The Real Safety Net for Our Community

“Local Hunger Fighters” is a series that spotlights our awesome supporters and staff who help raise awareness of hunger in our community and motivate people to get involved.

Local Hunger Fighters: Denise Boland, Employment and Benefits Director, Santa Clara County Social Services Agency

How are you and the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency helping Second Harvest and our community?
Social Services has been fortunate to have had a long standing partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank. We have a symbiotic relationship – sharing the same motivation to assist Santa Clara residents in need. Over time our agencies have partnered together to demystify benefits and encourage those most in need to utilize the services of both programs.

For the last decade or more, I have co-facilitated the Safety Net Committee with Cindy McCown [Second Harvest Food Bank Vice President of Programs & Services]. With other emergency services partners, we listen for emerging the trends of the community and look for ways to respond with solutions that will enable eligibility clients obtaining overcome real or perceived barriers to the benefits for which they are entitled. Together this group has created flyers and other fact sheets about public benefits as well as shared about available resources.

Recently, Second Harvest and Santa Clara County have partnered together to have Eligibility Workers work on-site at Emergency Assistance Programs providing CalFresh outreach. At these events, EW’s are able to answer eligibility questions and often are able to assist community members obtain same day benefits. By working together we are able to say “Yes” to at least one program; if not the CalFresh program, they are able to participate in a Second Harvest food resource program.

During the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding cycle in 2009, Santa Clara County was able to collaborate with Second Harvest on a number of innovative programs. One of my favorite was to expand summer feeding to a summer camp program that combined a Summer Employment program for teens, provided breakfast and lunch for children within a summer play program for children in need. This program was the first time we attempted to combine the summer feeding with a play program. While the funding has long since evaporated, Second Harvest and the program partners have continued a similar program for children in need each year.

What inspires you to give?
Finding new ways to partner with community agencies to overcome barriers to families in need. I have been fortunate to have a career in Social Services that centers on our Department’s mantra: Making a difference through people, service and performance.

Why should people care about hunger in our community?

It’s hard to imagine in such a wealthy community that hunger continues to exist in Santa Clara County. Hunger negatively impacts all aspects of our society. It harms children’s growth and ability to succeed in school, limits the ability of adults to look for employment or be productive members of society, and harms our seniors’ health and well-being.

Why do you support Second Harvest?
Second Harvest is the real safety net for our community: providing healthy food to our most needy members of the community.

***Want to meet more people working to end hunger in our community? Click here to read past Local Hunger Fighters posts.

November Social Media Roundup

“Social Media Round-Up” is an ‘ICYMI’ compilation of the top hunger-related news articles and other interesting tidbits posted on our social media profiles.

11/4: Struggling in the Shadow of Silicon Valley Wealth, USATODAY.COM
“Throughout Silicon Valley, fences and roads divide the rich from poor, the powerful from the powerless.”

11/9: My Wages Are Too High For Help But Too Low To Let Me Get Ahead, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM

11/9: These Sickeningly Beautiful Photos of Rotting Food Remind You How Much Food You Waste, FASTCOEXIST.COM
“The project was a reminder of a simple fact: One third of all the food grown in the world is thrown away.” What do you think of these photos? Did they make you think differently about food waste?

11/14: How ‘Double Bucks’ For Food Stamps Conquered Capitol Hill, NPR.ORG
What if people receiving SNAP benefits were incentivized to purchase fresh produce? The farm bill that passed earlier this year included $100 million, over the next five years, to boost SNAP dollars when they’re spent on fresh fruits and vegetables.

11/18: Woman Gives Back to Organization that Fed Her Family in Time of Need, ABC7NEWS.COM
ABC7 News did a wonderful piece on Irene, a client and volunteer of Second Harvest Food Bank. Thank you, Irene, for sharing your story!

11/19: To End Food Waste, Change Needs to Begin at Home, NPR.ORG
“‘Food production is not an issue…[We] produce enough food, but we’re throwing away all this food, and a mile away, people don’t have enough.’”

11/21:

11/23:

We're at the #49ers game collecting donations!

A photo posted by Second Harvest Food Bank (@2ndharvest) on

11/24:

@antoine_bethea41 with our CEO Kathy Jackson! #ab41turkeydrive

A photo posted by Second Harvest Food Bank (@2ndharvest) on

11/24:

This also happened this morning during #ab41turkeydrive – thank you @marketoinc!

