February 2014 Archives

Health Tied to Success

Gracie Cavnar
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5-a-day winner celebrates.jpg Fitness, nutrition, proper sleep and TV restrictions appeared to make a difference at school according to a study of city kids

SATURDAY, Feb. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and being physically fit are important for students' success in school, a new study suggests.

When students' home and school environments support their physical health and well-being, they perform better academically, the researchers found, so programs in and out of the classroom to promote healthy behavior may be a smart investment.

The study looked at survey results and district test scores of 940 fifth- and sixth-grade students attending 12 randomly selected schools in New Haven, Conn., a poor and ethnically diverse city.

Researchers also assessed the students' physical fitness three to six months before they were tested and again after the scores of the standardized tests were released.

Students with environments that supported their physical health were more likely to reach their target scores in reading, writing and math. They were more than twice as likely to achieve this academic success than students whose environments supported their health the least, the investigators found. However, the study did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

The study, published online recently in the Journal of School Health, revealed health factors that were linked to improved test scores in the children, including the following:

  • Not having a television in the bedroom
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Being physically fit
  • Having access to healthy foods
  • Rarely eating fast food
  • Not drinking sugary drinks, such as soda
  • Getting enough sleep

"Many urban families sadly face the harsh challenges of persistent poverty," study lead author Jeannette Ickovics, a professor of epidemiology and psychology at Yale University, said in a Yale news release.

"Health and social disparities, including academic achievement, are increasing," said Ickovics, also director of the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement, a research program at the Yale School of Public Health.

"One way to reduce disparities and close the equity gaps in health and education is to coordinate community and family-based efforts with comprehensive school-based approaches," she concluded in the news release.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about the link between health and academic success.

SOURCE: Yale University, news release, Feb. 17, 2014

VegOut! on ABC-13 this March

Jenna White
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VegOut!-SharronMelton.jpgCould your kids learn to love veggies? That's the question posed by Channel 13's Sharron Melton, who found out that Recipe for Success Foundation and its supporters whole-heartily believe that YES, THEY COULD! She joined me to see Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ students in action and has taken an interest in our 2014 VegOut! Challenge, encouraging Houstonians citywide to eat 30 different vegetables within 30 days this March. 

Stay tuned for more VegOut! coverage to come, but catch a snippet of her story here:

Video clip originally posted here.

30 Days!?

Amy Anton
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This March, Recipe for Success Foundation will host its second-annual VegOut! 30 Ways in 30 Days Challenge, motivating folks to eat 30 different vegetables in 30 days during National Nutrition Month. Bustling schedules and picky palettes can make the task of nourishing a family an uphill battle, so how do you get your brood to eat 30 different vegetables period, much less within one month?

Houston mom Amy Anton has a plan.

AmyAnton-Fam.jpg30 Ways in 30 what!?! There is no way I can do it again this year. I have three boys who will eat some veggies, but certainly not thirty, and we have school, and homework, and lacrosse... and busy lives!

But this is important.

OK, breathe, and make a plan of attack.

March is busy with sports and we have a whole week off at spring break, during which we will be eating out a lot. I think I will frontload to get as many veggies as I can in during the first two weeks. That way, I can relax and we can have fun with the Challenge in the second half of the month. After all, it's "an easy, delicious food adventure", it's supposed to be fun!

So, what to start with? Salads. Remember, salad dressing can be a friend, and if I make a yummy dressing or grate in some parmesan, they will usually eat it all. Possibilities are endless there. If I am really in a pinch, I can run to the salad bar and load up on already chopped goodies.

Then, I can alternate with a huge pan of roasted veggies - squash, zucchini, cauliflower and bell peppers. Just toss with some olive oil and a roast in a 375 degree oven, and there's four more to add to the Veggie Log.

Add my oldest child's favorite, Kale Caesar, to the list, maybe even with sliced radishes, and we're on our way! Stay tuned for Ashton's recipe for Kale Caesar. It's a keeper!

How will YOU tackle the 2014 VegOut! Challenge? Tell us in the comments!

