Chowline: School lunch may be healthier than packed

No matter how nutritious a lunch is, it won’t do any good if a child won’t eat it…….

Generally, which is healthier for kids, a packed lunch or a school lunch?

Obviously, this could go either way, depending on the content of the actual meal. But according to at least one study, school meals might have a significant edge.

The research, published in 2014 in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, compared 1,314 lunches of preschool and kindergarten students in three schools in Virginia. About 43 percent of the lunches were packed lunches, and 57 percent were school lunches. Like most schools, the schools in this study participated in the National School Lunch Program, and the research was conducted after that program upgraded its nutrition standards in 2012-13.

The researchers found that packed lunches had more vitamin C and iron and less sodium than the school lunches, but the packed lunches were also higher in calories, fat, saturated fat and sugar and were lower in protein, fiber, vitamin A and calcium. Packed lunches were less likely to contain fruits, vegetables, unsweetened juice and milk and were more likely to include chips, crackers or other savory snacks, and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Although many kids balked when schools started serving healthier meals, a 2014 study in the journal Childhood Obesity found that 70 percent of elementary school leaders reported that students had warmed up to them.
chowline School lunch iStock

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the trick to making sure your children’s lunch is a healthy one is to make sure it provides a good balance: some lean protein, a whole grain, a fruit, a vegetable and a dairy product. Take a look at the school menu and talk with your children about what they like and don’t like in the school lunches, or if they’d prefer to bring a lunch from home. If the school lunch doesn’t appeal to your kids, talk with them once a week about what they’d like to carry with them. It’s important to get kids’ buy-in: No matter how nutritious a lunch is, it won’t do any good if a child won’t eat it.

The nutrition academy offers these ideas:

  • Pack easy-to-eat foods: strawberries or an easy-to-peel tangerine instead of an orange, for example, or carrots, cherry tomatoes or bell pepper strips instead of a salad.
  • For sandwiches or wraps, choose whole grain options and lean meat or cheese.
  • Make it fun. Cut sandwiches into stars or other unusual shapes. Celebrate special days by packing an all-orange lunch for Halloween, for example, or an all-red lunch for Valentine’s Day.
  • Ask if your children trade food with friends at lunchtime. That will help you determine what foods they prefer.

For a beverage, consider packing a small bottle of water with lunch. Earlier this year, the Harvard School of Public Health reported that about half of children and teens aren’t getting enough hydration, and nearly one-quarter don’t drink any plain water at all. Children tend to think cold water tastes better than water at room temperature. Adding a frozen water bottle to your child’s lunch pack will help keep the lunch cold and will thaw by lunchtime, providing a nice cool drink.

Chow Line is a service of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line, c/o Martha Filipic, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1043, or filipic.3@osu.edu.

Wood County Health District Providing Guidance to Food Facilities in the Event of a “Do Not Drink” Advisory

A list of water haulers in the surrounding counties is being provided as licensed locations are not allowed to fill up their own water jugs and bring them into the restaurant…..

Bowling Green, OH – The Wood County Health District began providing advice for food facilities in case a Do Not Drink advisory is issued due to microcystin.

 

“Even though there are no current advisories we wanted restaurants and other food facilities to know ahead of time what they can and cannot do if a Do Not Drink advisory is issued,” said Brad Espen, Director of Environmental Health.

 

The fact sheet is being made available by email and on the Health District’s webpage at: http://woodcountyhealth.org/envhealth/food_safety.html.

 

In addition to this guidance, a list of water haulers in the surrounding counties is being provided as licensed locations are not allowed to fill up their own water jugs and bring them into the restaurant to use.

 

“If they want to buy bottled water from the store, that’s ok, but it might be better for them to hire a water hauler to bring in a larger quantity of water,” stated Lana Glore, Assistant Director of Environmental Health.

 

If there are any questions on the guidance, you may contact the WCHD Environmental office at 419-354-3702, or email healthdept@co.wood.oh.us

 

The Wood County Health District provides numerous services to the community, including comprehensive medical services for men, women and children.  Our Health and Wellness Center welcomes all patients and accepts most third party insurances, including uninsured or underinsured clients regardless of ability to pay.   The mission of Wood County Health District is to take the initiative to facilitate opportunities for Wood County residents to lead healthy lives. The Health District is located at 1840 E. Gypsy Lane Rd. in Bowling Green. Normal office hours are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, with late hours and satellite clinics are available. The Wood County Board of Health meetings are generally held on the second Thursday at 7pm at the Wood County Health District and are open to the public.

