Windy City Study
Chicago kids are the focus of a new study by Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. The institution recently received a seven-year, $32 million contract from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to be the Chicago center of the National Children’s Study, the largest study of child and human health ever conducted in the United States.
The school will explore critical health problems and prescribe solutions for prevention and treatment by following 4,000 children in Cook County from birth to age 21. Researchers will examine such factors as what children eat, the air they breathe, the water they drink, the safety of their neighborhoods, how they are cared for and how often they see a doctor, as well as possible exposure to chemicals from materials used to construct their homes and schools.
“By better understanding the health of children in our community, we can better understand how to improve their health and provide for their health care needs,” says principal investigator Dr. Jane Holl, associate professor of pediatrics, preventative medicine and health care studies at the Feinberg School.
Holl says she expects to start recruiting families from Chicago and Cook County suburbs in summer 2009. Northwestern will collaborate with the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, as well as the National Opinion Research Center.
For more information, visit www.NationalChildrensStudy.com .
Steal This Recipe
Whether it’s melted cheese over broccoli or chocolate chips mixed with raisins, most parents know that you have to disguise some foods to get kids to eat them. That’s the theme behind two new recipe books now in stores.
“The Sneaky Chef” reveals ways to incorporate healthy ingredients — such as veggies, fruits, beans and whole grains — into foods that kids might not otherwise eat. The author — former “Eating Well” magazine publisher Missy Chase Lapine — suggests incorporating pre-made purees into dishes such as mac ‘n cheese, tuna sandwiches and pizza, as well as brownies and muffins to increase their nutritional profiles.
It’s been suggested that Lapine’s book contains recipes similar to those in a like-minded book, “Deceptively Delicious” written by comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica Seinfeld. Actually, it’s Seinfeld who’s been accused of duplicating some of the content of “The Sneaky Chef,” which was published several months before “Deceptively Delicious.”
Regardless of who’s guilty in this chicken-and-egg situation, both authors say what matters most is that their books both are aimed at trying to help kids eat better. Judge for yourself at www.TheSneakyChef.com and www.DeceptivelyDelicious.com .
Monkey See, Monkey Eat
It may not be the year of the monkey, but that hasn’t stopped manufacturers from introducing kids’ snacks named and shaped like the gangly zoo animal.
Take the folks at Funky Monkey Snacks of Fishers, Ind. The brand’s gluten-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, Kosher-Parve fruit snacks come in four freeze-dried varieties: Bananamon, Carnaval Mix, Jivealime and Purple Funk. The suggested retail price is $1.99-$2.49 for a 1-oz. bag. For more information, visit www.FunkyMonkeySnacks.com .
Meanwhile, Monkey Muffins, Inc. of Nyack, N.Y., offers wholesome, natural mini muffins in the following flavors: Chocolate Chip, Banana, Pumpkin and new Apple-Cinnamon, which also are vegan and dairy-free. Each pack of four muffins retails for $1.50. For further details, visit www.MonkeyMuffins.com.
Turns out monkeys aren’t just for animal crackers anymore.
Today’s “after-school snacks” go beyond mere milk and cookies. Products of all flavors, portions and nutritional profiles now compete for attention from kids, as well as their parents. In this section, we check out the latest items for young snackers, including healthful and organic offerings. We also examine relevant trends, news and health studies. With nationwide concern over childhood obesity at an all-time high, America needs to examine just what kids are, could and should be eating ... before, during and after that final school bell rings. Please send comments, questions and suggestions to Deborah Cassell, Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery’s managing editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org .