Make a Fun Lunch for the Holidays: Mitten sandwiches

For the holiday we’re going to post some fun lunch pictures from USDA MyPlate – just some ideas to keep your holiday break lunches fun and healthy…

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Wishing you health & happiness this holiday season!

LZX holiday postOn behalf of everyone here at Learning ZoneXpress, Happy Holidays! The following are fun health tips we put together for you to forward to students, clients, friends, and family.

Healthy Eating for the Holidays
The holidays are a great time for celebrating. With a little thought and planning, you can still enjoy all the holidays have to offer while keeping nutrition and wellness in mind.

Focus on fun, not food.
Keep your focus on fun family activities and events like holiday decorating or caroling rather than food.

Bring a healthy dish to holiday gatherings.
The party host will be grateful for the help and guests will appreciate a healthier menu option.

Make fruits and vegetables the star.
Make fruits and vegetables the center of attention at holiday meals and fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.

Choose indulgences wisely.
When you choose to indulge, choose foods that are unique and special to the season. Don’t waste calories on store-bought cookies or foods you can have any time of year.

Choose small portions.
Start with a small serving. You can have more later if you are still hungry.

Avoid sugary drinks.
Choose water and unsweetened drinks like tea instead of sugary drinks such as eggnog or cider. Sugary drinks are full of unnecessary extra calories.

Simple swaps.
You can reduce extra calories without sacrificing taste by swapping ingredients in your favorite family recipes.

  • Substitute applesauce, mashed bananas, or canned pumpkin for oil, margarine, or butter in muffins or quick breads.
  • Try low-fat yogurt in place of sour cream and low-fat cream cheese in place of regular cream cheese.
  • Use whole-wheat flour as a substitute for white flour when baking.
  • Use herbs and spices instead of salt and sugar.
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How to NOT Give Your Office Food Poisoning at the Holiday Party

food-safety-powerpoint-lesson-plansWe just loved this! Tips from the USDA to pass onto everyone you know. No one wants to be sick at the holidays and no one wants to the cause of someone else being sick!

Most offices host some sort of get-together this time of year and you may be asked to bring a dish. If you’re not bringing food to the office, you may be bringing something to another get-together with family or friends. Follow these tips to be sure your diners remember your nice contribution, instead of a naughty case of food poisoning.

Tip 1: Keep Hot Food Hot. Hot items are best served immediately after cooking or reheating. If you plan on serving a hot item at the office party, take it straight from the oven and either place it in an insulated bag or hot food carrier. If you can’t serve it as soon as you arrive, return it to the oven. Alternatively, you can completely chill the item and transport it according to Tip 2. Once you arrive at the office reheat it using a microwave, stove, or oven to 165 °F.

Tip 2: Keep Cold Food Cold. Cold items should remain in the refrigerator for as long as possible. When transporting cold dishes, place items in a cooler with plenty of ice or frozen gel packs. A refrigerator thermometer in the cooler is a useful way to make sure items remain at proper chill temperature of 40 °F or below.

Tip 4: Use Several Small Platters. For both hot and cold items, arrange and serve food on several small platters rather than on large platter. This way you can hold food at safe temperatures (cold foods below 40 °F and hot foods above 140 °F) until partygoers are ready to eat it.

Tip 5: Keep Track of Time. Keep track of how long items have been sitting on the buffet table and discard anything out longer than two hours. You never want to leave perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, eggs and casseroles in the “Danger Zone” over two hours. The danger zone is between 40 and 140 °F where bacteria multiply rapidly. After two hours, enough bacteria may have grown in your food to make partygoers sick. Exceptions to the danger zone include ready-to-eat items like cookies, crackers, bread and whole fruit. If you follow these tips, those enjoying your dish will not suffer a bout of food poisoning. -

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Stock up today on handouts on current prices + Free Shipping


MyPlate Healthy Eating Poster from Learning ZoneXpressNow is the time to stock up on handouts while they remain at their original price of $9.95. We want to let you know that starting January 1, 2015, the price of handouts will be $11.95, and the price of placemat handouts will be $16.95. Shipping rates will also increase at this time.