 

 

Chowline: Decisions at the fair–Indulge, or be healthy?

Not all the food at fairs is “horribly unhealthy.” …….

We’re planning to go to the state fair. I haven’t gone in a long time and I keep thinking about all of the horribly unhealthy foods that I know I’m going to want to eat that day. I want to enjoy myself, but I’m afraid I’m going to gain back the 12 pounds I’ve lost this year all in one day. Any guidance?

It’s certainly not likely you’ll gain 12 pounds in a day of overindulgence, but that doesn’t mean it’s a great idea to have an elephant ear for breakfast, stromboli for lunch, bacon-on-a-stick for dinner and deep-fried ice cream for dessert. Your gastrointestinal system would probably have a hard time forgiving you for that, especially if you’ve been eating healthfully for months and your system isn’t used to such excess.

Instead of planning for an entire day of gluttony, why not do this? Focus on one or two treats that if you didn’t have, you’d end up truly disappointed. Then make smart choices the rest of the day. If you’ve been looking forward to a funnel cake for years, go ahead and enjoy. An occasional splurge is nothing to feel guilty about. Just be sensible.

Not all the food at fairs is “horribly unhealthy.” Seek out charbroiled chicken breast, sandwich wraps or a Greek salad. In fact, the Ohio State Fair, at least, offers a phone app with not only a map and a schedule, but a searchable food finder to help you locate the type of food you want.

The fair also is encouraging food vendors to join the “Taste of the Fair” program, offering small versions of signature menu items at a reduced price. Think of this as built-in portion control. And if one of your favorites isn’t participating in the program, you can control your own portions by splitting a dish with a friend or two.

It can be difficult to make smart choices at the fair because nutrition information isn’t readily available. But if you plan ahead, www.calorieking.com does offer some nutrition facts: Search for “fair food” and see if your favorites are listed. Would you really choose to indulge in a tray of deep-fried Oreos if you knew it had 890 calories? Or an order of chili fries if you knew it had nearly 700 calories?

Here are a couple of other things to remember:

  • Most, if not all the time, choose water as a beverage. Not only is it the best way to keep yourself hydrated on a hot day outdoors, but you’ll save yourself hundreds of calories by foregoing beverages high in sugar. If you must have flavor, unsweetened iced tea is your next best choice.
  • Don’t fool yourself: Deep-fried vegetables are more fat than they are vegetables. Lemon shakeups are more sugar than they are fruit. Roasted corn is a better choice for a vegetable, especially if you go easy on the butter and salt. A piece of fresh fruit is also a great choice: Ask at an ice cream stand that offers banana splits if they’d sell you just the banana, or find the local foods and farming exhibits, which sometimes offer complimentary apples or other produce. If you need a sweet icy treat, frozen bananas are healthier than ice cream.

Chow Line is a service of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line, c/o Martha Filipic, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1043, or filipic.3@osu.edu.

Welcome! Ashley Brough to Briar Hill Health Campus

Welcome! Ashley Brough to Briar Hill Health Campus here in North Baltimore, Ohio!

Ashley Brough will be the new Executive Director at Briar Hill Health Campus, replacing Valerie Wallen, who accepted a position with Trilogy Health Services (owners of BHHC) in the Cincinnati area, near her family. Ashley is a Wood County gal, hailing from Pemberville, Ohio. Following graduation from Eastwood High School, Ashley attended Owens Community College and Eastern Michigan University.

Her work history includes ten years in Long Term Care, with nine of them in Nutrition Services, as Registered Dietitian. Ashley joined Trilogy in September 2012.

Ashley enjoys cooking, spending time with family and friends, playing volleyball and watching sports. She adds:

  • I spend every Sunday with my family having Sunday dinner and have done this since I was little.
  • I have a blue haired Persian cat named Pearl.
  • I love all cooking shows and love to try new recipes.
  • Eating is one of my favorite things, I love trying new restaurants.
  • I grew up on a small 70 acre farm where we raised corn, wheat, and soybeans.
  • If I was not in long term care I would love to be on Saturday Night Live or a professional organizer. Making people laugh at my personal expense is one of my favorite things to do as well as organizing!
  • I played volleyball for two years in college and still play on occasion.
  • I am a neat freak, my house is almost always spotless.

