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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?


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
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
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.

Celebrate Child Health Day on Monday, October 5th!

Child Health Day is Monday, October 5th in the United States and is celebrated annually on the first Monday of October. Calvin Coolidge was the first president to issue a proclamation for Child Health Day in 1928.

This day raises people’s awareness of how they can protect and develop children’s health. Anyone interested in child welfare are invited to unite 410231on Child Health Day to help increase people’s awareness of the need for a year-round program to protect and develop children’s health in the United States.

According to the HRSA, about one in six children between 2 and 19 in the United States is overweight. This is a risk factor for serious health consequences including asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

Child Health Day helps increase people’s awareness of ways to minimize or alleviate health problems that children may face. The day focuses on a range of child health issues such as prenatal care, adolescent health, the impact of daycare on a child’s development, preventing injuries, healthy eating and lifestyle choices, and immunization.

At Learning ZoneXpress, we understand the importance of children’s health. We know that good nutrition is essential to their health and that is why we are passionate on creating nutrition resources geared towards young children.

Our LANA program, posters, handouts, incentives and more help children develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. These educational resources offer simple, straight forward advice that promotes eating the USDA MyPlate way. We know how important it is to start early and help kids learn the importance of eating a healthy plate!

Celebrate Child Health Day with us and help spread the  importance of children’s health!