A video posted by Second Harvest Food Bank (@2ndharvest) on

11/26: How Food and Family Meals Impact Happiness, SOCIALMEDIAWEEK.ORG
DYK that people who eat 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day rank highest in happiness and mental health? Get more fun food factoids.

11/26:

11/29: Despite Bay Area Boom, a Widespread Need for Food Aid as Holidays Approach, KQED.ORG
“The cost of living is going up, and that’s really affecting the people we serve,” said Tami Cárdenas, Second Harvest Food Bank’s vice president of development and marketing. “Considering that the economy has improved so much, we hoped the need would not be as chronic and as high.”

11/30: In Battle Against Food Waste, Rethinking “Use By” Labels, NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC.COM
“Simple confusion over the wording of the various kinds of expiration dates on food products accounts for a significant percentage of avoidable food wastage… ‘Use by,’ ‘best before,’ and ‘display until’ all have different meanings, but for many consumers the calendar date they see is all that matters.”

*** Did you miss our October Social Media Roundup? Click here to read it.

Two Parents, One Income

Like any parents, Patrick and Joy prioritize providing nutritious meals and snacks for their daughter, Angelica. Angelica needs healthy food to fuel her packed (especially for a 6-year-old) schedule: She recites poems to the seniors at church, plays piano, and helps her mom, a kindergarten teacher, tutor kids after school.

Says Patrick: “We live in a very rich area, but Angelica is our treasure.”

Affording nutritious food isn’t always easy for families on a tight budget. Patrick has been out of work for the past several years, so the family has fully relied on Joy’s teacher’s salary. Nearly 40% of their income goes toward rent.

The family first heard about Second Harvest when Joy was pregnant with Angelica. At the time, Angelica was on WIC, a program that provides healthy food to moms-to-be. Since Angelica was born, the food from Second Harvest’s Family Harvest Program and from CalFresh (food stamps) has helped stock the family’s kitchen with fresh carrots, celery, apples and other fruits and vegetables. As a family they enjoy cooking the Filipino foods they love, like adobo chicken and embutido (meatloaf).

Money is tight for the family, but they budget carefully to make ends meet. Joy is quick to point out that Angelica’s favorite restaurant is “Café Colma—at our house. And the chef is daddy.”

Last July, on Patrick and Joy’s wedding anniversary, Joy was diagnosed with breast cancer. “If it wasn’t for her hair, no one would have known she was sick,” Patrick says of Joy’s positive attitude. “I can’t tell you how much the food from Second Harvest meant to us. It was one less thing that we needed to worry about. Knowing someone is there to help you, there’s hope—there’s something you can look up for. You don’t feel like you’re left alone.”

With Joy completing her radiation treatment and Patrick’s employment prospects looking promising, the family’s future is bright. They’re looking forward to the holidays, and not just because of the home-cooked meals. “If nothing had happened to Joy, the holidays would be the same. But this holiday will be something special, it’s like a second life for Joy. There may not be as many gifts this year, but we have so much more to celebrate.”

***One in 10 people in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties receive food from Second Harvest. Find out how you can help.

Nutritious Food is a Basic Need

“Local Hunger Fighters” is a series that spotlights our awesome supporters and staff who help raise awareness of hunger in our community and motivate people to get involved.

Local Hunger Fighters: Gail Jacobs, Church & Society Committee, Campbell United Methodist Church

How is Campbell United Methodist Church helping Second Harvest and our community?
Campbell United Methodist Church (UMC) has a long history of vigorous involvement and response to hunger needs. The church hosts the “Brown Bag” program, a weekly food distribution for low-income seniors. Community volunteers help with two distributions, each serving up to 200 persons a week. Campbell UMC has hosted a Friday program for close to 25 years. The Thursday distribution has been running 5 years. It’s been a great partnership!

Campbell UMC also provides a venue for the “Family Harvest” program, a monthly distribution to low-income families, which serves approximately 60-75 families per month. Each distribution, whether weekly or monthly, takes about 4 to 5 hours from set-up to clean up, so in terms of space, parking, and utilities, the free use of our space is quite a benefit to Second Harvest and the community.

Campbell UMC has had groups sorting food at Second Harvest for the past 18 years, and we continue today to organize small groups to volunteer at the warehouse. Last but certainly not least, we collect a steady stream of food donations throughout the year and often run specific drives to highlight the need to keep the Second Harvest barrels full.

