Nutrition Unscrambled

Leap Into Incredible Nutrition Education Opportunities-Good for Your Heart and Mind

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
February 29th, 2012

As we say goodbye to Heart Health Month and February, I am happy we have an extra day to celebrate yesterday’s successes and move onto National Nutrition Month tomorrow.

Yesterday afternoon ENC hosted a webinar presented by Jeff Volek PhD, RD and Kathleen Zelman MPH, RD. Over 450 health professionals joined to hear about Carbohydrate and Saturated Fat: Emerging Research and New Schools of Thought. The information was well-received and we’ll follow up with another post on some of the key takeaways and comments. The recorded webinar will also be available in the next week on the ENC website.

Last night I completed a Facebook forum with Ingles Supermarket. Leah McGrath, Ingles Registered Dietitian and I thought eggs would an incredible topic. Several people jumped on telling us what their favorite way to eat eggs, healthy foods they enjoy with eggs and the nutrients that felt were most important in eggs. It was an interactive evening and participants were really enjoyed learning new information from Incredible Edible Egg.

Facebook Forum With Ingles Market Tonight!

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
February 28th, 2012

Tonight we’ll be having a Facebook Forum (using the Incredible Edible Egg avatar) with the Ingles Supermarket. Join in the discussion, discuss health benefits, find out more about egg and share some of your favorite egg recipes. Be sure and “join” the event and be on the wall at 8 pm EST/ 7pm CT.

Have You Heard the Comment “No Time for the Gym”? Bring It Home

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
February 21st, 2012

A recent article discusses how easy it is to set up your own workout routine at home. It is easy with the technology and new fitness tools that allow for multitasking. You can even use things you have around the house as workout tools.
The article gives great tips and ideas for those who do not like the gym or feel like there is not time to get to the gym. Head home and get moving!

Nicole Nichols notes that it is affordable to create a set up at home and offers ideas such as using free videos on YourTube for workouts. See more from Nicole at the ACSM Health and Wellness Summit on Wednesday, March 28th for a presentation titled “Stronger, Healthier Boomers: The Role of Resistance Training and High-Quality Protein”. Join the Egg Nutrition Center (ENC) and experts Wayne W. Campbell, PhD and Nicole Nichols, BS Ed, ACE-CPT for an educational session on the latest research on protein and resistance exercise in the prevention of age-related muscle loss as well as tips and tools for working with older clients.

ENC’s Teacher Exchange Program Gaining Momentum

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
February 16th, 2012

Mid-December marked the first release of the Teacher Exchange Program to the American Association and Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) teachers. So far more than 330 educators from 30 states have joined the group. Three videos have been released on the website. In the first video Executive Director, Mitch Kanter discussed the details of the program and the second video with Dr. Ron Kleinman discussed the obesity epidemic. The third video highlighted a school with a successful Fit-Nut program combining a nutrition and physical activity class to teach students more about nutrition. This video is a perfect example of some of the tools ENC would like teachers to create as well as other educational materials that can be shared with the group. An additional press release promoting the program was released earlier in February, so we will provide updates as the program continues to expand. View the videos and other information about the ENC Teacher Exchange Program at

Register for ENC’s FREE Webinar Today!

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
February 14th, 2012

Register here:

What Health Professionals Eat for Breakfast

By Marcia Greenblum, MS, RD
February 10th, 2012

Seeing an article in Today’s Diet and Nutrition titled “What Nutrition Pros Eat for Breakfast”, made me think, “do health professionals eat the same as what they recommend to their patients?” The article also reminded me of a recent conversation I had with my MD.

To give my doctor credit, she is someone who follows current research and was well aware that eggs are not with heart disease and elevated serum cholesterol. However, she did agree that she noticed when she eats cereals or granola for breakfast she finds herself pretty hungry, at about 10am and needs a snack. Well, long story short, when I visited my doctor again this year for my physical I learned she now eats 2 eggs every morning for breakfast and skips her previously required 10 a.m. snack.

So are you a health professional that practices what you preach?

To see the article:

What Nutrition Pros Eat for Breakfast

Don’t skip breakfast! Nutrition professionals agree that starting your day with a nutritious meal is essential to weight management and overall health. We asked three registered dietitians to share their morning favorites to help you find the right options for your healthful lifestyle.

New School Meals Regulations:The Changes Ahead!

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
February 9th, 2012

Hi Readers! Today we have part two of Donna S. Martin’s, EdS, RD, LD, SNS blog post. Enjoy!


USDA built the new rule around recommendations from a panel of experts convened by the Institute of Medicine —a gold standard for evidence-based health analysis. The standards were also updated with key changes from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans – the Federal government’s benchmark for nutrition – and aimed to foster the kind of healthy changes at school that many parents are already trying to encourage at home, such as making sure that kids are offered both fruits and vegetables each day, more whole grains, and portion sizes and calorie counts designed to maintain a healthy weight.

