August 2019 | 1-888-376-7136
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Green Spaces Improve Mental Health


Green spaces are those with vegetation designated for recreational or aesthetic purposes, and there is significant new research indicating that green space can provide mental health benefits.

One study by PNAS noted a 55% higher risk of psychiatric disorder development in children who had the lowest exposure to green space as compared to other children in the same study. Beyond just parks in communities, there are many other settings where green space can be incorporated to maximize citizens’ well-being. For instance, a hospital design might include a rooftop green space that promotes physical activity and social interaction – both of which can positively affect mental health outcomes. Read more on the benefits of green spaces here.

Emotional Eating – What Is It?

Emotional eating is a coping mechanism where individuals use food as a way to manage their emotions, and hunger cues are typically not respected.

Oftentimes emotional eating is associated with negative connotations, whereby something adverse happens and an individual’s response is to eat as a way to cope. While emotional eating can be due to negative feelings, people should understand that it covers much more. Emotional eating can be linked to positive life occurrences as well, and each individual has an underlying learned emotional eating pattern and their own “comfort foods.” While food is meant to be enjoyable and pleasurable, there may be instances of emotional eating that leave a person feeling bad. This is typically true in the case where an individual uses food to cope with a negative feeling, where once the enjoyment of the food is over, the underlying negative issue still remains to be dealt with. Below is a comparison by of the characteristics of physical versus emotional hunger. Understanding the mechanics behind emotional eating can be complex. Working with a therapist and a registered dietitian can help in making strides with this issue.

Physical hunger

• Comes on gradually and can be postponed

• Can be satisfied with a variety of foods

• Is more likely to allow you to stop eating when you're full

• Doesn't cause feelings of guilt


Emotional hunger

• Feels sudden and urgent

• Causes more specific cravings

• Is more likely to cause to eat more than you normally would

• Can cause guilt afterward

Pantry Meal Lifesavers

Easy, quick and budget friendly recipes can be found in your pantry. Sometimes it can be hard to think of pantry meals as opportunities to assemble balanced meals, but with a little creativity it can be achieved.

Some items to keep stocked in your pantry include canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned tuna, canned chicken, oats, pasta, quinoa, rice, a variety of beans and nut butter.

Drained canned fruit can be added to plain yogurt to make a parfait, can be mixed into oatmeal or added to sparkling water and ice for a refreshing summertime drink.

While nut butter is usually found in between two slices of bread, you can also add it to oatmeal for a little extra protein and fat to keep you satiated. Try adding peanut butter to whole wheat pasta or rice noodles with a little bit of low sodium soy sauce, and serve with sautéed frozen veggies (like this Japanese blend) for a Thai-style stir fry.

Beans are also pretty versatile and diverse – from black to garbanzo, pinto to navy. Try switching out one type of bean for another to add a new twist on an old recipe favorite. For instance, take a bean of your choice (rinse canned beans to lower sodium), and mash in a bowl with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, and vinegar to make hummus.

At the very least, you may find yourself warming a can of green beans as a green side to dinner and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!

About is the only web-based system of its kind.
  • Hotlunch is used by schools across North America! With you can easily manage school lunch administration, publish lunch menus online, receive payments and reduce the time spent on managing parent transactions including fundraising, after school care, volunteers and much more.

  • See for yourself!
    Request a Software Demo
    Call 1-888-376-7136 or
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set5-icon-speak Mobile App Launched!
  • is excited to announce that we will have launched our new mobile app for IOS mobile phones! You will now be able to order and track your children's meals on the go.

    You can look for Hotlunch app in Apple App Store or download it here.

  • image1 is program of choice for Fuel Up!

    We are proud to announce that the New Westminster Schools School District 40 selected as the partner of choice to administer their Fuel Up! Nourishment Program.
    Our program tracks Nutrition Information, Calorific values, Allergens and intake values, our monthly newsletter focuses on children's nutrition making us ambassadors for healthy eating and an ideal partner to administer school nutrition programs.

    Protecting your childs information is now PIPEDA and FIPPA compliant. We now meet the data hosting, sharing and encryption standards set by both these Canadian Privacy acts.
    You can read more about them on the links below and ensure you are meeting these standards with your school data. For more information please,
    email: [email protected] or
    call: 1-888-376-7136

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    About the author
    Cheyenne Richards
    Cheyenne Richards is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a private practice team that provides nutrition counseling across the U.S. and as far as Germany. She attended the University of Oklahoma where she received her Bachelor's, after which she earned her M.B.A. in Austin, Texas. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is an American Council on Exercise Certified Health Coach. When not working, Cheyenne enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, cooking, gardening, and other outdoor activities..
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