Kraft Singles Seal, Healthy-Eating Education and a Food Photographer’s Secrets

A nutrition group gives Kraft Singles its seal of approval, healthy-eating education makes a difference and a photographer for The New York Times tells you how its done.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Cheese-Product Goodness?

And the first food to get a “Kids Eat Right” nutrition seal from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics — a trade group of registered dietitians and others working in the field of nutrition — is Kraft Singles, the plastic-wrapped “Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product" formerly known as a “pasteurized process cheese food.” That is, until the FDA blocked it from using that label because it contained an ingredient -- “milk protein concentrate” -- that was not allowed in products so designated. On its website, Kraft insists its Singles are colored with “spices, not food coloring” and “now” made “with no artificial preservatives.” But one parent and nutrition advocate tells The New York Times she is “really shocked” at the endorsement. She is not alone. A former member of the academy told The Times that, when he heard about the group’s decision to award the product its first seal, his “jaw just hit the floor” and his “eyebrows just hit the ceiling.” Ouch.

Effective Intervention

Education really can make a difference when it comes to healthy eating. A new study has found that low-income adults and children who had interventions to help them form more healthful eating habits — messages about the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables, healthful recipes, and food-prep demonstrations, for instance — via the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education, ate more fruits and vegetables and less fast food than those who had no interventions. And teenagers who even had “low-reach” interventions from the program reported more physical activity than those who had no interventions. The authors of the peer-reviewed study, published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, say the results underscore the importance of interventions in addressing the U.S. obesity epidemic.

Food Photo Tips from a Pro

Curious about how to make your healthy meals mouthwatering photographs you can post on social media? Take a tip from Andrew Scrivani, photographer for The New York Times’ Recipe for Health series. “The things that go into the process of making something look really desirable or sexy or food-pornish ... for me, it’s about light, almost exclusively,” Scrivani says in a behind-the-lens video. “I think the food has to look great on the plate regardless, but to really, really make it look like something you want to reach through the screen or ... the page and grab and eat is about the lighting.” It’s also about conveying a love for food to the viewer. “It’s harder to take a picture of something and make it look really desirable if you’re not having that same emotion at the same time,” he says.

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