Welcome to NB Ashley!

Briar Hill Ashlee Brough

Local Agencies Respond To Environmental Health Issues Caused By Heavy Rains

Health Commissioner Ben Batey states, “We are closely monitoring the situation and being proactive to ensure public health concerns are addressed.”

Bowling Green, OH – Heavy rains from last weekend caused numerous reports of damage. One such report has agencies working to mitigate health risks. An underground fuel oil tank was overtaken by water resulting in fuel leaking onto the ground in a residential neighborhood in Lake Township.

The Wood County Health District, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) Northwest District Office, Wood County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) have worked together to address the potential environmental and public health hazards. Officials have been in contact with the property’s owner, who did not know the fuel tank was there.

The Health District and ODH have been looking into concerns of nearby wells being affected by the fuel oil. Together the two agencies examined the location of the spill, nearby wells and the direction of ground water flow to identify wells to sample. A small amount of fuel oil does appear to have made it off the property onto the neighboring properties directly on each side of it. They have identified 12 wells to sample to determine if the fuel made it into them. The Ohio Department of Health has offered to cover the cost of the sampling.

Health District sanitarians went door-to-door Wednesday and Thursday to make sure residents in the area knew about the incident. They gave informational packets to residents and offered them the option to have their wells tested. “If they have concerns, they should avoid drinking the water until the test results come back,” said Lana Glore, Assistant Director of Environmental Health. “We do not expect to find fuel oil in the wells we are sampling, but we want to be extra cautious,” Brad Espen, Director of Environmental Health.

Health Commissioner Ben Batey states, “We are closely monitoring the situation and being proactive to ensure public health concerns are addressed.”

The well on the property has been cleaned by a registered water contractor and it did not appear to have fuel oil in it. The testing results have not come back yet. The fuel tank was pumped of remaining oil and water and will be filled with either grout slurry or cement.

The Ohio EPA oversees the clean-up of chemical spills, deploying measures to prevent the spread of the spill and providing guidance on proper corrective actions.

Wood County Emergency Management Agency coordinates response efforts among the various agencies and ensures the Ohio EMA is aware of local situations and responses.

A conference call was held this morning with ODH, Wood County EMA and Wood County Health District to discuss the recent updates and finalize plans for sampling.

 

Chowline: Eating out? Help kids make healthful choices

While eating extra calories every once in a while might not be so bad, doing so regularly is a sure path to becoming overweight……

We seem to be eating out more and more. Instead of just ordering for them, I want to teach my children (ages 9 and 11) how to make healthier choices, whether we’re at a sit-down restaurant or going through a drive-thru. Any tips?

You’re right to be concerned. A few years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published a study, “How Food Away from Home Affects Children’s Diet Quality.” It found that for children ages 6-18, each meal eaten out contributed an extra 65 calories and lowered diet quality by 4 percent, as measured by an index based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, compared with meals prepared at home. About a third of the higher number calories were due to soft drinks and other sweetened beverages. For older children, the number of extra calories consumed per meal jumped to 107.

While eating extra calories every once in a while might not be so bad, doing so regularly is a sure path to becoming overweight or obese.

Eating home-prepared meals as a family (with family members engaged with each other — the television turned off) has its benefits. Studies indicate that children and teens in these families tend not only to have healthier diets and less risk of obesity, but better emotional well-being as well. Given that evidence, see if you can find ways to plan ahead so you can eat in more often than not.

But sometimes eating out is the only option. Here are some tips from the Nemours Foundation (kidshealth.org) and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (www.eatright.org):

  • Avoid fried and breaded foods, even fried fish, chicken and vegetables. Instead, let your children choose among healthier options, such as grilled chicken or a deli turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread.
  • If french fries or potato chips come with a meal, ask about healthier sides.
  • When available, choose a whole-grain option for bread or pasta. (Note that “multi-grain” doesn’t offer the same benefits as whole grains.)
  • Encourage healthier drink options, such as water or low-fat milk. Besides reducing sugar intake, they can help your children avoid the caffeine prevalent in many beverages. Keep in mind that flavored milk usually has a lot of added calories.
  • Watch portion sizes. Tell your children explicitly that they don’t have to eat everything on their plate. If sandwiches or other items are large, ask for them to be cut in half so your children can split them.

