The FDA is investigating changes to Food Labels

Read Food Labels PamphletThe Food and Drug Administration is looking into changing how they label foods. One of the biggest changes is more realistic measurements – for example, they now give nutritional information on 20 ounces of soda on a 20-ounce bottle, rather than listing information for 8 ounce servings. After all, if you have purchased a 20 ounce bottle, you probably plan to drink 20 ounces. It makes perfect sense. Also there are just some small changes that make the labels easier to read – bigger letters and better organization.

CNN details some of the nutritional changes…

The proposed labels would remove the “calories from fat” line you currently see on labels, focusing instead on total calories found in each serving. Nutritionists have come to understand that the type of fat you’re eating matters more than the calories from fat. As such, the breakdown of total fat vs. saturated and trans fat would remain.

Put down that doughnut: FDA takes on trans fat

The proposed labels would also note how much added sugar is in a product. Right now, it’s hard to know what is naturally occurring sugar and what has been added by the manufacturer.

“Now when Americans pull a product from the supermarket shelf, they will have a clear idea of how much sugar that product really contains,” American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said.

The changes aren’t a sure thing yet – it’s still in the works, but we wanted to send a heads up…

With this announcement, the FDA has opened a 90-day comment period, during which experts and members of the public can provide input on the proposed rules. The FDA will then issue a final rule. Officials said they hope to complete the process this year.

Manufacturing companies will then have two years to implement the changes.

Nutrition labels have remained pretty much the same for decades. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that most food labels listed any nutrition information.

We’re keeping an eye on the changes and are already working on researching updates to our range of products on reading food labels. We’ll be sure to post any updates we learn about.

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Movie Monday: School Breakfast Benefits stickers.

Learning ZoneXpress has a wide range of learning materials that speak to the importance of breakfast. Well and the importance of a healthy breakfast — as adults, teachers, public health care workers, we understand the difference between a balanced MyPlate breakfast that features fruit and vegetables, whole grains and protein and a quick bite of yesterday’s pizza. We have materials that help kids recognize the difference too.

We’ve also worked on incentives that will help make younger kids feel good about having a healthy school breakfast — with our set of School Breakfast Benefits stickers. The stickers carry one of four messages:

  • Achieve More with School Breakfast
  • Power Up with School Breakfast
  • Test Your Best with School Breakfast
  • Wake Up to School Breakfast

The stickers come 200 to a roll. And while they are designed for early grade school and elementary age students — we’ve found that all students enjoy them.

In the short term it simply provides an added incentive to enjoy breakfast — something fun to bring the students into the school lunch room early for a healthy breakfast. In the long term, to help students recognize the actual benefits of a healthy breakfast.

We have found that many school cafeterias have added these stickers to their new school breakfast standards plans. The school starts with a letter home to students describing the benefits of school breakfast — aimed at the parents. They include colorful poster or other messages in the school lunch rooms and seal the deal with these color stickers. That way the messages get to both students and parents.

Check out the stickers for yourself!

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FDA Summer Professional Development Program for Teachers

promoting-facs-guideA Fantastic Summer Opportunity for Science, Health, and Family and Consumer Science Teachers

Foodborne disease outbreaks and food recalls frequent the news. What organisms cause these diseases? What can an individual do to protect themselves from these diseases? What measures are being taken by the federal government to prevent transmission of these diseases?

Science, health, and family and consumer science teachers have an opportunity to provide inquiry-based lessons related to these outbreaks and recalls.  Lessons can be found in the curriculum Science and Our Food Supply developed jointly by FDA and NSTA. And, in order to prepare teachers to use these lessons, FDA provides a free multidimensional professional development program that will take place July 20 – 27, 2014 in Washington, DC. Included in the program are transportation to and from Washington and all housing and meal expenses.

During the program, selected teachers will participate in activities such as the following – meet with FDA and USDA scientists to learn about their current research on foodborne diseases; work with instructors at the microbiology lab at the University of Maryland to learn proper techniques to use in doing microbiology labs with their own students; and, tour USDA’s farm in Beltsville, MD.

Selected teachers are asked to implement the curriculum in their classrooms during the 2014 – 2015 school year and to do a workshop on the curriculum for other teachers.  All of the teachers will attend an Enhancement Training during the NSTA area conference in Long Beach, CA on December 4 – 6, 2014 – again, all expenses paid.

To apply on line – deadline April 25, 2014 – go to:

Our middle level and high school teacher guides are currently being revised. If you would like a PDF of either or both 2007 guides, just let me know and I will be glad to send either or both to you. We strongly suggest you review the guide before applying for the summer workshop.

For more information or to request the guides, contact Mimi Cooper at<>.

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New Product Announcement: Spanish Healthy Eating From Head to Toe Vinyl Banner

Learning ZoneXpress is pleased to unveil one of our newest education nutrition products –

Spanish Healthy Eating From Head to Toe Vinyl Banner

Spanish Healthy Eating From Head to Toe Vinyl BannerFuel your whole body by making healthy food choices for your whole body. The Spanish Healthy Eating from Head to Toe Vinyl Banner shows nutritious food choices grouped together by the parts of the body they benefit most, including your brain, hair, skin, teeth, bones, heart, muscles, eyes, and digestive system.

This banner can be hung on a wall or suspended from the ceiling for health fairs, cafeterias, clinic waiting areas, and classrooms.

Banner only option can be displayed hanging on a wall or suspended on the optional stand as a freestanding banner. Spanish Healthy Eating From Head to Toe Vinyl Banner with Stand combination is also available.

