, which were announced in conjunction with the Clinton Foundation’s campaigns to reduce childhood obesity, are part of McDonald’s efforts to compete for health-conscious customers by featuring food choices that are lower in fat, salt or sugar content than its more traditional burger-and-fries options.

The article notes several reasons for the move to healthier choices – pressure from healthy food advocates, competition from Subway and simple expansion of other healthy changes they have been making over the years.

It will be interesting to see what the impact is – on kids, families and the community. I think most of us can imagine the changes for individuals. School cafeterias have learned that if you offer kids healthy choices – they will accept them. Wouldn’t it be fun to see the children help their parents make the healthy choice? It’s an opportunity to really make a difference.

Also the representative from McDonald’s notes that they are working with their supply chain on options for fresh produce. A customer such as McDonald’s could have an impact on a lot of farmers and the whole industry.

I’m just looking forward to the day they ask if I want to Super-Size my apple slices!

New Product Announcement: 50 App Activities for Fitness

Learning ZoneXpress is pleased to unveil one of our newest education nutrition products – 50 App Activities for Fitness. It’s great for kids of all ages and helps tie physical activity to technology.

 50 App Activities for Fitness

Combine physical activity with the latest mobile technology for a uniquely creative way to get up and moving. 50 App Activities for Fitness uses apps for iPods, iPads, smartphones, and tablet computers to encourage active lifestyle choices through a compilation of fifty different lesson plans, teacher resources, and games that are innovative and fun lesson ideas.

Encourage physical activity, daily exercise, and a life-long commitment to wellness with this collection of activities based on free and paid apps. Activities include work-out trackers, apps to help set and achieve goals, virtual fitness flashcards, fitness game challenges and more.

Appropriate for grades 6+

© 2013 Learning ZoneXpress

Item # 100150

UPC: 846742004506

Price: $34.95 

Food Allergy Awareness Month

According to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)…

Food allergy is a serious medical condition affecting up to 15 million people in the United States, including 1 in 13 children.

They have a great video that helps explain an allergic reaction in scientific but accessible language:

Learning ZoneXpress also has a wide range of teaching materials to help children, adults and food service workers understand food allergies and work with people who have food allergies. Here are a couple of our latest food allergy education material releases..


celiacGluten-Free and Celiac Disease Handout

Get in the know about gluten-free foods and wheat allergies. Discover who needs to follow a gluten-free diet with the Gluten-Free and Celiac Disease Handout. This two-sided tear-off handout features basic, need-to-know information about gluten, celiac disease, and gluten sensitivity. The front side of the handout explains what gluten is, identifies foods that contain gluten, and who needs to follow a gluten-free diet. The backside of the handout explains what is celiac disease and how it is diagnosed, what is gluten sensitivity, and includes a message to always ready ingredient labels on foods, medications, and cosmetics for hidden sources of gluten.

  • 8 1/2″ x 11″, 50 sheets, 2-sided
  • © 2013 Learning ZoneXpress
  • Item # 470015
  • Price: $9.95

peanutLactose and Peanut Allergy Handout

Focus on the challenges and considerations of two common food sensitivities and allergies with the Lactose and Peanut Allergy Handout. This two-sided tear-off handout features brief overviews of lactose intolerance and peanut allergy. The front side of the handout identifies sources of lactose, who is most likely to be lactose intolerant, and alternative sources of calcium. The backside of the handout explains the difference between a peanut allergy and a tree nut allergy, what can be done to prevent allergic reactions, the symptoms of an allergic reaction, and a definition of what is anaphylaxis.

  • 8 1/2″ x 11″, 50 sheets, 2-sided
  • © 2013 Learning ZoneXpress
  • Item # 470100
  • Price: $9.95

International Day of Play – Saturday Sep 21

play-posterWhat are you doing for the International Day of Play? Don’t let this holiday going by without a celebration. It’s a fun, yet important, reminder of the advantages of being active of taking time to have fun – to work to live and not live to work. Those are some important lessons for adults and kids. And your kids (be them students, offspring, nieces, nephews or neighbors) will remember the time you took for fun.

Not sure what you’d do to celebrate? Nick has a whole website dedicated to the effort. You can learn about what they have planned for New York City. Or check out their Top 10 Ways to Play tip sheet. Or turn off the computer, the smartphone, the tablet and ask a kid.

Or think back to the games you loved as a kid and help today’s generation go retro with a wicked game of Steal the Flag or Red Rover!

Happy Food Safety Month

It’s not a conventional holiday, but aren’t we glad that we can celebrate food safety? It’s something we usually take for granted, but we shouldn’t. People in the foodservice industry spend a lot of time learning how to safely prepare our foods when we’re out. And for generations FACS classrooms have taught us how to prepare foods when we’re at home.

