Healthy Nutrition News

/ May 11th, 2011/ Posted in Nutrition & Diets / No Comments »

Lavaca School Honored In National Health Challenge

Lavaca Elementary School is the only Arkansas school to receive an award in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s HealthierUS Challenge, the Lavaca School District learned last week.

According to an email from Wanda Shockey, Arkansas Department of Education child nutrition director, to Lavaca school officials, the school is the first in the state to be so honored. The elementary received the USDA program’s Bronze Award.

Only 958 of the nation’s 93,000 schools have received a Bronze, Silver or Gold award, Shockey wrote. In this round, 252 schools from 17 states received awards. Lavaca will receive $500, a plaque and a large banner from the USDA.

The HealthierUS School Challenge is a voluntary national certification program that recognizes excellence in nutrition and physical activity, according to the USDA. A key component of first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative to raise healthier children, the HealthierUS program is designed to bring schools closer to compliance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations for school meals and foods.

“It’s kind of cool. … We work hard here, we really do,” Lavaca Superintendent Jared Cleveland said Friday.

The USDA award and certification though May 2015 is not the first recognition the district has received in recent months for its healthy practices.

In December, the Lavaca School Board was among six chosen statewide to receive the annual Arkansas Healthy School Board Award from the Arkansas Coordinated School Health Initiative.

Anne Sneed, Lavaca’s special projects coordinator, said the board was recognized for implementing wellness policies, health services, physical education programs, health education curriculum, nutrition/food services, staff/faculty wellness, tobacco prevention/cessation and staff training. Lavaca School Board advocacy led to:

◗ Restructuring the food-service program to include use of whole grains, low-fat milk and additional fresh vegetables. It resulted in an 8.64 percent increase in the district’s meal participation rate.

◗ Implementing the kindergarten through 12th-grade SPARK physical education curriculum, which engages students in structured activities during their PE classes. The school is designated as a SPARKPE Showcase School for the southeast region of the country.

◗ Implementing a water-only vending policy.

◗ Working to host a school-based wellness center at Lavaca Middle School. The wellness center addresses physical and mental well-being of students and also serves as a clinic for community and staff.

The Lavaca Wellness Center opened Jan. 3. Funded through a $175,000 Coordinated School Health and Wellness Center Initiative grant, its health services include eye and ear exams.

“We need to try to change learning conditions,” Cleveland said, noting that learning conditions differ at school and at home.

“My thing is you can truly interweave parental and school involvement. To encourage that, we try to instill healthy habits in students, … and kids in turn teach their parents,” he said.

The district’s Wellness Center provides the school a means to monitor and maintain students’ health. Healthy folks are happier folks, and healthy children learn better, Cleveland said.

Parents become involved because they care about their children’s health, he said.

“If we’re going to be the heart of the community, we want to be a healthy heart,” Cleveland said.

Cleveland credited Lavaca Child Nutrition Director Glynieta Price and her for the concept and development of the district’s healthy nutrition program.

Shockey said ADE’s Child Nutrition Unit worked with Price and her staff to modify menus to meet the HealthierUS requirements.

Cleveland said although only the elementary received the award, the healthy nutrition changes are district-wide. The entire district is being considered for an award at the Silver or Gold level, he said.

“We want the highest-quality food. Food that looks and smells and tastes good and that kids enjoy,” the superintendent said.

Changes include simple acts like moving to whole wheat bread, and more complicated changes like cooking from scratch, he said.

The changes also included changing the cafeteria’s environment to encourage socialization. Music plays in there now, and the students are encouraged to talk to one another.

The changes cost the district “just a hair more,” but it’s not trying to make money from its food program. Being budget-neutral is the goal, Cleveland said.

“We’re just trying, and it’s so nice to be recognized for our efforts, but we’d do it anyway because it’s for the kids,” Cleveland said.

Three Oklahoma schools were recognized in June 2009 with Gold HealthierUS awards – all of them from the Shawnee School District in Pottawatomie County just east of Oklahoma City. Their certification expires this month, according to the USDA.

The Indian food & beverage ingredients sector has been witnessing steady change. Rising awareness has shifted the focus of the industry to health from taste

Life of an average consumer today is changing constantly. Lifestyles are becoming fast paced and oriented towards convenience and solutions on- the- go. People are more aware of the interplay between the food they eat and the role it plays in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Armed with this self- knowledge, consumers are increasingly seeking food and beverages that enhance their health.

Further rapid improvement in f&b safety & quality norms is also pushing the food processors to think about healthy ingredients for their produce. On other hand industry is tackling to meet these demands with new product innovations, technologies and healthier food ingredients.

Mohan Gantra, managing director for Cloud 9, Goldwin Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, said, “In 2007-08, the health beverage segment in India had registered 50% growth rate with a market size of over Rs 500 crore. With this significant growth rate the Indian health segment would touch Rs 1,100 crore by 2012. The national market is gradually learning the world class trends of healthy eating. Little more time is required for the market to understand.”

“To make our Cloud 9 drink healthier we use natural energy boosters like Guarana, Ginseng Taurine, Pomegranate and “B” group vitamins which help keep your health in check. Gaurana is a rich natural source of caffeine which acts as a stimulant and increases mental alertness, stamina and physical endurance besides fighting fatigue. Ginseng builds mental and physical vitality and strengthens immunity, whereas Taurine work as a metabolic transmitter and also has a detoxifying effect and strengthens cardiac contractility. Pomegranate is a rich antioxidant which prevents free radicals from doing their damage and regulates oxidative stress. Pomegranate juice tends to act as an inhibitor on enzymes responsible for damaging cartilage.” Gantra said.