What inspires you to give?
How can the reality of someone being hungry in our society not motivate us to do what we can? Nutritious food is a basic need — it’s not recreational or optional. It’s necessary. I’ve served food at a local shelter and seen the appreciative faces of those within our communities who need a bit of help – they are not unlike you or me. The fact that my donating some food, money, or time can actually have a positive impact on another person adds purpose to my life and is truly a privilege.

Why should people care about hunger in our community?
Everyone needs fuel to function, stay healthy, and survive. Hunger affects productivity, and particularly for children, that gnawing feeling in their tummies affects their ability to concentrate, learn and succeed in school. Second Harvest’s tagline, “Nothing else matters when you’re hungry,” says it all. It’s simple, it’s direct, and it makes you stop and realize that it’s so true.

Why do you support Second Harvest?
Personally, bringing food for the barrels or financially supporting Second Harvest Food Bank is something I just need to do. That thought of a parent not eating so their child can, or even more alarming, knowing that so many families in this valley simply don’t have the resources to ensure their children have enough to eat, makes my heart ache. I’m impressed that Second Harvest can stretch my financial donations due to their buying power, and the website is extremely user-friendly. I also appreciate that they support so many other organizations and shelters so I feel my contributions have a broader reach and impact. I lead and organize the volunteer activities at the warehouse for the church as well, and it’s very inspirational to all of us who volunteer. At the end of my volunteer shift, I always feel uplifted and know that my time has been well spent.

*Special thanks goes to Barbara Wade, Campbell UMC Administrator, for providing much of the history and current information on the various food distribution programs at the church.

***Want to meet more people working to end hunger in our community? Click here to read past Local Hunger Fighters posts.

Let’s Make Lots of Money – With Your Clicks!

Sure, there are discounts to be had on Cyber Monday, when online retailers entice you to buy gifts for loved ones and yourself. Then there’s #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to celebrating generosity and to giving to nonprofit organizations that you care about. We are taking advantage of the anticipated high number of people traversing the World Wide Web to earn up to $5,000 from LiveOps, a global leader in cloud-based customer service, and help spread the word about local hunger.

Yes, we are banking on you being online on Monday, 12/1, and Tuesday, 12/2, so that we can entice you to perform simple actions on social media – like commenting, retweeting, or sharing photos – that will earn us some moola. All of the actions aim to keep us connected, as well as educate your networks about hunger in our community and how they can get involved.

Here’s the menu of $5 and $10 social media actions for the 2014 LiveOps Social Media Challenge:

$5 Actions
• Follow our social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest)
• Share/RT our Facebook posts and tweets
• Watch our holiday campaign video

$10 Actions
• Respond to question(s) that we post on Facebook and Twitter
• Take on our Photo Challenge (Monday: #nomnom, #saywhatmatters; Tuesday: #unselfie, #healthy) and post/share the photo on our Facebook Page, on Instagram (please remember that we won’t see your Instagram post if your account is private) or Twitter. Remember to tag us @2ndharvest and include the hashtag.

So if one of your friends isn’t connected to us on social media decides to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram on 12/1, then on 12/2, posted a #healthy photo, she’d earn us a $25 donation from LiveOps. Since we can turn $1 into 2 meals, that $25 donation is equal to 50 meals for our neighbors in need. Easy, right?

Keep an eye on our Facebook status updates, tweets, and Instagram posts on 12/1 Cyber Monday and 12/2 Giving Tuesday. We will prompt you with every action you can take. Be ready to like, comment, share, post, and retweet!

Nutrition Newbie: Let’s Talk Turkey

Special Blog Post by: Susan Karlins, Director of Programs

“Nutrition Newbie” is a series focused on basic nutrition information and tips. This special post focuses on poultry and food safety.