BFD loves RFS

Jenna White
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BFD-Opening.pngOne of the best kept secrets - that Houston has a positively fantastic food scene - is getting around, bringing some of the most talented chefs to set up shop in our hometown.  One of the newest spots set to open March 15 is Bradley's Fine Diner

Two-time, James Beard Award-winner Chef Bradley Ogden and his son Chef Bryan Ogden will host the Grand Opening Celebration for Bradley's Fine Diner, 191 Heights Boulevard, from 6 pm until 9 pm on Saturday, March 15, 2014, which will benefit Recipe for Success.

The evening will begin with a private wine and hors d'oeuvre reception with Chef Bradley Ogden, during which he will sign his latest cookbook, Holiday Dinners with Bradley Ogden, then progress to a grand reception which will feature a silent auction of three items: Chef for the Day at Bradley's Fine Diner (includes a Chefs Tasting Menu with Wine Pairing for Six, a Wine Dinner for Six, and a Wine Tasting for Six.  Ticket Cost: $150 for Private Reception with Chef Bradley Ogden, which includes an autographed cookbook; $50 for Grand Reception.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle's food blog here.


REAL Food for REAL Families

Jenna White
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Monica-MollyShattuckFundraiser.jpgMonday, February 17, 4-7pm, to celebrate healthy living, veteran Recipe for Success supporter Chef Monica Pope of Sparrow Bar + Cookshop has joined up with healthy living expert, mother and author Molly Shattuck for a FREE family-friendly event. 

Stop by for cooking demonstrations with Molly and Monica, plus complimentary tastings and a book signing! 21% of sales from her book Vibrant Living will benefit Recipe for Success Foundation and our efforts to combat childhood obesity by changing the way children eat.

RSVP is free, but tickets are required. Snag them here!

Sox, Love and Rock & Roll in CultureMap

Jenna White
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MPenner-CM.jpg"Victoria's Secret angels had nothing on Penner's winged parade of six packs and bulging biceps that had the ladies swooning Tuesday night. This Recipe for Success "Men Dress for Dinner: Sox, Love and Rock & Roll" event was a first for the obesity-battling non-profit."

Read the full story about our showstopping event by CultureMap's Shelby Hodge here.

Full house for Max's Wine Dive

Jenna White
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This February, Chef Michael Pellegrino of MAX's Wine Dive joined us in the RecipeHouse kitchen to provide a full house of guests with a classy spread of classed-up comfort food, reminiscent of the cuisine served in the group's establishments. And true to the restaurant's concept, each course was completed with chef-selected wine pairing.

Take a peek at the mouth-watering offerings cooked up expressly for the of guests of our sold-out Chef Surprise pop-up dinner.


Pot Roast / Roasted winter vegetables / 8th Wonder gravy

Pellegrino-Dessert.jpgCreme Brulee French Toast / Lemon honey cream

Top: Warm Mushrooms / Shitake, baby bella, roasted cauliflower, haricoverts, cognac cashew emulsion

See more photos from the evening here

The Chef Surpríse series is held the first Monday of every month at RecipeHouse and features a rotation of Houston's hottest chefs. Learn more and reserve seats for upcoming dinners here.

Volunteer of the Month, Vicki Kuzma

Tracy Weldon
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vicki kuzma.jpgI am happy to announce Vicki Kuzma as our Volunteer of the Month for February!  Vicki has volunteered with the organization since Fall 2012 at KIPP SHINE.  As a mother of four children and a former home economics teacher, the opportunity to volunteer in one of our Seed-to-Plate classrooms was a natural fit. She currently helps Chef Emily with the 2nd grade culinary classes to expose young children to fresh healthy produce and gives them the opportunity to be able to prepare their own meals.  For her, it is an eye opening yet rewarding experience to see so many students who refuse to try to vegetables at the beginning of the year, but, by the end, become food adventurers and leaders of their families to improve their diets.

When asked how she envisions her life in 10 years, Vicki replied, "No different".  She has a very fortunate life where she is able to spend time with her family and volunteer with organizations that she is passionate about.  We thank Vicki for her continuous support to Recipe for Success Foundation and we hope to keep her around for many years to come! 


KIPP SHINE has been a Seed-to-Plate Nutrition EducationTM campus since 2010.  We love our relationship with the school and the healthy community they uphold.  Click here to learn more about KIPP SHINE.