Halloween Treats that don’t Play Tricks with Nutrition

Halloween – it’s the best of times; it’s the worst of times. Kids love it. We love to see the kids have fun. We love to see the creativity of the costumes. For many part of the US it’s a last hurrah before the winter sets in. But the candy – the bags and bags of candy. It’s not great for health or teeth.

 

We have handouts with great tips to help create some fun, tasty and nutritious treats. It’s a great time to hand them out at school, at the rec center, at the doctor’s office or other public health posts. It’s a reminder to parents and educators that we can celebrate without getting into scary food situations. We know on top of the health concerns, we’re all seen our angles turn into monster, with or without costume, after a few too many treats. There’s a handout for healthy Halloween party tips and one of healthy Halloween treats.

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Happy World Egg Day!

Today is World Egg Day. The yolk’s on you if you have planned anything. We are going to try to post some “eggacting” Tweets to help you keep up on good ideas, pithy facts and lore of eggs to entertain your classes or maybe just your friends. We’re going to start by reminding of you of our Amazing Eggs Activity Lessons and a snippet from our Amazing Eggs 2012 DVD.

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Lights! Camera! Save! Video Contest for Teens on Financial LIteracy

money smartWe think this is a great way to get kids interested in financial literacy…

Lights! Camera! Save! Video Contest for Teens October – November 2014 (Nationwide)The American Bankers Association (ABA) Community Engagement Foundation sponsors this video contest for banks to engage teenagers to educate themselves and their peers about the value of saving and using money wisely. Banks host the local level of the competition and select winners to compete on the national level. The top three winners receive cash prizes to help pay for their education. Winners will be announced in February 2015 during America Saves Week. http://www.aba.com/Engagement/Pages/financialed.aspx

And we just happen to have a range of financial literacy school resources – if you were thinking of turning this into a class project.

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Five reasons to get your teen (and younger kids) to walk to school on National Walk to School Day

I’m looking forward to walk to school day. I have three kids – two teenagers and one 10 year old. I walk the 10 year old to school most days; the teens start earlier (7:30 am!) so they don’t walk as often but I think I’m going to try to get them up and at ‘em on October 8 for National Walk to School Day. I’m going to have to sell them on the idea; teens like their sleep. But I think I’ve come up with some compelling reasons… 50-ways-physical-activity-poster

  1. It’s good exercise! And research shows that just one of four teens get enough exercise.
  2. Exercise helps you think better. Studies indicate that teens who exercise regularly get better grades.
  3. Exercise is good for your skin – it boosts circulation and the delivery of nutrients to your skin.
  4. Exercise reduces stress and reduces depression; again studies bear out this assertion.
  5. When you walk to school you increase the odds of running into other teens. Finding a walking buddy can help start a good habit

These reasons are just as good for the younger kids and with younger kids, kids who will still walk with mom or dad, I could add a few more benefits…

  1. It’s extra time with a parent when you can talk and catch up on daily events.
  2. As a parent you get to know the neighborhood in a new way. Are there corners you might want them to avoid.
  3. You can model good behavior; stop for the lights, say hello to neighbors, talk about how to react to strangers.
  4. The parent also experiences the top five benefits above.

 

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Walk to School Day October 8: Get your school signed up

50-ways-physical-activity-posterMichigan Fitness is sponsoring Walk To School Day on October 8. The hope is that it will be the largest walking celebration in the US. It’s a great opportunity to get kids, parents and educators excited and talking about daily fitness. Learn more…

Walk to School Day 2014 registration is now open! Be a part of one of the largest walking celebrations in the United States, on Wednesday, October 8, 2014.

For more information and to register your school, visit saferoutesmichigan.org/w2sd

Why participate in Walk to School Day? Walk to School Day encourages physical fitness and healthy habits, heightens awareness of traffic, safety, and environmental concerns around schools, is an environmentally-friendly and inexpensive activity, helps kick off a community-wide Safe Routes to School initiative, and it’s a fun way to spend time with your child, grandchild, or other special young person in your life!

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Brand new school breakfast resources from LZX! And a special deal!

I am excited to share with you our newest resources emphasizing the importance of school breakfast! Our newly designed breakfast banner and dry erase menu board combo will encourage your students to build a balanced breakfast. Buy this combo today and save $10!

good morningBreakfast Dry Erase Menu Board
Item # 990105
$89.95

Breakfast Vinyl Banner with Stand
Item #935105
$99.90

Breakfast Vinyl Banner with Stand and Dry Erase Menu Board
Item # 822105
$179.95

Save $10 when you buy this set!

COUPON CODE

140901

FREE SHIPPING on your next order. Enter coupon code 140901 to receive free shipping on your next order from

Expires 9/30/2014. Not valid with any other offers. May not be applied to previous orders. One-time use only.