This is only our second price increase in 17 years, and the first to handouts, so you can be sure that we made this decision very thoughtfully. We know a price increase isn’t the best news, but we feel it’s necessary in order to improve your Learning ZoneXpress experience, while continuing to deliver the best value for educational resources.

Please accept this FREE SHIPPING coupon code to use on your next order.

Thank you so much for your continued support of Learning ZoneXpress.

USE COUPON CODE 141201 to receive FREE SHIPPING on your next order.

Expires 12/31/14. Not valid with any other offers. May not be applied to previous orders. One-time use only.

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Happy Family & Consumer Sciences Day

It’s a day to celebrate our hard working FACS teachers and colleagues! And what’s the best way to celebrate? By Dining in!

The American Association for Family & Consumer Sciences has everything you need to get started – and don’t worry if you’re just reading about it now – it really just celebrates whet you’re already doing and promoting!

For the first annual Family & Consumer Sciences Day, the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences will be asking families to prepare and eat a healthy meal together on December 3rd. December 3rd was chosen to honor AAFCS Founder Ellen Swallow Richards, first woman graduate of MIT. December 3rd is her birthday.

On this website, you’ll find everything you need to get involved and spread the word! Our goal is to reach 200,000 families, so please share this campaign widely.

Start by committing to “Dining In” on December 3rd!

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Dining in for Healthy Families: Cookbook from Owatonna High School

How is our hometown of Owatonna celebrating Family and Consumer Sciences Day? We’re glad you asked and we’re happy to share the news from the local newspaper, the Owatonna People’s Press

“A few weeks ago, I asked them each to bring in two recipes,” said FACS teacher Connie Pittmann on Tuesday. “Some brought pasta, sides, salads. Some brought desserts. I just handed them today our class cookbook, so we typed them all together.”

The recipes were collected and then published in a cookbook with the theme “Dining in for Healthy Families.” Pittmann said the theme may change in the years following. Nonetheless, the FACS department will be participating every year around this time here on out she said.

On Dec. 3, students will take the cookbook home and make a healthy meal with their family. This day was proclaimed as Family and Consumer Sciences Day in Minnesota by Gov. Mark Dayton and the national organization has set a goal of 200,000 families across the country preparing and enjoying a healthy meal together.

We love the idea! It might be too late for other schools to create a clever cookbook – but not too late to have students find recipes to Dine In to recognize Family and Consumer Science Day on December 3!

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Dine In with FACS on December 3

We wanted to pass on the following invitation from AAFCS…

Dear Minnesota Professionals,! !

As announced at the AAFCS Affiliate Leadership Workshop this month, AAFCS is launching the first annual Family & Consumer Sciences Day!!

The theme is “Dining In” for Healthy Families, and the goal of the campaign is to encourage 200,000 families to make and eat a healthy meal together.  December 3rd was chosen as Family & Consumer Sciences Day to honor family and consumer sciences pioneer and AAFCS founder Ellen Swallow Richards (December 3rd is her birthday).  Many activities are planned for that day, including conducting live interviews with family meal-related experts.

To reach our goal of 200,000 families, we need the engagement of our affiliates!  We know that some of you have already “taken flight” with ideas and are implementing actions.  Wonderful!!  We’ve developed a Family & Consumer Sciences website with tools to participate in the campaign, including specific ideas for affiliates and related organizations.

Family & Consumer Sciences Day is also an opportunity to showcase the important work of your affiliate and members—think about ways your affiliate can increase the visibility of our field!

