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Physical activity breaks in MN schools support Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Program

Move Mindfully Yoga PosterStudents at Osseo, MN schools are taking 10 minute movement breaks as part of a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program instituted in their system.  Suspensions and required disciplinary actions have been reduced dramatically. In response to pressure to reduce suspensions and improve learning by reducing disruptive behavior in class, school districts are trying alternative measures with great success. Review entire article in the Star Tribune.

Schools across Minnesota and the entire country are implementing similar practices, and we love seeing the positive impact physical activity and movement can have on learning and behavior. To support these initiatives, Learning ZoneXpress is creating tools for supporting behavioral change with its Move Mindfully series.

Is your school implementing similar practices? We’d love to hear about it and feature you on our blog. Email toni@nulllearningzonexpress.com for more details.

Don’t Be a Turkey…Eat Healthier this Thanksgiving!

The holidays are a great time for celebrating and enjoying your favorite foods, but it is often the hardest time of the year to eat right.

By choosing reasonable portion sizes and healthier dishes, your Thanksgiving dinner can still be healthy and delicious!

pepper bowlaHere are 6 easy tips to keep your Thanksgiving meal healthier:

  1. Eat a hearty breakfast before your holiday meal. If you show up starving you are more likely to overeat.
  2. Eat plenty of vegetables. Go the MyPlate way and fill 2/3rds of your plate with a rainbow of vegetables.
  3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate…Drink lots of water before and during your meal. This will help you feel fuller and keep you from overeating.
  4. Limit sweets. Don’t deprive yourself from your favorite desserts, just enjoy smaller portions and eat slowly while savoring the flavor.
  5. Leave the table when finished with your meal. Lingering at the table may tempt you to snack on leftovers.
  6. Get up and move! Grab the family and go for a walk around the block. Enjoy the fresh air and being outside.

On behalf of everyone here at Learning ZoneXpress, we wish you a healthy and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Caregivers Month!

November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Caregivers Month. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s; but today, that number has soared to nearly 5.4 million.

Did you know that there are lifestyle habits that can help you maintain or potentially improve your health as you age?

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These habits fit into four categories:

  • Physical health and exercise
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Cognitive activity
  • Social engagement

All of these healthy lifestyle habits can help keep your body and brain healthy and potentially reduce your risk of cognitive decline.

Research has suggested that combining good nutrition with mental, social and physical activities may have a greater benefit in maintaining or improving brain health than any single activity.

Embrace lifestyle habits that improve your overall health, such as exercising, consuming a nutritious diet, and staying cognitively and socially active. Science has shown that these may support brain health as well. It’s never too late, or too early to make changes to achieve a healthier lifestyle .

Get involved this month, and help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease.

Tricks for Healthy Halloween Treats!

For kids, Halloween is that sweet time of year when they get the chance to dress up in costume and stock up on sweets, but for parents and educators it can be a nightmare!

We spend all year trying to encourage our kids to eat healthy foods and limit sweets; still the holiday can’t be all spooks and no fun.

Here are our tricks for a healthier Halloween:623001

  • Serve a healthy meal before kids go trick-or-treating-so they’re less hungry when the candy starts rolling in.
  • “Trick” kids into some exercise and encourage them to walk door-to-door instead of driving them.
  • Have kids select their favorite treats then make the rest do a disappearing act or give the rest away.
  • On Halloween night, be a little less “ghoulish” about eating candy, but then talk about how the rest of the candy will be handled.
  • Give out healthy alternatives to candy like: temporary tattoos, stickers, granola bars, trail mix or fruit leathers.

Scaringly-Sensible Treat Recipes:

coconut banana 2Boo-nanas
• Bananas
• Orange juice
• Shredded coconut
• Raisins or chocolate chips
• Wooden craft sticks
Directions:
1. Cut banana in half.
2. Dip the peeled bananas in orange juice, then roll in shredded coconut.
3. Add raisins or chocolate chips for eyes, then insert wooden craft stick for a handle into each ½ banana.
4. Serve ½ a boo-nana as-is or frozen.

pumpkin drinkPumpkin Smoothie
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
¾ cup low-fat/non-fat milk or vanilla yogurt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons brown sugar
4 ice cubes
Directions:
1. Combine ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.
2. Pour ½ cup of the smoothie into glass and serve.

Remember Halloween is a single day, if your family eats healthier during the rest of the year, it will have a greater impact than a few days of overindulging.

Visit Learning ZoneXpress to see all of our nutrition education resources.

November is American Diabetes Month®!

This year’s theme for American Diabetes Month® is “Eat Well, America!” This November, the American Diabetes Association will show our nation how easy and joyful healthy eating can be.adm-2015-banner-300x250-african-american

Each week, the Association will share nutritious recipes for every meal of the day. They will also teach you how to choose, prepare, serve and eat healthy food that is both delicious and nutritious.

Week One (11/1-11/7) Breakfast
Delicious breakfast recipes that motivate you to get your busy day off to the right start.
Week Two (11/8-11/14) Snacks
Easy and satisfying snack recipe.
Week Three (11/15-11/21) Lunch, including National Healthy Lunch Day
Lunch recipes that you get you through the midday hump and keep you on track through the rest of the day.
Week Four (11/22-11/28) Dinner
Seasonal dinner recipes that ensure you don’t miss out on the autumn and holiday flavors you love.
Week Five (11/29-12/5) Special Occasion Foods
Healthy special occasion options, including sweets.

What is Diabetes?470010
Your body and brain need sugar from the foods you eat. Diabetes is a medical condition where you have too much sugar in your blood (called blood glucose). Eating well, getting regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and taking prescribed medicines can help manage diabetes.

Diabetes Diet Tips:

  • Eat meals and snacks at about the same time every day, eating every 3-4 hours.
  • Avoid skipping meals.
  • Watch your portion size. Use a smaller plate, cup, or bowl and portion out foods before eating.
  • Choose water, unsweetened coffee, tea, or diet soft drinks with meals.

We applaud the efforts of the American Diabetes Association as they show people living with diabetes and others who want to lead a healthy lifestyle how to enjoy foods that are both delicious and nutritious.

Visit Learning ZoneXpress for Diabetes nutrition education resources.