Learning ZoneXpress has a wide range of products that help teach people about food safety whether they’re cooking at home or in a professional setting. Here’s a sample of what LZX creates…

spoiled-rotten-food-safety-dvdSpoiled Rotten Food Safety DVD
The Food Safety Investigation (FSI) Team checks for clues of food poisoning at a food safety crime scene. In this film, viewers will learn the basic rules to prevent food-borne illnesses: clean hands, food, utensils and surfaces; separate foods while shopping, storing and preparing to prevent cross-contamination; cook foods to recommended temperatures to kill bacteria; chill and store foods promptly and at proper temperatures.
Teaching Materials included. Appropriate for grades 5-9. 16 min.
Price: $49.95

50 App Activities for Food Safety and Sanitation50 App Activities for Food Safety and Sanitation
Engage students in creative food safety and sanitation lessons and activities that utilize the latest classroom technology: apps!  The best educational apps for teaching food safety are included in this collection filled with lesson plans for teachers, teaching resources, and fun games based on both free and paid apps for Apple and Android devices.
Includes lesson ideas utilizing apps to:
• Practice quizzes and test questions for ServSafe certification
• Play games that teach players the importance of good hygiene and food safety in a restaurant
• Track the sources of different foods by scanning the food’s barcode
For grade 6 – 12
Price: $34.95

meals-in-minutes-kitchen-food-safety-dvdMeals in Minutes: Kitchen & Food Safety DVD
Keep yourself safe in the kitchen! Learn the difference between safe and dangerous safety practices in the kitchen as “DO Stevie” and “DON’T Stevie” prepare food simultaneously. An engaging SILENT, split screen format allows viewers to study right and wrong methods.
Topics covered include:
• Hand washing
• Knife safety
• Cross-contamination
• Burns and cuts
• Food storage
• And more!
Step-by-step preparation of apple crisp, spaghetti & salad.
Price: $49.95

New Product Announcement: Foodscapes® Mini Cards with Flip Case

Learning ZoneXpress is pleased to unveil one of our newest education nutrition products – Foodscapes® Mini Cards with Flip Case. They are colorful reminders to kids to eat their fruits and vegetables…

Foodscapes® Mini Cards with Flip Case

Decorate your serving line or amuse your clients with a fun, tabletop display of adorable Foodscapes® characters. Twelve laminated cards with Foodscapes characters are easily stored and displayed in an acrylic case that folds open into a display easel.

12 – 4 7/8″ x 5 1/2″ Laminated.

© 2013 Learning ZoneXpress

Item # 9221

Price: $10.00 

Stop Obesity with Better Snacks: Win a Garden Hero

zoey-zucchini-garden-heroWe are on a quest in September (National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month) to fight obesity together by sharing some of our favorite snack ideas and recipes that feature fruits and vegetables.

To get the ball rolling, we thought we’d suggest a fruit or vegetable each week by introducing one of our Garden Heroes. Then we invite Facebook fans to post a snack recipe, idea or picture that features the Garden Hero of the week on our Facebook page or simply tag us in the post. (Or Twitter followers can send an idea or link to a recipe and tag us @LZXpress.)

Each week one fan who has shared will be selected to win a Garden Hero. We are starting this week with Zoey Zucchini.

We’ll post the Garden Hero on Monday and select a winner on Friday for the last three Mondays in September. Good luck!

September is National Child Obesity Awareness Month

September is National Child Obesity Awareness Month, highlighting a national epidemic that affects one-in-three American children who are overweight or obese.

Since the 1970s, obesity rates among U.S. children have tripled.  Millions of young people are now facing increased risk of serious illnesses that were previously seen only in adults, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, asthma and some types of cancer.

However, recent studies published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show some modest progress in combating this problem.  The CDC reports obesity rates among children holding steady after decades of sharp increases and even decreasing slightly among some preschoolers in 19 states and territories.

“Although this success is limited, it shows we can reverse childhood obesity,” said Learning ZoneXpress (LZX) Founder Melanie Nelson. “The solution lies in education and awareness.  When people understand the facts and have the right tools, they can take action.”

Educators play a critical role in providing information to families, and the materials they share can help promote life-long healthy habits.

With this in mind, LZX offers two engaging educational products focused on combating obesity.

Active Kids MyPlate Poster

First is the Active Kids MyPlate Poster designed to encourage kids to “get moving.”  Colorful and inviting, the 24” x 18” laminated poster incorporates a sports theme as well as hero characters to promote both healthy food choices and 60 minutes of daily physical activity.

Active Kids MyPlate Handout

A second kid-friendly product, the Active Kids MyPlate Handout, features the same theme and messaging presented in a smaller format.  Ideal for distributing directly to children and families, the 8 ½” x 11” two-sided handout is available in a pack of 50.