24” x 63” full color vinyl graphics with corner grommets. Banner only. Stand sold separately.

Translated in Spanish.

© 2014 Learning ZoneXpress

Item # 932231

Price: $83.95 

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MyPlate Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner” is back for 2014!

What a fun opportunity – please pass it on to any young chefs you know. Or maybe this could be used for some creative FACS homework assignments…

Together, with the help of their parents, children ages 8 – 12 years old are invited to submit an original lunch recipe inspired by MyPlate. They could win the chance to attend the Kids’ “State Dinner” hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Entries must be received by April 5, 2014 for a chance to win!

To learn more about this amazing opportunity and to enter the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, visit:

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Movie Monday: What’s the best tips for staying healthy at a fast food restaurant?

What’s the best tips for staying healthy at a fast food restaurant?

Learning ZoneXpress has developed the Tips to Eating Healthy Fast Food Handout with busy families in mind — because as well as being educators and nutritionists, we are parents. We know that sometimes we work late or hockey practice starts early or homework at the library takes longer than expected and on those nights we do the best we can with fast food.

The Tips to Eating Healthy Fast Food Handout highlights common fast food choices along with charts of comparative nutrition information to help you make informed food choices. Tips include choosing nutrient-rich drinks, watching portion size on fries, sensible sides, grilled vs. fried and more.

For example did you know there was a difference of 160 calories between some sauce options? A serving of mustard is 5 calories — the same serving of special sauce? 165 calories. It pays to know the difference!

Handouts are available in tablets of sheets. They are double-sided with English on one side and Spanish on the other. We also have an accompanying poster that’s available. They are perfect for waiting rooms, doctor’s office, school setting — even at playgrounds and community centers — anywhere busy families travel!

Find it on the Learning ZoneXpress website:

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New Product Announcement: 5 Minute Health Sciences Activities

Learning ZoneXpress is pleased to unveil one of our newest education nutrition products –

5 Minute Health Sciences Activities

5 Minute Health Sciences ActivitiesIntroduce a lesson or utilize extra minutes of class time with fifty quick and effective activities that get students thinking about all aspects of health care and sciences. 5 Minute Health Sciences Activities is an essential health classroom resource filled with creative, fun, and thought-provoking activity ideas that will get students thinking about health sciences. Activity topics include:
• Medical Ethics
• Diseases, Illness, and Conditions
• Health Care Services and Careers
• Health Care Topics
• Medical Tools and Equipment
• Body Systems
• Medical Abbreviations and Terminology
• Nutrition and Health

5 Minute Health Sciences Activities are quick, easy, and memorable activities to break the ice, fill extra minutes of class time, and get students excited to learn. Each activity is calculated to last 5-10 and are perfect for introducing lessons, reinforcing earlier learning, or to conclude a lesson.

5 1/2” x 8 1/2”, spiral bound, 50 activities

Written by Mary Larson-Kennedy, MS, CFCS

© 2014 Learning ZoneXpress

Item # 120019

UPC: 846742005190

Price: $29.95 

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Food Literacy Quiz from Nourish Life

You think you know about food? We challenge you to check out the Food Literacy Quiz by Nourish Life. It’s a fun test for all ages. Check it out – have your students check it out. You may be surprised by what you know and what they think!

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Movie Monday: Recovering Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa DVD

Eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa are not on the decline. They are as prevalent as ever, which is why Learning ZoneXpress has partnered with Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker Larkin McPhee to address the topic. Larkin is well known for her work with Dying to be Thin, a seminal film on eating disorders.

Our latest work together – Recovering: Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa – uncovers the challenges of coping with an eating disorder. It features experts in the field outlining symptoms, science behind the diseases and statistics. While real people recovering from the diseases talk frankly about their challenges coping with Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. Their stories are eye opening.

Questions discussed in the video include:

  • Who is at risk?
  • What sustains an eating disorder?
  • Why are eating disorders dangerous?
  • How are eating disorders treated?

The video has been well received. Midwest Book Review said…

Eating disorders affect people of all ages and races, but young women are the most at risk for these potentially deadly afflictions. Recovering: Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa teaches viewers about who is at risk for an eating disorder, what sustains eating disorders, why eating disorders are dangerous (and sometimes lethal), and how eating disorders are treated. An invaluable teaching tool about a serious social problem, Recovering: Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa is worthy of the highest recommendation.

The video is designed for all ages from Grade 7 to adult.

Also we want to remind folks about the Twitter conversation happening on Wednesday: 2-3:00. Use #StopSnark to participate in the conversation

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National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

recovering-anorexia-nervosa-and-bulimia-nervosa-dvdNational Eating Disorders Awareness Week is February 24 to March 2. This year’s NEDAwareness Week theme is “Everybody Knows Somebody” because awareness of eating disorders is certainly spreading.

We learned more about eating disorders working with Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker and host Larkin McPhee on her follow up to Dying to Be Thin - Recovering: Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. The DVD uncovers the challenges of coping with an eating disorder. It features experts in the field outlining symptoms, science behind the diseases and statistics. While real people recovering from the diseases talk frankly about their challenges coping with Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. Their stories are eye opening.

Check it out – and consider how you can spread the word. Or on Wednesday afternoon, from 12pm-1pm PT, join a live conversation on the media’s obsession with critiquing celebrity bodies and its impact on youth, with the National Eating Disorder Association’s Proud2BMe campaign. Use #StopSnark to participate in the conversation and ask questions of our panel!

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