If you’re ready to commit to “Dining In” on December 3rd, please complete the form now!  The interactive map (updated daily) will be a visual clue as to the activity level geographically.
 We look forward to working with you on this campaign and reaching our “Dining In” goal of 200,000!  If you have any questions about the campaign, please email Gwynn Mason, AAFCS communications director, at

Thanks in advance for your promotion of Family & Consumer Sciences Day and “Dining In”!

Warm regards,


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Stock Up with Great Savings: Winter Sale on Nutrition Educational Supplies

Need to stock up on posters, handouts, incentives, DVDs and more before the end of the year?  We have a great selection of sale items to choose from with FANTASTIC discounts up to 40% off!  Now’s the time to stock up and save!

LZX holiday sale


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LZX introduces RelationShapers: Tri-Folds to promote healthy relationships

Everybody deserves to be in a healthy relationship. Sometimes it can be hard to determine whether or not your relationship is healthy or unhealthy. Learning ZoneXpress has created a series of tri-fold brochures called RelationShapers™. 


These informative and easy to read brochures promote healthy relationships and raise awareness of sexual violence and domestic violence and offer helpful information on how to prevent it.  Our educational products give individuals the tools to recognize and build healthy relationships and avoid unhealthy and abusive situations.

Four Important Signs of a Healthy Relationship Tri-Fold Brochures

Four Important Signs of a Healthy Relationship Tri-Fold Brochures
Item #210227

Conflicts Without Violence Tri-Fold Brochures

Conflicts Without Violence Tri-Fold Brochures
Item #210224

Anger and Parenting Tri-Fold Brochures

Anger and Parenting Tri-Fold Brochures
Item #210223

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Rethinking the Happy Meal? Learning ZoneXpress has healthy happy meal incentives!

Sweet Potato Foodscapes NotepadsThe Washington Post asks us to rethink Happy Meals

Since the 1970′s, when the Happy Meal was developed by a Midwestern advertising executive, McDonald’s has made incentivizing food choices something of an art form. The little box of fast-food calories with a little toy surprise has proven to be so appealing to children that in 2010 San Francisco passed a law prohibiting toys from being sold with meals that fail to meet certain nutritional standards.

Now, researchers are looking at ways of using a similar model to get kids to choose fruits and vegetables with their school lunches.

At Learning ZoneXpress, we’ve been reframing happy meal incentives for years. Here are  a few samples…

Moose Foodscapes Temporary TattoosMoose Foodscapes Temporary Tattoos
Promote nutrition with fun food character tattoos. Ideal for contest prizes and incentives.
Directions for tattoo application and removal on reverse side.
Set of 100. Size: 1.5″ x 1.5″.
This product contains small parts. Not intended for children under age 3.
The Moose Tattoos are a great incentive or prize.
Price: $18.95 

Super Deluxe Healthy Choices Prize Box
Super Deluxe Healthy Choices Prize BoxReward healthy behavior without sweets with fun and colorful incentives from the Super Deluxe Healthy Choices Prize Box. More than 1,500 incentives and giveaways included in this prize box – all in an easy-to-store carrying case!
The Super Deluxe Healthy Choices Prize Box includes:
100 Fruit & Veggie Farm Bookmarks (910084)
100 Healthy Snacks Bookmarks (910086)
100 Active Kids MyPlate Bookmark (910092)
100 Fruit & Vegetables Beyond Bookmarks (9160)
300 Foodscapes Temporary Tattoos (9558)
200 Foodscapes Stickers (906100)
200 Foodscapes II Stickers (9062)
200 Foodscapes Universal Stickers (9064)
200 Healthy Eating Stickers (916501)
8 Plush Garden Heroes Characters (Pear, Cantaloupe, Eggplant and Spinach)
Price: $129.95 

Sweet Potato Foodscapes Notepads
Write nutritious notes featuring creative food characters with these note pads. Great for incentives, giveaways and gifts.
20 packs of note pads, 50 sheets per pad
Dimensions: 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″
The Sweet Potato Notepads are a great incentive or prize.
Price: $19.95 

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