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By: Katie Burns   Date: 3/30/10

Last week I joined food safety educators and experts from around the globe in Atlanta for the 2010 Food Safety Education Conference.  My time at the conference flew by, but due to the incredible amount accomplished and learned there, it is hard to believe I was there only a week.  While it is difficult to whittle my newfound wisdom down to a few “key takeaways,” I decided to pick my three favorite pieces of knowledge from the conference for those of you unable to attend.

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Note: As part of National Nutrition Month, we'll be highlighting tips from our Registered Dietitians around the theme of "Nutrition from the Ground Up." For more info see our kickoff post or visit ADA's National Nutrition Month page.

By: Kerry Robinson, RD   Date: 3/29/10

March is National Nutrition Month® and here at the International Food Information Council Foundation, we’ve reflected on many of this year’s themes, including tips to increase fruit and vegetable intake and ways to enhance variety in the diet. Today I’m discussing the theme “look locally” and how it intersects with nutrition and building a healthful diet.

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Note: As part of National Nutrition Month, we'll be highlighting tips from our Registered Dietitians around the theme of "Nutrition from the Ground Up." For more info see our kickoff post or visit ADA's National Nutrition Month page.

By: Christa Eimers, Dietetic intern, St. Louis Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center  Date: 3/26/10

Mmm, food. It is the song of the soul. At least for some of us (chicken soup anyone?). At other times, creating something appetizing, not to mention “healthy”, can be a daunting task. This is especially true after a long day of work with no concrete plans for what healthful and scrumptious food will be served up for the family dinner that night. For those of us (myself included) trying to provide a balanced meal for our families while still keeping our waistlines in check, it doesn’t have to be an uphill battle.

Healthful eating is not just about mindlessly shoveling down foods we call “healthy”. It is about listening to our internal cues and learning to enjoy and savor food. But that poses an interesting question: How do you enjoy food?

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By: Ann Bouchoux   Date: 3/26/10

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the recent release and promotion of a new study that claims to show that when rats consumed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) they gained significantly more weight than those that consumed table sugar.  Given that there is already considerable confusion about sugars in general and HFCS in particular, it is not surprising that researchers would want to learn more about the subject. Unfortunately, rather than clarifying the issue, the study (published online in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior) seems to have added to the confusion.

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By: Eric Mittenthal   Date: 3/22/10

This past weekend I had the unique opportunity to attend and present at the first ever Fitbloggin conference.  The conference which was arranged by Roni Noone of Roni’s Weigh was an opportunity for health, fitness and nutrition bloggers to come together, talk shop and connect in a new way.  I have to admit, I’ve been to conferences before, but this one was unlike any other I’ve come across.

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Note: As part of National Nutrition Month, we'll be highlighting tips from our Registered Dietitians around the theme of "Nutrition from the Ground Up." For more info see our kickoff post or visit ADA's National Nutrition Month page.

By: Elizabeth Rahavi, RD   Date 3/19/10

Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet doesn’t mean having to eat things that you don’t like. The key is to understand that you have choices when it comes to getting your recommended intake of fruits and veggies.
 
Getting the most flavors from your favorite—or even less loved—fruits and vegetables doesn’t have to involve heavy-duty preparation, but some people find that different cooking methods add appeal. For example, I’m not one to enjoy raisins as a cold snack, but some raisins added into wild rice with chopped apples, walnuts, and cilantro sounds delightful.

Need some inspiration? Here are 5 reasons to help you get you started eating more fruits and vegetables today:

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By: Tony Flood   Date: 3/18/2010

My friends sometimes tease me about my aversion to shellfish when they indulge in a seafood dinner with shrimp or crab, but I refuse to eat anything with even the hint of a shrimp in it!  When out to eat or attending a party, I’ve had to ask, “Does this have shellfish in it?”   The response is often, “Why, are you allergic?” 

Yes.  I do have a food allergy specifically to crustacean shellfish.  Whenever I accidentally eat things like shrimp or crab my body produces antibodies towards the protein in those foods.  Potent chemicals and other cell products released by the body actually cause the symptoms seen in an allergic reaction.  It’s something I experienced just last week while out trying a new restaurant.  There must have been some crab that came in contact accidentally with my chicken dinner.  The experience spurred me to learn more about the importance of food allergy awareness and education. I recently learned from the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) that food allergy is an increasing public health issue here in the U.S, affecting approximately 12 million Americans like myself, And for some, unfortunately they can be potentially life threatening.  That’s scary news, however, I’ve learned to empower myself and those around me when it comes to food allergies.

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By: Lindsey Loving Date: 3/17/10

Get out your green knickers and shake hands with a leprechaun, for everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s Day! Aside from the traditional fare of Irish stew and soda bread, you might find yourself enjoying some green foods this St. Patrick’s Day—perhaps green popcorn or beer, and maybe even some spinach for good measure. But what does it really mean to “eat green”?

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By: Kerry Robinson, RD Date: 3/15/10

The ingredients in our food have many functions, from helping to ensure a safe, shelf-stable food product, to adding or enhancing flavor. Food scientists and manufacturers want to create food that is appealing to consumers, in terms of how it looks, smells, tastes, and feels; however, food safety is their top priority.  

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By: Jennifer Schleman, APR   Date: 3/11/10

What moms around the world have known for years, scientists have now proven. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, having a positive impact on nutrient intake, especially whole grains, low-fat and fat-free dairy, and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. Breakfast eaters also have better cognitive and academic performance, the tendency to better control their weight control, and have a positive impact on their overall health.  According to our 2009 Food & Health Survey, 93 percent of Americans agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet less than half (44 percent) are eating breakfast everyday. 