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CELEBRATE NATIONAL FARM TO SCHOOL MONTH: Free Farm Fresh poster with purchase

farmfresh posterOctober is “National Farm to School Month” and the perfect time to enhance your Farm to School program with our freshest picks. Learning ZoneXpress has grown an abundance of educational posters, handouts, activity books and other school materials to help promote Farm to School!

ONE WEEK ONLY
FREE Locally Grown Foods Poster Set

Use coupon code 140903 to receive a free Locally Grown Foods Poster Set ($14.95 value) with your next order!
Harvest this great deal today.

Expires 9/26/2014. Not valid with any other offers. May not be applied to previous orders. One-time use only. Limit one free (#410088 – Locally Grown Foods Poster Set) per order.

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Team Up for Success! USDA and Partners Help Secure a Healthier School Day

A great opportunity from the USDA…

Team Up for Success! USDA and Partners Help Secure a Healthier School Day

With kids now back in the classroom, USDA wants to help schools continue to build a healthier, more nutritious environment for their students.  At the same time, we’re deeply committed to ensuring these same schools maintain financial stability and strong student participation in their meal programs.  We’re seeing more and more schools move forward with new and innovative healthy school meals, but we also understand there is a need to share best practices across the country.

Thanks to our partners at the National Food Service Management Institute (NFSMI), we hope to fill that void.  To make this a reality, the group will pilot the Team Up For Success Training Initiative with the assistance of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Southeast Regional Office.  Together, they’ll work with school food authorities (SFAs) to identify challenges and provide nuanced resources to promote a healthier school day.

Through the initiative, schools will participate in an expense-paid, tailored training workshop followed up by peer-to-peer mentoring.  This allows schools to address their individual needs and resources, as many face unique challenges and obstacles.  The target technical assistance will be conducted with about 48 SFAs, to begin within eight weeks after plan approval.

An important component of the training will include a two-day workshop for attendees with the appropriate support from allied partners.  These partners and mentors with relevant experience and resources in the identified needs areas will contribute their know-how and guidance.  Topics will likely cover a scope of needs: menu planning, financial management, procurement, meal presentation and appeal, as well as youth engagement tactics.  During the workshop, SFAs will develop an action plan for continuous improvement.

The schools’ relationship with the initiative won’t end there.  NFSMI will conduct a three, six and 12-month follow-up progress survey with SFAs to gauge whether their action plans as well as their peer-to-peer mentoring has been successful.  If additional training is need, NFSMI will recommend options.  The State agencies and FNS will also provide support and feedback to ensure the pilot’s success.

A key goal of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is to help reduce America’s childhood obesity epidemic and reduce health risks for America’s children.  To accomplish this, USDA and our vital partners help schools across the country produce balanced meals, so their children have nutritious opportunities throughout the school day.  For more information to latest regulations, find free nutrition education curricula, or get ideas for adding tasty, kid-friendly foods to enhance your school meals program, please visit Healthier School Day, Tools For Schools.

Ensuring the over 30 million American children that participate in our school meals program have access to healthy meals is a USDA priority.  Yet we’re equally dedicated to making sure schools that serve them have a viable path to meet that goal.  Initiatives like Team Up For Success chart that course, offering a beeline to a healthier next generation.

- See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/09/18/team-up-for-success-usda-and-partners-help-secure-a-healthier-school-day/#sthash.QvlaRB22.dpuf

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Congrats to FACS Teacher Denise Lage – 2015 Teacher of the Year

promoting-facs-guideWe are so pleased to learn that Denise Lage will be the 2015 teacher of the year. Learning ZoneXpress Founder Melanie Nelson was proud to support Denise’s nomination. It’s exciting to see our friend and neighbor get the recognition she has earned through 28 years of amazing teaching.

The Owatonna People’s Press picked up the story…

An Owatonna teacher received early notice that she will be the 2015 teacher of the year for the state of Minnesota in her field.

Denise Lage will get the honor from the Minnesota Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, which is part of a national chain that represents teachers in that subject. She has taught for 28 years total, nearly all of them at Owatonna High School.

“It’s certainly not an award that should be given to one person at OHS because our department helps kids gain college and career readiness,” Lage said.

She will be recognized at an annual state conference in February, which takes place in St. Cloud. She will also be in the running for national honors at a June conference in Jacksonville, Florida.

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Most Parents Support Healthier School Food Standards

healthy snack bookmarkA recent report indicates that most parents are supportive of healthier school food standards…

The vast majority of parents of school-age children support strong national nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold to students during school, according to a new poll by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the American Heart Association.

The findings come as school districts implement the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standards. The standards set basic limits on the fat, salt, and calories in foods and beverages sold through vending machines, school stores, and a la carte cafeteria menus.

Full infographic and poll results »

Learning ZoneXpress has a range of products that help students make the connection between healthy options at school and encouraging health options at home, such as the Healthy Snack Bookmark!

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