The restaurants you choose to go to also can have a big impact. Find ones with healthier options that are prominent on the menu. A study published earlier this year in the journal Obesity showed that when a family restaurant chain in the eastern U.S. changed its children’s meals to include fruit or vegetables as the default instead of fries, relatively few customers asked for fries on the side and the healthfulness of the meals sold skyrocketed. Having healthy food options as the norm on menus makes a difference when eating out.

Chow Line is a service of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line, c/o Martha Filipic, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1043, or filipic.3@osu.edu.

WCCOA and BGSU College of Health and Human Services Offer White House Conference on Aging Viewing

Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc. (WCCOA) and the College of Health and Human Services at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) invite interested participants to a viewing of the White House Conference on Aging on Monday, July 13, 2015 at the Levis Commons Campus of Bowling Green State University.

Bowling Green, OH (June 30, 2015) – Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc. (WCCOA) and the College of Health and Human Services at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) invite interested participants to a viewing of the White House Conference on Aging on Monday, July 13, 2015 at the Levis Commons Campus of Bowling Green State University.

The 2015 White House Conference on Aging builds on a year-long effort to listen, learn and share with older adults, families, caregivers, advocates, community leaders and experts in the aging field. The 2015 Conference aims to embrace the transformative demographic shift occurring in the United States and recognize the possibilities of healthy aging.

The first baby boomers reached retirement age in 2011, accelerating a population surge in the number of Americans over the age 65. Each day for the next 15 years, thousands more will reach retirement age, creating new opportunities for how we define what it means to be an older American.

The conference is bringing together older Americans, caregivers, government officials, members of the public, business leaders, and community leaders to discuss a vision for aging in the next decade.

Share in the conversation about:

  • What are the most empowering parts of aging
  • How should we prepare our families, communities, and country for the next decade to support older Americans and their families
  • What are the best ways for multiple generations to stay connected
  • How has new technology changed your aging experience
  • What are the critical needs that you see with your family, friends and neighbors

The live stream of the event – delivered via internet with panels and presentations from Washington D.C. – will take place from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Local, on-site presentations will take place throughout the day. Lunch is provided at a cost of $10 per person.

This viewing requires advanced registration. Space is limited. To register for this event, contact (419) 372-7773 or email hhsevents@bgsu.edu.

This event is supported by the Davis Family Trust.

The mission of the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., shall be to provide older adults with services and programs which empower them to remain independent and improve the quality of their lives.

For information on programs and services, please contact the Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc., at (419) 353-5661, (800) 367-4935 or www.wccoa.net.

2015 WOOD COUNTY COMMUNITY HEALTH STATUS ASSESSMENT DRAFT RELEASED

Wood County Health Partners is seeking public comments

2015 WOOD COUNTY COMMUNITY HEALTH STATUS ASSESSMENT DRAFT RELEASED

Wood County Health Partners is seeking public comments 

Bowling Green, OH – The members of the Wood County Health Partners are pleased to present the draft of the 2015 Wood County Community Health Status Assessment. From the beginning, community leaders were actively engaged in the planning process and helped define the content, scope, and sequence of the study. Data was collected through health surveys mailed to a random sample of Wood County adult residents. A random sample of students were selected and surveyed in Wood County schools.  The goal was to identify key strengths, weaknesses, and health concerns for residents of Wood County.

The draft report has been posted for review and public comment at: http://woodcountyhealth.org/aboutus/documents/WoodCountyReport.pdf

“This assessment gives us an excellent opportunity to partner with Wood County government leaders, agencies, organizations, businesses, schools and local residents to develop the final document,” said Health Commissioner Ben Batey.  “Feedback from the public will be used to clarify and validate the key findings of the assessment,” said Batey.

This comprehensive Community Health Assessment is the result of a strong commitment by dedicated community partners working together to improve the health and quality of life of Wood County residents. The health assessment gives us a snapshot of our community as well as a comparison to the state of Ohio and our nation.  The 2015 Wood County Community Health Status Assessment was made possible through funding from Wood County Hospital and by Wood County Health District through a grant from the Ohio Department of Health Bureau of Maternal and Child Health.