To help celebrate National School Breakfast Week, the International Food Information Council Foundation has launched a new consumer Breakfast Resources page on www.FoodInsight.org.

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As part of RD day and the RD day blogfest, each of the International Food Information Council Foundation's RDs is highlighting a key message and also what we've learned about messaging as communicators.  Visit our main blog page for all 5 posts and see below for links to other blogfest participants.

By: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RD   Date: 3/9/10

If I had to choose a nutrition message I would tell dietitians to make your messages have real I.M.P.A.C.T

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As part of RD day and the RD day blogfest, each of the International Food Information Council Foundation's RDs is highlighting a key message and also what we've learned about messaging as communicators.  Visit our main blog page for all 5 posts and see below for links to other blogfest participants.

By: Elizabeth Rahavi, RD   Date: 3/9/10

Now more than ever, my favorite nutrition message for RDs is: To focus on the positive, put food back in nutrition and make it fun for people. 

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As part of RD day and the RD day blogfest, each of the International Food Information Council Foundation's RDs is highlighting a key message and also what we've learned about messaging as communicators.  Visit our main blog page for all 5 posts and see below for links to other blogfest participants.

By: Kerry Robinson, RD   Date: 3/9/10

My favorite message to consumers: Clean, separate, cook, and chill.

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As part of RD day and the RD day blogfest, each of the International Food Information Council Foundation's RDs is highlighting a key message and also what we've learned about messaging as communicators.  Visit our main blog page for all 5 posts and see below for links to other blogfest participants.

By: Kris Sollid, RD   Date: 3/9/10

In honor of RD day, March 10, 2010, I salute all my fellow dietitians.  Whether you work in clinical, community, consumer, food industry, policy, business or research environments, you all communicate a variety of important nutrition messages.  However, if I could only choose one message, I would say “increase fruit and vegetable intake”.  I say this because this message was conveyed to me very early in life, and I’ve been the beneficiary of its life-long-positive impact.

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As part of RD day and the RD day blogfest, each of the International Food Information Council Foundation's RDs is highlighting a key message and also what we've learned about messaging as communicators.  Visit our main blog page for all 5 posts and see below for links to other blogfest participants.

By: Marianne Smith-Edge, MS, RD   Date: 3/9/10

My message for RDs is: To be the change you wish to see in others!

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Editors Note: Today is the start of National School Breakfast Week.  Later this week, we'll be highlighting some of the Foundation's own breakfast resources, but first we wanted to highlight more on what the week is all about.

By:  Dora Rivas, MS, RD, SNS; School Nutrition Association President; Executive Director of Child Nutrition Services for Dallas ISD (Tex.)   Date: 3/8/10

Everyone can agree on the importance of breakfast to student achievement, yet too many children miss out on the most critical meal of the day. 

This week, in honor of National School Breakfast Week, the School Nutrition Association, with support from General Mills Foodservice, is hosting “School Breakfast – Ready Set Go!”  School cafeterias nationwide will participate in this campaign to teach students about the importance of school breakfast and how it can prepare them for a busy day. 

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By: Kris Sollid, RD   Date: 3/5/10

Note: As part of National Nutrition Month, we'll be highlighting tips from our Registered Dietitians around the theme of "Nutrition from the Ground Up." For more info see our kickoff post or visit ADA's National Nutrition Month page.

More than most, I am a creature of habit.  And I am definitely not a morning person.  There’s just something about rising and shining that screams for simplification.  Every morning my alarm goes off at the same time, I drive the same route to the metro station, park my car in the same spot, get on the same metro car (hopefully there’s a seat!), and when I get to work, I drink the same Starbucks coffee and choose the same spot in the fridge to put my lunch.  Any of this sound familiar?  I suppose we’re all creatures of habit to some degree.

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By: Marianne Smith-Edge   Date: 3/4/10

Note: This week the International Food Information Council Foundation is officially kicking off its Healthy Aging initiative, one of our top priorities for 2010.  As the Baby Boomer generation tries to age gracefully while also sometimes caring for their own families, the Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness of anything people can do to age healthfully. Over the next year and beyond we'll be producing a variety of helpful information for consumers as well as looking to partner with other organizations to better reach this key population. 

Living Well, living longer…a philosophy that we can all agree upon, especially for those of us in the Boomer generation! As Boomers, we have changed the landscape along the way due to our sheer volume and health care is no exception! Despite our “forever young” attitude, the reality is…if we do want to live well during our 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond, our attention to lifestyle is a must.

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By: Shelley Feist, Executive Director, Partnership for Food Safety Education   Date: 3/3/10

One Hundred Fifty Two billion dollars a year: That’s the health related cost of food borne illness in the U.S. according to a new report by former FDA economist Robert L.Scharff, PhD. The report is an important contribution to the under-resourced area of research into foodborne illness and its’ impact on Americans.

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By: Marianne Smith-Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA   Date: 3/1/10

March is here…a time that reminds us that spring is around the corner and it’s National Nutrition Month® as designated by the American Dietetic Association. During March, take the time to dust off those 2010 healthy eating resolutions and begin anew! This year’s theme, “Nutrition from the Ground Up” reminds everyone that an easy way to focus on eating better is to start with the basics: build your nutritional health from the ground up. We all know that a healthful diet means choosing more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy, but the thought of a complete diet overhaul is a daunting task at time! So where do we begin? 

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