Thursday, January 12, 2012

Public Program: Tracking

Join the staff of Carolina Children's Garden on January 26, from 3:45-4:30 for an educational experience on tracking.  You will learn how to spot the signs animals leave behind, discover what animals have been visiting out tracking pit and make plaster casts of the tracks.  Ages 4-8.  Cost is: $2 per child.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Study Predicts Nationwide Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

A nationwide, penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would prevent thousands of heart attacks, strokes, cases of diabetes and premature deaths, helping avoid billions of dollars in medical costs over 10 years, according to a study published in Health Affairs. This is the first major study to predict how specific health problems and financial costs could be directly affected by such a tax.

Researchers at Columbia University and the University of California, San Francisco, calculated that a penny-per-ounce tax would reduce overall consumption of sugary drinks by 15 percent among adults ages 25 to 64. They also estimated that, between 2010 and 2020, it would prevent 2.4 million diabetes person-years (a measure that combines how many people have diabetes with how long each of those people lives with the disease), 95,000 cases of coronary heart disease, 8,000 strokes and 26,000 premature deaths. Their calculations indicate the change would help the nation avoid more than $17 billion in medical costs during those 10 years.

A penny-per-ounce tax would mean an extra 12 cents per can or 20 cents per bottle, a price increase of about 15 percent to 25 percent.

Monday, January 9, 2012

School Nutrition Success Story

Ohio Students Ask for More Spinach!

Sailorway Middle School’s cafeteria (Ohio) had been offering fresh fruits or vegetables every day for years, but when Cafeteria Manager Evie Hess realized many of the fourth graders weren’t taking the fresh produce, she knew it was time to mix up the menu.

So one day Evie ordered fresh strawberries and baby spinach and served them with low fat poppy seed dressing. Her assistant said, “No way are they going to eat this!” but the class scooped up every single serving and students were asking for more the rest of the week!

Evie knows you have to get creative if you want kids to try their fruits and veggies. She also serves pineapple tidbits with a sprinkling of blueberries and pairs sugar snap peas with cherry tomatoes for a colorful serving line. She still comes across students who don’t recognize the fresh foods she serves, but thanks to the school meal program, Sailorway students are learning to love their fruits and veggies.