Wood County Health District Hopeful Outbreak Has Ended

“Our hearts go out to the residents, employees and their families affected by this outbreak,” states Health Commissioner Ben Batey.

(Bowling Green, OH) – On May 27th the Wood County Health District learned of positive salmonella test results in residents of Heritage Corner Assisted Living facility. We immediately notified the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and began working with the facility to initiate infection control measures and attempt to identify the source of the infection. We also were in contact with a Food Safety Specialist with the ODH Food Safety Program. In addition ODH’s Division of Quality Assurance worked closely with the facility to monitor infection control practices.  As of today, there have been 18 positive cases but no new cases of symptoms have been reported since June 10th. Sadly, during the outbreak, we were notified that two residents who tested positive for salmonella had passed away. However, we cannot say whether this was related to the illness.

 

“Our hearts go out to the residents, employees and their families affected by this outbreak,” states Health Commissioner Ben Batey. “We truly appreciate all of the cooperation from the residents who have participated in the investigation during this difficult time in their lives.”

 

Everyone who has developed symptoms since May 27th has been tested but not everyone who has been tested has been positive and some test results are still pending. The normal incubation period for salmonella is 12-72 hours. With more than 6 days passing since the last new report of symptoms, the outbreak may be at its end.

 

According to Amy Jones, Director of Nursing, “Although we are still awaiting some test results, with the knowledge that there have been no new reports of symptoms, we are cautiously optimistic that the outbreak is done.”

 

Since learning of the outbreak, the health district has taken several steps to both try to identify the cause and prevent more cases. Sanitarians and an Ohio Department of Health Food Safety Specialist inspected the kitchen and spoke with the kitchen manager about food preparation practices and food sources. No major problems were identified.

 

The Health District and ODH recommended closing of common areas such as dining and activity rooms until the reports of new symptoms ceased. In addition the facility was encouraged to sanitize these areas and make hand sanitizer readily available throughout. The common areas were opened over the weekend after passing the 72 hour mark of the last report of new symptoms.

 

Several health district employees were in the facility last week and this week to provide information to residents and ask questions about food and activities in the last few weeks. The hope in these interviews is to try to identify an item or event that separates those that got sick and those that didn’t.

 

“We’re doing our best to find the source of the outbreak, but it’s important to remember that the majority of outbreaks are never traced back to a source,” said Connor Rittwage, Epidemiologist. “There can be so many variables when you’re talking about what people eat and do over the potential exposure period, that it can be difficult to identify a common link.”

 

But that doesn’t stop the Health District from trying. Information from interviews of the residents is still being analyzed and will take weeks to complete.

 

Batey states, “Even in these sorts of outbreaks where we may never know the exact cause, we aim to provide guidance and oversight to help quickly reduce the spread of the disease to others and their families. We remain committed to fully investigating all disease outbreaks in Wood County so that any insights found can be shared with individuals and facilities for future prevention measures.”

 

Background Information

 

  • Salmonella is an enteric bacterium, which means that it lives in the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals. Salmonella bacteria are usually transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with human or animal feces.
  • Salmonella bacteria are often found in food, water, and on animals. Salmonellosis is typically a food-borne illness acquired from contaminated raw poultry, eggs, and unpasteurized milk and cheese products. Although poultry and eggs are primary culprits, Salmonella can be found in a variety of foods including ground meat, fruits, and vegetables—even processed foods such as frozen pot pies. Contaminated foods usually look and smell normal.
  • Other sources of exposure include contact with infected animals/pets, especially turtles, iguanas, other reptiles, chicks, cattle and poultry.
  • An infected food handler who neglects to wash his or her hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom may also contaminate food.
  • Most persons infected with salmonella develop symptoms including nausea, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps; they typically start 12 to 72 hours after exposure.
  • There is no real cure for Salmonella infection, except treatment of the symptoms. Persons with severe diarrhea may require rehydration, often with intravenous fluids.
  • The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.
  • Most people recover on their own; still, anyone with symptoms like these should see a health care provider right away.
  • Persons with diarrhea usually recover completely, although it may be several months before their bowel habits are entirely normal.
  • Although anyone can get a Salmonella infection, older adults, infants, and people with impaired immune systems are at increased risk for serious illness. In these people, a relatively small number of Salmonella bacteria can cause severe illness.