It’s that time of year when many family holiday meals depend upon turkey, chicken and other poultry. Handling raw poultry during food preparation requires special safeguards to keep everyone healthy. Get your questions answered on our website: How to Keep Poultry Safe to Eat

Here are a couple of highlights:

  • When handling raw poultry, wash all kitchen knives, cutting boards, utensils, counter tops (and your hands!) with hot soapy water.
  • Do NOT defrost frozen poultry at room temperature. You can defrost it in the refrigerator. For quicker defrosting that is still safe, check out our tips.
  • At the Food Bank, we are getting ready to distribute thousands of turkeys to our clients and agency partners. Here’s a look at the bulletin board in the checkout room where our agency partners pick up food for their clients:

    ***Click here to read past Nutrition Newbie posts.

    So Many Ways to Help Feed Our Neighbors in Need

    We always feel the love from the community, especially during this time of the year. Here’s a list of special events and promotions benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank (we’ll keep this list updated as we hear about new ones, so check back often!):

    Ongoing

  • The KPIX/KBCW and Whole Foods Feed 4 More Program runs until December 26. Stores have food barrels for you to drop off your non-perishable food donations or you can purchase a “Pantry Builder” (cash donations that go directly to your local food bank) at the register.
  • Sprouts Farmers Market is running its annual “Grab n’ Give” program through December 31. Shoppers can purchase discounted “Grab n’ Give” bags filled with shelf stable items. Bags will be collected by our Food Rescue partner agencies. Watch this video to learn more about the program.
  • NBC Bay Area and Safeway kicks off its month-long “Help Us End Hunger” campaign benefiting Bay Area food banks with a one-day food drive on Saturday, November 22 at 155 Safeway locations throughout the Bay Area. A specially produced shopping bag filled with items that food banks need the most will be available for $10 through December 25. Here’s the press release.
  • Save Mart Markets (which include Save Mart, Lucky, and FoodMaxx) is collecting cash donations for food banks. Between now and January 2, 2015, shoppers can select a tag at checkout and directly donate to fund a meal for your local food bank: $2 for Breakfast, $3 for Lunch, $5 for Dinner. Here’s the press release
  • Events

  • Scouting for Food happens on Saturday, November 15. In the Bay Area, more than 30,000 Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Venturers, Explorers and their supporters will be “Scouting for Food” by picking up boxed or bagged nonperishable food items for local food banks placed on doorsteps by 9 a.m. Saturday, November 15.
  • During “Thanks for Giving Week” from November 17 through November 23, merchants throughout Los Gatos and Saratoga will be offering many different ways for the community to support our Holiday Food and Fund Drive!
  • Enjoy a fun evening out with dinner, music, and dancing on December 13 at the Mangiare, 301 Executive Park Blvd., San Francisco, CA. Hosted by one of our supporters, proceeds donated at the event will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. Tickets are $50.00 and attire is semi-formal. RSVP by November 26. For more information, view this flyer.
  • Shop, Enjoy and Give Holiday Wine Stroll Benefiting Second Harvest at Santana Row will be happening on Tuesday evenings in December from 6:00-8:00 pm. Purchase a ticket for $15 and receive complimentary food & wine tastings inside Santana Row shops and restaurants, a signature Santana Row wine glass and exclusive shopping discounts. You can also get $2 off when you bring canned goods with you when purchasing your ticket at the concierge. More details
  • The South Bay’s newest rock music palace, RockBar Theatre, presents “A Classic Rock Christmas!” Campbell rocker Robert Berry leads a band, December People (with members from Boston, The Greg Kihn Band, Sammy Hagar Band, The Tubes, Ambrosia Alliance), who mash up traditional holiday songs with hard-rock standards. Bring 5 cans of food or a cash donation to help support Second Harvest Food Bank. The concert is on Saturday, December 13, 8:00 pm (doors 7:00 pm); tickets are only $20pp ($25 at the door). Get your ticket before they sell out! Rockbar Theater (formerly Garden City Casino), 360 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose
  • In partnership with Macy’s and ABC7, the Foster Farms Bowl will donate ONE MEAL for EVERY ticket purchased to the December 30 game at Levi’s Stadium. Five local organizations tackling hunger in our community (including Second Harvest) are beneficiaries of the event. More information or buy tickets
  • Promotions & Purchases

