SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva, Glenn Rossman, Ava Smith, Elizabeth White

News Feed Item

Build a Better Bag

MISSION, KS -- (Marketwired) -- 07/18/14 -- (Family Features) Brown bag lunches and back to school go hand in hand. As you're gearing up for the start of a new school year, it's the perfect time to stock the pantry with healthy sack lunch options and after school snacks, too.

While schools across the nation are adopting new U.S. Department of Agriculture standards to increase kids' access to healthy food, parents who pack lunch at home can take similar steps to reinvent the traditional brown bag into a more nutritious (and fun) lunch that kids will enjoy.

But weighing the nutritional value of different foods at the grocery store can be confusing and time consuming.

Many food retailers are providing tools such as the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System, which uses a scale of 1 to 100 to depict nutritional values at a glance, to help make choices easier. In stores using the NuVal system, food scores are included on grocery store price tags, making it easy to compare options. Higher scores represent foods with higher nutritional value.

Food scores can simplify the process of building a brown bag lunch that is better for the kids. "I always recommend small steps to parents," said Marisa Paolillo, a NuVal nutritionist. "A good place to start is swapping the same types of food. For instance, NuVal scores for yogurt can range from 7 to 100, depending on sugar content and other factors. It's easy to swap a low-scoring product for a higher one, and kids probably won't notice the difference."

Paolillo also recommends talking with your kids about the choices you make at the grocery store. Engaging them in the selection process teaches them to make better selections for themselves, such as when they are making meal choices in the lunch cafeteria or snacking with friends after school.

You can learn more about the NuVal scoring system at www.nuval.com, where you also can find recipes and food swap ideas for school lunches and other meals for the whole family.

Decoding Labels
The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System allows you to see the nutritional value of food on grocery shelves at a glance and easily compare food options to make nutritious choices.

Q
What does a NuVal score tell me?
A
Food is scored on a scale of 1 to 100. Although there is no "magic score" to aim for, the higher the score, the better the nutrition.

Q
What nutrients and factors affect a food's NuVal score?
A
Each score reflects the overall nutritional quality of a food or beverage. It takes into account the quality of calories derived from more than 30 nutrients that have both favorable (i.e. fiber, Omega 3, vitamins and minerals) and non-favorable (i.e. saturated fat, transfat, sodium and sugar) health impacts.

Q
Where can I find a NuVal score?
A
NuVal scores are displayed directly on shelf price tags in the grocery store, so you can compare overall nutrition the same way you compare price. Find a participating store, shopping tips or scores for many common grocery items at www.nuval.com.

After School Snacks
After-school snacks need to be satisfying and fun, but not full of sugar, salt and unneeded fat. Help your kids snack smarter with these tips.

  • Encourage kids to invent their own snack mixes by combining dry, whole-grain cereal, dried fruit and unsalted nuts or seeds.
  • Serve apples with nuts and raisins (as temperatures chill, try baking apples for a warm and delicious treat).
  • Offer frozen juice bars made from blended fresh fruit or 100 percent juice. Invite the kids to participate by making their own concoctions adding whole or crushed berries or bananas for added nutrition.

Sandwich Switch-up
Brown bag sandwiches don't have to be boring. Swap a traditional sandwich for one of these two fresh takes from NuVal.

  • Pair humus dip with whole-grain bread points or multi-grain tortilla chips. Add baby carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and cubed (1/3 cup) low-fat cheddar cheese chunks for dipping.
  • Mix together 1/3 cup low-fat cheddar cheese with shredded lettuce and tomatoes. Add flavor with black olives and fresh salsa or guacamole, then roll into a corn tortilla or whole-grain pita wrap.

Brown Bag Swaps
Make your kids' brown bag lunch a tasty adventure, while adding nutritional value with these healthful tips from NuVal and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPlate:

Whole grains
Swap white bread for whole grain or 100 percent wheat.

Fruits and veggies
Pair carrots, cucumbers and grape tomatoes with yogurt dip, or smear apple chunks with almond or peanut butter.

Dairy
Include a serving of low-fat or fat-free dairy, such as 1 cup of yogurt, 2 slices of Swiss cheese, 1/3 cup low-fat cheddar cheese or 1 cup of fat-free or low-fat milk.

Salts and fats
Swap salty, high-fat chips for popcorn or multi-grain tortilla chips or vegetable chips.

Protein
Provide 2 ounces of lean, roasted, low-salt beef, pork, chicken or turkey, or non-meat options such as 2 ounces of raw or roasted seeds or nuts.

About Family Features Editorial Syndicate
This and other food and lifestyle content can be found at www.editors.familyfeatures.com. Family Features is a leading provider of free food and lifestyle content for use in print and online publications. Register with no obligation to access a variety of formatted and unformatted features, accompanying photos, and automatically updating Web content solutions.

Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame_mw?attachid=2642037
Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame_mw?attachid=2642040

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective ...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrateg...
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will w...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water,...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Want to enable self-service provisioning of application environments in minutes that mirror production? Can you automatically provide rich data with code-level detail back to the developers when issues occur in production? In his session at DevOps Summit, David Tesar, Microsoft Technical Evangelist on Microsoft Azure and DevOps, will discuss how to accomplish this and more utilizing technologies such as Microsoft Azure, Visual Studio online, and Application Insights in this demo-heavy session.
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...
DevOps is all about agility. However, you don't want to be on a high-speed bus to nowhere. The right DevOps approach controls velocity with a tight feedback loop that not only consists of operational data but also incorporates business context. With a business context in the decision making, the right business priorities are incorporated, which results in a higher value creation. In his session at DevOps Summit, Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, discussed key monitoring techniques...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device exp...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect...
High-performing enterprise Software Quality Assurance (SQA) teams validate systems that are ready for use - getting most actively involved as components integrate and form complete systems. These teams catch and report on defects, making sure the customer gets the best software possible. SQA teams have leveraged automation and virtualization to execute more thorough testing in less time - bringing Dev and Ops together, ensuring production readiness. Does the emergence of DevOps mean the end of E...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...