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Research snapshot: Healthy food availability at home can increase healthy decisions among adolescents

In a recent study, researchers at the University of Minnesota found making healthy food available at home can increase the fruit and vegetable intake among adolescents.

Understanding that parents have the ability to influence their children’s dietary intake, Katie Loth, Ph.D., M.P.H., lead author from the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and colleagues from Project EAT, looked at three factors (home food availability, parenting modeling and food restriction) to determine which aspects of the family eating environment were most consistently associated with a healthy dietary intake.

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Popcorn for pets? Healthy treats your pet can enjoy

It’s no secret there is an obesity epidemic in the human population. As humans are growing larger, their four-legged companions are following a similar path.

University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center Nutritionist, and associate professor, Julie Churchill, says that an estimated 54 percent of dogs and cats are overweight or obese.

It’s important to feed your pet a well-balanced diet, including healthy treats.

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With summer break ahead, U of M expert shares what foods parents should keep in the fridge and pantry

Summer break is just around the corner and many parents are hoping to keep the fridge stocked with healthy and convenient options – especially for kids.

Health Talk spoke with Jamie Stang, Ph.D., M.P.H, director of the Leadership Education and Training Program in Maternal and Child Health Nutrition and associate professor in the School of Public Health, to learn how parents can still provide healthy food options this summer even if they’re not at home.

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In the News: Best and worst diets for 2015

“New year, new waistline,” seems to be the goal of many this time of year. If you’re just starting your weight-loss journey, or well into it, chances are you’ve researched which diet yields the best results.

Although dieting has a bad reputation, there are viable options for those looking to stick to an outlined plan. U.S. News & World Report recently published its results for Best Diets of 2015. Ratings are based on judgments of nutrition scientists, most of whom are academic. Topping the list for the fifth year was the DASH diet, which focuses on preventing and lowering high blood pressure while promoting weight-loss by eating a balanced diet.

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In the News: Complaining less could mean cooking more

Looking to boost your attendance at family dinner and keep things healthy at the same time? A new  Washington Post article shows trying to please everyone could be leading to a big boost in unhealthy picks for supper fare.

It’s no secret family meals have big benefits; from healthier weight levels to lower risks of alcohol and drug abuse, study after study cite countless reasons for us to pull up a chair.

A North Carolina State University study of home cooking interviewed 150 mothers and observed 40 of their family dinners. They found that in all the meals observed, most families complained about the food at least once.

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Make a plan, but consider balance when it comes to Halloween candy

One of the biggest candy days of the year is upon us, and parents and kids alike are trying to strike an accord on how much candy will be consumed in the coming days.

How much, really, is too much? And is there a magic formula families should follow to ensure the Halloween stash doesn’t lead to bigger problems later on?

According to pediatric dietician Laura Gearman, M.S., R.D., L.D., with the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, it’s a good idea to make a plan ahead of time and discuss it as a family but there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to Halloween candy consumption.

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