Healthy Kids Challenge starts cooking up change

Challenging kids to create healthy recipes can provide lifelong healthier eating habits, according to Healthy Kids Challenge, a non-profit focused on building healthier lifestyles for families.

Del Monte logoHealthy Kids Challenge has teamed up with Del Monte and educational partners, Johnson & Wales University and the Home Baking Association to present the 9th annual Stirring Up Health recipe contest to promote healthy cooking.

The Stirring Up Health recipe contest aims to get middle school students into the kitchen.  There, they can learn to cook healthy foods, explains dietitian Sarah Wamsley, of the Healthy Kids Challenge. The contest challenges middle school students from across the country to develop or modify an existing recipe to make it healthier using Del Monte brand fruits, vegetables or tomatoes as a primary ingredient. Incorporating healthy baking as part of their creation is encouraged.

“Kids tend to have more of an interest in what they eat when they’re actually preparing it,” Wamsley said. “The goal, is to help more kids be able to say ‘I can do this. I can make something that really tastes good and is good for me.’”

Last year, over 5000 recipes were submitted with award winners chosen from Ohio to Hawaii. Contest winners receive prizes, including a school assembly with a professional chef from Johnson & Wales University and their very own “Chef for a Day!”

Entry forms and contest rules can be obtained at www.healthykidschallenge.org.  Contest closes March 12, 2011.

Binge drinking could hurt teens later in life

MSNBC reports on a new study showing that binge drinking during adolescence may permanently disrupt a person’s stress hormones, leading to mental disorders in adulthood.

A study found that rats exposed to high levels of alcohol in adolescence have altered stress responses in young adulthood. These changes could produce disorders like anxiety and depression, the researchers reported Nov. 15 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego.

Obesity growing healthy problem in Latino youth

My Latino Voice reports on health trends among Latino youth.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, overweight and obesity in children are significant and growing public health problems, and disproportionately affect certain minority youth populations, particularly African American and Latinos (with Mexican Americans leading Latino subgroups.)

African-American and Mexican-American adolescents ages 12 to 19 were more likely to be overweight, at 21 percent and 23 percent respectively, than non-Hispanic White adolescents (14 percent). In children 6 to 11 years old, 22 percent of Mexican American children were overweight, whereas 20 percent of African American children and 14 percent of non-Hispanic White children were overweight.  In addition to the children and teens who were overweight in 1999-2002, another 15 percent were at risk of becoming overweight.

Denver Public Schools “On the Move”

DPS is doing a good job of telling people what its doing to improve the health and wellbeing of young people. Read the latest issue of DPS On the Move.

White House to put up to 5,000 salad bars in schools

Grist Magazine reports on First Lady Michelle Obama’s planned Monday announcement regarding salad bars in schools. The First Lady is expected to announce a major new initiative that would place up to 5,000 salad bars in public schools nationwide, despite uncertainties over how local health inspectors might treat those salad bars and USDA nutrition-tracking rules that could prove a major impediment.