May 2017 | | 1-888-376-7136

[Volume 9, Issue 5]

Probiotics Are Popular, But What Do They Do?

Probiotics are friendly bacteria that live in your digestive tract. You need them because they keep the bad bacteria (and other microbes) in check and they help produce vitamin K that your body needs for normal blood clotting.

Several foods, such as yogurt, pickled and fermented foods contain various strains of probiotic bacteria that consumers believe will take up residence in the digestive system after eating those foods. That's good. And you can also get probiotics as dietary supplemets. But do all these 'good bugs' really help?

People love probiotics, but do they really help?

This news story from The Washington Post discusses the emerging science of the 'gut microbiome.' Although many of the foods that contain probiotic bacteria are food fro you, it's not clear how much of that has to do with the probiotics.

Basically, it's hard to know who's going to feel any benefit from consuming any types of probiotics, but they certainly won't hurt you. Of course, if you want a healthy digestive system, it's also important to eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits, veggies and plenty of fiber.
Why Kids Need to Keep Active This Summer

Summer break is coming up fast and for a lot of kids that means a serous amount of couch potato time. The problem is, even a short break from being physically active can cause problems.

Just 2 weeks on the couch can trigger body's decline

This article from HealthDay talks about a new study that shows how young people start to lose muscle mass and gain fat around their abdominal organs in as little as two weeks. Their fitness levels dropped in that time too. The good news is that returning to an active lifestyle can reverse the trend.

What to do at school:

  • Tell the kids to keep busy during the summer - what kind of activities can they do?
  • Keep yourself busy if you have the summer off (or if you're bound to a desk).
  • Teach students about the importance of physical activity.
Fast Casual Restaurant Foods Have More Calories Than Fast Foods

Fast food meals are known to be high in calories per serving so consumers will often choose fast casual restaurants with the idea of consuming better foods and less calories. But, one study shows that meals at places like Panera Bread and Chipotle are higher in calories than typical fast food entrees.

Fast casual restaurant entrées higher in calories than fast food

This story from Science Daily describes a study don't at the University of Carolina. The researchers looked at calorie counts of typical meals at fast casual restaurants and compared them to established fast food meals.
Fast casual dining is a new category. It's still fast and you order your food at a counter, but it's not the standard burger and fries or fried chicken menu that we typically associate with fast foods.

These restaurants often promote themselves as healthier options but maybe not – at least as far as calories go.

What to do at school:

  • Talk about food quality, calorie counts and what makes a healthy meal.
  • Have kids look up the calorie counts and nutrition information for fast casual restaurants.
  • Talk about healthier options that kids (and adults) can find on those menus.
Nutrition Myths and What You Need to Know

Following a healthy diet isn't always easy. So many sites offer not-so-scientific advice and the whole process can be quite confusing. All the misinformation has led to many nutrition myths. There are many, but let's start with four of them.

To improve your diet, know these four food myths

This news story The Washington Post covers four common diet and food myths. For example, did you know that you shouldn't cut back on your fruit intake when you're trying to cut back on sugar? In fact, the opposite may be true – eating fresh fruit can help you reduce your overall sugar intake. Just because of fruit juices because without the fiber of regular fresh fruit, the sugar intake can go up quickly. Read on for more myth-busting.

Preventing Food Waste

Food waste is a big problem in the United States. It costs a lot of money and wastes a lot of resources. In fact, about one-third of the foods we buy end up in the garbage. So it may be bad for the environment and it wastes money. And there's more:

Wasted nutrients: The result of widespread food waste

This news story from Science Daily tells us why tossing uneaten food into the garbage isn't only bad for your wallet. You're also missing out on key nutrients. The news story describes a study that finds a load of nutrients are lost when you toss food out.

What to do at school:

  • Talk about why not wasting food is good for a family budget.
  • In foods classes, discuss ways to use left overs as part of new meals.
  • And talk about preserving foods so they don't go uneaten.
About is the only web-based system of its kind. Take a look at these testimonials to see how made an impact for these schools.

  • With you can publish lunch menus online, receive payments and automate administration of your Hotlunch at school.

  • has been used by schools all over the nation to manage after school care, volunteer recruitment, capital campaigns and much more!

  • Manage multiple schools, nutrition information, reduced fee lunches, inventory and much much more

  • Faster Reports, and easier access, you can be up and running in less than an hour.

  • Ask us how today. Call 1-888-376-7136 or email [email protected]
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About Shereen Lehman

Shereen Lehman is a health and nutrition writer with two decades of experience counseling people on nutrition and diet. She has a master's degree in human nutrition and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Shereen writes about nutrition for the large website (, is co-author of Superfoods for Dummies ( and Clinical Anatomy for Dummies (