  • KFOG Live from the Archives 21 CD is available for purchase online or at Bay Area Peet’s Coffee & Tea. CD sales are expected to raise more than $200,000 for Bay Area Food Banks this year. Get a preview of the songs on the CD.
  • Nomikai in Downtown San Jose is donating $1 to Second Harvest for every pizza purchased from November 12 through November 22. More info
  • As part of its Spreading MODness 2014 campaign, MOD Pizza in San Jose is donating $1 for every MOD or MEGA pizza sold from November 25 through November 30 to Second Harvest! Get their address.
  • Mazda Drive for Good: Purchase a new vehicle at any local Mazda dealer November 21 through January 2 and you can direct a $150 donation to Second Harvest. Visit your local Mazda dealership for more info.
  • glassybaby, a Seattle-based company known for its hand-made glass votives, just opened their first ‘little shop of kindness’ at Valley Fair Mall in San Jose. A portion of sales will be donated to Second Harvest. More info
  • OP4G’s program allows you to help Second Harvest while also sharing your feelings and experiences with organizations who want your feedback. You’ll be paid for it, with at least 25% of your compensation being donated to us! Op4G conducts market research activities directly with members, so you remain anonymous and protected. They recently informed us of some new features for members. Sign up to participate!
  • foodtweeks™ is a mobile app that helps you make better food choices, or tweeks, this holiday season. Support Second Harvest by following these two steps: 1) Download the free app on your Android or iPhone and 2) Create a free account in the app and enter the promo code SHFBSCSM. Now every time you tweek calories out of a food you are thinking of eating, buying, or cooking, foodtweeks™ will donate twice as many calories to the Food Bank.
  • De Anza Appliance is offering $10 off any appliance repair or free diagnosis of a second appliance with donations to the Second Harvest Food Bank. “We’re looking forward to keeping your ovens running through the holidays and food on the table for our neighbors in need.” More info
  • Purchase a San Jose giftbox at therethere x SJ and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank. Gift boxes are $3 and are available at therethere x SJ in downtown San Jose (15 N. 2nd St.). For those that are not in the area, shop online at therethere.com and 10% of proceeds from the web for the month of December will be donated to Second Harvest. This promotion runs from November 28 through December 31.
  • With the plastic bag ban being passed in California, Second Harvest Food Bank and Urban Market bags have partnered together this season. Enter HARVEST in the coupon code box and 20% of your purchase will go to the Food Bank! Offer expires 12/31/2014. Buy an Urban Market Bag today.
  • Do you know about other special events and promotions benefiting the Food Bank? Please share them in the comments section below.

    Gobble Up a Pair of 49ers Tickets

    We’re excited to announce that we are holding a drawing for a pair of tickets to the San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks game on Thanksgiving Day! Our turkey goal this year is 13,000 (there’s no specific goal for chickens), so we’re super grateful to be able to give away these tickets as an incentive (thanks to the generous supporter who donated them!).

    So how can you enter the drawing? For every frozen turkey or chicken donated, you will get an entry form. So, for example, if you donate 2 frozen turkeys and 2 frozen chickens, you’ll get 4 entries.

    Donations must be made at one of our 3 locations starting on Monday, November 10 through Monday, November 24 during food donation dock hours. Entry forms must be filled out in person at the time of the donation and put into the designated drawing box.

    Frozen turkey and chicken donations can be dropped off at any one of our three distribution centers:

  • Curtner Center, 750 Curtner Avenue, San Jose, Holiday Donation Hours
  • Cypress Center, 4001 North 1st Street, San Jose, Holiday Donation Hours
  • Bing Center, 1051 Bing Street, San Carlos, Holiday Donation Hours
  • The drawing will be held on Tuesday, November 25, and the winner will be notified that same day.

    Here are more details about the game:
    San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks
    Thursday, November 27 @ 5:30 PM
    Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California
    Section: 412, Row: 24, Seats: 19 & 20

    Rules:

  • Donations made through Monday, Nov. 24 qualify for the drawing
  • Must be at least 18 years of age to enter
  • Entry forms must be filled out on site, at time of food donation
  • Game tickets are non-transferrable
  • Copies of entry forms are not acceptable
  • Second Harvest Food Bank employees and their families are not eligible
  • Good luck and thanks for helping us feed our neighbors in need!

    October Social Media Roundup

    “Social Media Round-Up” is an ‘ICYMI’ compilation of the top hunger-related news articles and other interesting tidbits posted on our social media profiles.

    10/1: Americans Throw Out More Food Than Paper, Plastic, Metal, and Glass, WASHINGTONPOST.COM
    The title of this article is a bit mindblowing

    10/3: Super Hacks: How to Make Healthy Food Even Healthier, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM
    Except for adding fresh lemon to green tea, I haven’t heard of any of these…have you? ‪#‎foodiefriday‬‬

    10/7: Total strangers step in to help mother who cannot afford food [Video], TECHTIMES.COM
    Get the tissues out.