According to Frost & Sullivan, the global market for food ingredients was estimated to be worth roughly $25bn in 2007, and was expected to touch $30bn by 2010, demonstrating a growth rate for the market of 5-6% year on year. The Indian market has a low base when compared with the global market and was valued at $470m-475m for the year 2007, which is a meager 1.6% of the global market.

Says, Aditi Basu, senior consulting analyst for the chemicals, materials and foods practice, South Asia and Middle East for Frost & Sullivan, “Despite a low base, the scope of growth in the Indian food ingredients market is huge, given the current market size for processed foods in India, which stood at $72bn-75bn for the full year 2007-2008 and has been growing consistently at the rate of 9% year on year. The Indian food processing market is the fifth-largest market in the country and is a “sunrise sector” in India after IT. Further, growing urbanisation, changing lifestyles and the need for convenient healthy foods have ushered in a new category of functional and health foods that claim to be fortified with certain new-age health ingredients offering functional health benefits over and above the basic nutritional value of the foodstuff.”

“Today, India has become homeland for many fatal diseases like diabetes and asthma. Soya protein has been found to have a number of health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart diseases, cancer and osteoporosis, alleviating menopause problems and managing diabetes. Using soyabean as a key food ingredient will improve the nutritional status of children with a positive impact on anthropometrics and cognitive characteristics. The current health awareness will help persuade the masses to accept soyabean and its product in their daily diet,” Ricky Thaper, former consultant at the American Soyabean Association – International Marketing (ASA – IM) told F&B News.

Leading Players
Frost & Sullivan research says that there are over 50 significant market players in the Indian food ingredients market, including globally prominent ingredient companies, such as Danish group Danisco, Dutch group DSM, US group The Solae Company and Germany’s BASF, which have an entire portfolio of ingredient types. Big players have already established their presence in India. These companies operate out of their subsidiary offices in India. For most of the ingredient types, the market is fairly concentrated, with the leading players occupying nearly 60-70% of the market.

In India, food and beverage giants such as PepsiCo, Coca Cola, and Kellogg’s are drastically shifting their product portfolio to more nutritious and healthy products. Even Nestle India, a subsidiary of Nestle, is set to compete with other giants in the health foods category.

Currently, the key ingredients in the Indian market are food colours, flavours, sweeteners, antioxidants and antimicrobials, emulsifier and stabilizers. Their use in the processed food and beverage sector is indispensable. There are also a huge range of special ingredients like probiotics, prebiotics and bio-enzymes.

In addition, there are bulk ingredients like dairy, oils, fats, sugars, basic proteins, emulsifiers, acidulants, phytochemicals, sweeteners, flavours, colours, enzymes, meat seasonings, bakery mixes, fruit preps, vitamin/mineral pre mixes, etc. Other leading companies in the space are Grifith Labs, Pristine Organics, Cargill Flavours, AB Mauri, Sonarome ITC Colors and Phytotec Extracts to name a few.

Future Outlook
According to Frost & Sullivan and Confederation of Indian Food Trade and Industry (CIFTI), food wing of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the market is brimming with innovative products and is set to drive growth. There are scores of opportunities for novel product development and the growing demand for convenience foods is giving the segment a further fillip.

According to a report, consumers are expected to increase their spending on packaged foods by 56.5% per capita to $18billion by 2012. The market holds enormous growth potential for snack food, which is estimated to be worth $ 3 billion and growing at a rate of 8-20% annually. Juices and carbonated drinks are also high growth segment at 25% per year. The dairy industry, already the biggest in the world, is forecast to cross $108 billion in revenues by 2011. This will only see significant opportunities for the food ingredients market.

In addition to the growing middle class in India, urbanization, changing lifestyles and the need for convenient healthy foods is pushing the growth of the food ingredients market. As consumers evolve from a subsistence living, they invariably spend a large portion of their new income on food and as a result, they demand healthier food and beverage options. There is a catch though. Generating more income does not mean they are willing to sacrifice convenience. Consumers want healthier products but are unwilling to go out of their way to get it. This means that food and beverage manufacturers need to get creative. To offer nutrition at a convenience is one of the major reasons foods and beverage fortification is so important right now.

“Globally, food ingredients is a multibillion dollar industry and is fast expanding. Innovation in the food and beverage market, especially in the processed food domain, has created innumerable opportunities for new product development in the ingredients market as well,” Aditi Basu added.

The food ingredients sector is indicating ample prospects for growth. The segment is an obligatory factor for the growth of the food and beverage sector which is registering an annual growth rate of 14-16 %. Further the importance of healthy ingredients like soya isolate, whey protein concentrate, dietary fibres and Omega 3 fatty acids among others cannot be ignored. These ingredients are also driving the development of the wellness/ health foods industry to clock 20% growth annually.

5 healthy foods on the cheap

Grocery prices are going up, and the biggest increases sometimes seem to be for the healthier items. But you don’t have to sacrifice health for your budget. Here are five items that will feed your family inexpensively:

† Eggs: For 13 to 18 cents per egg, they pack a lot of nutrition, vitamin D and lean protein.

† Kale: At less than $1 a pound, kale is considered a super green nutritionally.

† Whole-grain pasta: For 10 cents to 40 cents per serving, this is a great source of fiber, which will fill you up.

† Apples: If you buy them bagged, each apple will cost roughly 40 cents.

† String cheese: The individual stick runs 18 to 35 cents per serving, is portable and contains calcium.

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