Academic Health Center
Stay Connected

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Health food movement stops short of vending machines

Hungry and seeking a nutritious snack, vending consumers often find themselves struggling to locate a suitable selection. The lack of healthy options in vending machines has raised concerns among schools, public interest groups and public health researchers.

According to a recent article published in the Star Tribune, the health food movement stopped short of vending machines in public facilities. About 75 percent of items found in vending machines analyzed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest consisted of candy, cookies and chips. Similar trends are seen in beverage vending machines as 56 percent of the drinks are soda, and an additional 20 percent of drinks are energy or artificial fruit drinks.

Read more

How to stay healthy while fasting

With the Muslim observance of Ramadan beginning this Saturday, Health Talk thought it’d be a great time to address best practices for staying safe and healthy during periods of fasting.

For health tips to follow during the next month’s sunup to sundown abstinence from food, Health Talk turned to Community-University Health Care Center medical director Roli Dwivedi, M.D. Not only does Dwivedi educate fellow health care professionals in care modifications for Ramadan, she also sees Ramadan-observing patients in clinic.

Here’s what Dwivedi had to say:

Read more