    10/8: The Food Waste Fiasco: You Have To See It To Believe It, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM
    The amount of food this guy rescued from dumpsters is pretty amazing. You’ve got to see the pics.

    10/11: How One Student is Fighting the College Hunger Crisis, MSNBC.COM
    We know that college hunger is growing. In our region, the cost of living makes it nearly impossible for low-income students to stay in school and end the cycle of poverty through education. To help them out, we’ve established food pantries in partnership with the SparkPoint centers at Skyline and Cañada Colleges and, in October, we’ll start promoting food assistance programs to Foothill College and College of San Mateo students that they may be eligible for.

    10/13: Food Tank’s Fall Reading List: 20 Great Books About Food, FOODTANK.COM
    Looking for a good book to read? Check out this Fall Reading List from Food Tank: The Food Think Tank.

    10/16:

    Our CEO Kathy Jackson sheds like on what hunger looks like in our community at today’s Google Tech Talk on hunger relief

    A photo posted by Second Harvest Food Bank (@2ndharvest) on

    10/21: This Label Says Just How Bad Juice and Soda Are, THEATLANTIC.COM
    What if a nutrition label told you that the calories in the drink you’re holding is equivalent to a 50-minute jog – would that change your mind about drinking it?

    10/22: Here are the Biggest Reasons Wasted Food Doesn’t Get to Poor People Who Need It, BUSINESSINSIDER.COM
    Why don’t more grocery stores and restaurants supply their excess food to the people that need it? This article gets at some of the challenges.

    10/26: Giant Leap From Stratosphere Sets New Record, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM
    Just wanted to give a quick shout-out to Google’s Alan Eustace – he broke the world record for completing the highest-altitude free fall by parachuting from 25 miles above Earth! One of our most generous supporters, he started and continues to spearhead the Google Costco Extravaganza (an event when Googlers raid Costco to buy food for local families in need). Congrats, Alan!

    10/27:

    Spotted at San Pedro Square – vote for your favorite pumpkin and the proceeds go to us!

    A photo posted by Second Harvest Food Bank (@2ndharvest) on

    10/28: 8 Impossible Choices People Who Can’t Afford Food Make Every Day, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM
    Nearly half of our clients have had to choose between food and education in the last 12 months. Learn about other hard choices people who don’t have enough food make every day.

    10/29: Report: U.S. Child Poverty Rate Peaked in 2010 and It’s Not Budging, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM
    “Children who struggle with hunger are more likely to get sick and endure impeded emotional, physical and intellectual development, according to a Feeding America study. Ironically enough, they’re also at a higher risk of becoming obese since cheap fast food is more affordable that healthy, nutritionally dense options.”

    *** Did you miss our September Social Media Roundup? Click here to read it.

    Nutrition Newbie: Healthy Kid-Friendly Party Food

    “Nutrition Newbie” is a series focused on basic nutrition information and tips.

    It gets pretty tough to avoid sugary sweets starting right around Halloween and lasting all the way through the end of the year. Co-workers leave homemade cookies in the break room. Family and friends bring numerous dessert options to holiday potluck parties. Fortunately, I’ve gotten better at eating sweets in moderation.

    But what about the kids? Whether it’s at school or children’s parties, it’s hard to monitor and control how much candy or cupcakes or cookies are getting into your child’s tummy. And when the healthy fruits and veggies are on a table next to these sweet things, the competition can be close to nil. That doesn’t mean we can’t keep trying to put those healthy alternatives out there! In fact, thanks to bloggers and Pinterest, it’s real easy to find lots of ideas to try.

    When I asked our nutritionists for advice to share about healthy holiday treats for kids, they recommended several blog posts from School Bites:

  • A Year of Healthy Class Parties: A Planning Guide for Parents and Teachers
  • 5 Secrets to Throwing a Healthy Class Party
  • If you’re concerned about food dyes, check out Healthy School Holiday: A Natural Red & Green Food Celebration With 15 Festive Recipes (The strawberry and grape kabobs look delish—and so pretty!)
  • Here are some of my favorite ideas (the simpler the ingredients, the better!):

  • Halloween fruit from Under Construction Blog (this a little late, but something to keep in mind for next year)
  • Turkey Vegetable Tray from Living Locurto
  • Frozen Yogurt Buttons from Lady Behind the Curtain
  • What are some of your favorite healthy kid-friendly party foods?

    ***Click here to read past Nutrition Newbie posts.