Saturday, December 4, 2010

Such a wonderful week ... it almost felt like Christmas

From my perspective, so many cool things - big and little - happened in child nutrition last week that it felt like Christmas had come early this year.

The biggest news, by far, was the passage on Thursday of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. While it will take a while for the dust and regulations to settle in, the new bill has some significant benefits for several child nutrition programs - which I plan to discuss here over the coming months. FRAC has provided a thorough side-by-side analysis comparing the new legislation to the current law.

While not as far-reaching as child nutrition legislation, the American Academy of Pediatrics published a very important clinical report this week: Identification and Management of Eating Disorders in Children and Adolescents. The article addresses an issue of critical and growing concern - eating disorders among young people - and also discusses the largely unrecognized connection between childhood obesity and eating disorders. I will certainly be discussing the implications of this publication in the next few weeks.

Last week was also a good week in my professional world ... first, with the publication of an article about a best practice for schools. Scheduling Recess Before Lunch: Exploring the Benefits and Challenges in Montana Schools was published online in the Journal of Child Nutrition and Management, from the School Nutrition Association.
This study provides valuable information about the potential benefits and challenges of Recess Before Lunch (RBL), which can be used by child nutrition professionals to support school wellness efforts and to encourage implementation of RBL as an effective school-wide wellness strategy.

School Meals That Rock, the Facebook page that I started in reaction to Jamie Oliver's attack on school lunch, topped 1,000 likes this week. From the beginning ...
The goal of collecting School Meals That Rock is simple. I want to showcase all the AMAZING things that school nutrition folks are doing from Maine to Montana and Michigan to Mississippi. I know that millions of delicious, nutritious, local, fresh, kids-friendly meals are being served every day across America – and I want to collect the photos that tell this story.

I got to visit another school doing amazing things this week - University High School in Philadelphia - photos and description to be published next week on School Meals That Rock.

A note about recent food art:
I want to acknowledge Sandra Frank, EdD, RD as the designer. Her work is free for use by dietitians. For more options, visit Sandra Frank Food Art. THANKS!

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