The new standards are expected to cost $3.2 billion over the next five years — less than half of the estimated cost of the proposed rule and are just one of five major components of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, now implemented or under development that will work together to reform school nutrition. In addition to the updated meal standards, unprecedented improvements to come include:

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, says Rose, has issued the following new meal pattern that will become effective in the next school year:

Minimum/maximum calorie levels — Previously, only minimum calorie levels had been provided. The proposed minimum calorie levels are lower than current minimum standards. Some maximum calorie levels are lower than existing minimum calorie standards.

The breakfast meal pattern will consist of one cup of fruit, while no more than half of fruit offerings may be 100 percent juice; One to two ounces of meat/meat alternate; 1-2 servings of grains; and milk.
The daily lunch serving of vegetables must consist of 3/4 cup of vegetables for students in K-8; one cup of vegetables for students in 9-12; larger amounts of non-starchy vegetables may be offered; and one cup of leafy vegetables = 1/2 cup of vegetables. Over the course of a week, students must be served one cup maximum of starchy vegetables, such as white potatoes, corn and green beans; 1/2 cup of dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, collard greens and spinach; 1/2 cup of orange vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes and winter squash; 1/2 cup of legumes, such as kidney beans, lentils and chickpeas; and 1-1/4 to 2-1/2 cups of other vegetables, such as tomatoes, onions and green beans.

The daily lunch serving of fruit must consist of 1/2 cup for students in K-8; one cup for students in 9-12; no more than half of fruit offerings may be 100 percent juice; and 1/4 cup of dried fruit = 1/2 cup of fruit.
Additionally, 50 percent of all grains served must be whole grain by the first year, and by the second year all grains served must be whole grain; zero trans fat per serving; reduce sodium by 50 percent over 10 years; schools must use food-based menu planning approach and all components in meal patterns must be offered daily; K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 age/grade groups must be used; and students will be required to take a vegetable or fruit with their meal. They will be able to decline two food items at lunch and one food item at breakfast.
Fruits and vegetables will be two separate components at lunch effective 2012. Up to one half of the fruit component can be fruit juice (i.e., 1/2 of the 1 cup).

A sample lunch menu with a before and after comparison is available to view and download in PDF and JPG formats.

In California, more than 500 schools are already heading down the healthy track and have or are in the process of implementing many of the guidelines outlined the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture, according to the California Department of Education.

“We are still battling a childhood obesity epidemic and really the future health and well-being of children is going to be jeopardized in this epidemic,” Shayegh said. “This is definitely the right step in ensuring that kids have access to more healthy foods at school. We all welcome it. It’s been long overdue.”

New School Nutrition Standards Will Improve the Health and Wellbeing of 32 Million Kids Nationwide

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
February 8th, 2012

Hi Readers! Today we have Donna S. Martin, EdS, RD, LD, SNS, blogging. Enjoy!


First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled new standards for school meals that will result in healthier meals for kids across the nation. The new meal requirements will raise standards for the first time in more than fifteen years and improve the health and nutrition of nearly 32 million kids that participate in school meal programs every school day. The healthier meal requirements are a key component of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was championed by the First Lady as part of her Let’s Move! Campaign and signed into law by President Obama. These improvements to the school meal programs, largely based on recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine, are expected to enhance the diet and health of school children, and help mitigate the childhood obesity trend. The third of U.S. children who are overweight or obese contribute to an estimated $3 billion in direct medical costs.

Overview of the Final Rule from the USDA Regulations

1. All Schools must use Food Based Menu Planning.
2. Schools are to plan menus for breakfast and lunch using the following age groups: grades K-5, 6-8 and 9-12.
3. Fruits and vegetables will be two separate components at lunch. Students will be required to have a serving of fruits or vegetables (minimum ½ cup) on their tray in order for their meal to be considered reimbursable. Up to one half of the fruit component can be fruit juice (i.e., 1/2 of the 1 cup).
4. Districts must offer minimum quantities of all vegetable subgroups (dark green, red/orange, beans and peas, starchy and other) over the course of the week.
5. Initially, at least half of grains offered during week must be whole grain-rich. Beginning in SY 2014-15, all grains offered must be whole grain-rich (a whole grain-rich food must contain at least 51percent whole grains).
6. You can only offer plain or flavored fat-free milk and unflavored low-fat milk (1 percent or less) and you must include a variety.
7. Calories for lunch now include a minimum and a maximum range that is averaged over a week.
a. Grades K-5 (550-650 kcal)
b. Grades 6-8 (600-700 kcal)
c. Grades 9-12 (750-850 kcal)
8. Sodium levels now have intermediate target ranges to help schools reach final targets.
a. Target 1: SY 2014-2015
b. Target 2: SY 2017-2018
c. Final Target: SY 2022-2023 (minus 53% of current sodium levels)
9. Weekly average requirements for nutrient analysis are calories, sodium and saturated fat.
10. School reviews starting in 2013-14 will be every 3 years. The reviews will evaluate a one week period of lunch and breakfast.
11. 0 grams of “added” trans fat will be permitted per serving of food. This does not include naturally occurring trans fats found in meat and dairy products.
12. Students must take a fruit or vegetable with their lunch to be considered a reimbursable meal at breakfast and lunch.
13. Gives USDA authority to set nutritional standards for all foods sold regularly in schools during the school day. This includes vending machines, a la carte lines and school stores.
14. There will be a six-cent per lunch performance-based reimbursement increase that will provide additional revenue beginning October, 2012.
15. Schools will be required to offer 1 cup of fruit to all age/grade groups at breakfast beginning the 2013-14 school year. Up to one half of the per meal fruit component can be fruit juice.
16. There is no meat/meat alternate requirement for Breakfast; however, after serving a required number of grains per week, meat may be used as a grain alternative.

School Nutrition Programs have already been implementing these new guidelines for many years. Improving school meals has been an ongoing process in districts large and small, long before TV chefs made it a headline issue. School Nutrition Program professionals have always wanted to serve the best, most nutritious meals possible to their students each day. This rule just helps strengthen all of our programs and allows us to all be on the same page. There are going to be some challenges with the new regulations in terms of retraining staff, students and faculty in the following areas:

• How do you teach them what a reimbursable meal is?
• How do we cook with less sodium and still make the meals palatable?
• How do you get the students to accept all whole-grain rich foods?
• How do you get students to make sure they have a fruit or vegetable on their tray?

Yet, in the end the real reason we are here is to feed all the students in our programs healthy food and to be able to teach them lifelong good eating habits. As School Nutrition Directors we are all used to challenges and I say bring it on. With the dedication of these professionals and the innovation from the food manufacturing sector and the collaboration from USDA we will be able to align the new school meals more closely to the Dietary Guidelines. The real winners with these new regulations will be the students all over the United States. What a great investment in all of our futures!

Eggs Receive Walmart’s “Great for You” Seal

By Marcia Greenblum, MS, RD
February 7th, 2012

If you’re like me, it’s becoming harder and harder to live in the real world and also eat what is nutritious. With so many new products and reformulations of old products, it’s bewildering to visit the supermarket and find what your family wants and what you know they should have. If I feel this way it must be even harder for those without the interest and education in nutrition that I have.

Well, Walmart is coming to the rescue! Rather than going the way of other front of package systems which give nutrient content and calories to compare with other products, Walmart’s system has gone the threshold route. With the Great for You icon, Walmart has chosen to help shoppers speed through the supermarket by identifying which foods meet their standard for healthy. Unlike many other similar systems which promote a corporate product, Walmart’s beneficiaries are their shoppers.

After the Great for You release, several media outlets suggested that Walmart officials were undecided about whether eggs would receive the Great for You icon. From what I read, eggs did receive the icon because their benefits of high quality protein and affordability far outweigh the questionably unfavorable association of dietary cholesterol with health. This shows me that the officials at Walmart understand that although there may be some passionate people who believe food must be expensive and unpleasant to be healthy, most people need affordable foods that are easy to prepare and liked by all family members. In all cultures and for generations, eggs been considered a delicious source of affordable nutrients and now Walmart’s Great for You icon makes that simple to recognize.

WOW your eggs with SPICES and More

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
February 2nd, 2012

Marcia and I attended a food networking event last night called Olive Oil, Spices and Wine-Oh My! The event was run by two Registered Dietitians Brooke Schantz and Anne Milliing and they did an amazing job. It was a wonderful evening talking and tasting with other foodies. We heard about the different oils and balsamic vinegars at Old Towne Oil and had a tasting of several products. Chef Ranelle Kirchner shared samples and recipes using different oils and spices. The recipes included hummus, eggplant spread, squash bran muffins and more.

The next stop on the tour was the Spice House where we learned more about the world of spices. I joked that I was “spicewhelmed” and couldn’t decide what to get because there were so many awesome spices! While looking around the store, I noticed how many spices noted that they would be good with eggs. This reminded me once more that eggs are so versatile and you can have them a different way every day just by tweaking the spices you use.

The spices are great for omelets, quiche, scrambled eggs and more. So many recipes, so many spices!

The Spice House also had many different mixed blends that would give your taste buds a workout!
One thing that I bought last night was white truffle salt (use sparklingly). This will make a yummy egg treat for breakfast!

So the next time you want to mix up your egg routine, try any or a mix of these spices!
In honor of our evening I found a recipe from Food and Wine. Here is a recipe for a Spinach, Feta and Tarragon Frittata (used olive oil and spices). Enjoy and let your taste buds have fun-remember there is so much more beyond salt and pepper.

Let us know your favorite spices on eggs!


Nutrition Unscrambled  is written by nutrition experts with the Egg Nutrition Center, which is funded by the American Egg Board. It is monitored and maintained by the public relations agency of record. The mission of the Egg Nutrition Center is to be a credible source of nutrition and health science information and the acknowledged leader in research and education related to eggs. For more information, click here.

About the Bloggers

Mitch Kanter, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Egg Nutrition Center. For more information about
Mitch, click here.
Marcia Greenblum, MS, RD is the Senior Director, Nutrition Education at the Egg Nutrition Center. For more information about Marcia, click here.
Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN is the Program Manager, Nutrition Research and Communications at the Egg Nutrition Center. For more information about Anna, click here.

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All information provided within this blog is for informational and educational purposes only and it is not to be construed as medical advice or instruction. Please consult your physician or a qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health or before making changes to your diet or health behaviors.