ACEs and Nourishment

What is the relationship between adverse experiences and eating habits, food security, and nutritional status? How can we work on food insecurity and nutritional health in a trauma-informed way? How can understanding our relationship to food through a trauma-informed lens support healing, resilience, and whole health?

Blog Posts

School Lunch at 9am?

While we know that the national school lunch program is an essential part of students functioning, wellbeing, and achievement, the reality is that many schools serve lunch before 11 and even as early as 9 am (shout out to the 2 local Junior Highs in my childhood neighborhood in Queens, NY). Why this is nuts is a no brainer but as one student puts it: “It is way too early. People that have lunch periods at that time get hungry later on in the day which decreases our focus in classes,” says...

How to Use Mindfulness Meditation to Overcome Emotional Eating [betterhumans.coach.me]

As a teenager, I struggled with bulimia. Not only did I eat to manage my emotional states, but I also binged and then tried to compensate for my dietary transgressions. This never-ending cycle was so draining that I could not think of anything else but food. Stopping binge eating required a shift in my beliefs about my worthiness and my ability to cope with stressful situations. I used food to suppress three negative emotions in particular: powerlessness, anxiety, and emptiness. Fortunately,...

Trauma in early childhood boosts the risk of teen obesity, study says [philly.com]

Teenagers who have suffered adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) — such as physical or emotional abuse, or having a parent who is incarcerated or addicted to drugs or alcohol — are at greater risk of being overweight or obese, according to a new study . In fact, the study found that the more kinds of adverse experiences children endured, the more likely they would have excessive weight issues by middle school or high school. “This study adds to our understanding of childhood overweight and...

It's not too late to sign up: Second Chance Youth Garden Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA) program

Hi Everyone, Kristin Kvernland from Second Chance said that that they still have a few open spots left, so if anyone wanted to start next week they could pro-rate their share. Note: They don’t want to add anyone else after Week Two but they will have another season starting in March and will be sure to send the info for those interested in their Spring season. (See details in the original email below.) SIGN UP FOR OUR WINTER CSA SHARE! 1 CSA box = 1 youth employed in our program. The Winter...

Grateful Changemakers: Karma Kitchen (dailygood.org)

Imagine a restaurant where there are no prices on the menu and where the check reads $0.00 with only this footnote: “Your meal was a gift from someone who came before you. To keep the chain of gifts alive, we invite you to pay it forward for those who dine after you.” This restaurant exists, and it’s called Karma Kitchen, a self-described “volunteer-driven experiment in generosity.” Karma Kitchen was first opened in Berkeley, California in 2007 by volunteers inspired to seed the value of a...

Terry markets give hands-on learning (hanfordsentinel.com)

SELMA – Instead of merely learning about math concepts, organization skills and customer service by reading about markets in a book, the Terry Elementary after-school students have opened up their monthly Fresh Produce Stand for a hands-on learning experience. W ith their cafeteria transformed with signs, cashiers and apron-wearing staff ready to assist, the stand officially kicked off the season Dec. 12. Fliers were sent out to parents and staff and for future markets, the general public is...

Parenting Aggravation Associated with Food Insecurity Impacts Children’s Behavior and Development [poverty.ucdavis.edu]

Parents struggling with food insecurity can experience heightened levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. These pressures may negatively affect their parenting, which may in turn affect the behavior of their children. In this study, we investigated the parenting aggravation levels of parents who experienced food insecurity in the aftermath of the Great Recession. We also explored the extent to which such aggravation may be responsible for the link between food insecurity and children’s...

Biomarkers for Diabetes May Differ Based on Childhood Experiences [Diabetes In Control]

MIDUS study looks at individual adverse childhood experiences and their impacts on future diabetes. An adverse childhood experience (ACE) is any experience that produces long-lasting stress in a child’s life and leads to worse overall health, both psychological and physical as an adult. Research has shown that even a single ACE increases the risk of diabetes, but little is known about the mechanism behind this phenomenon or how to prevent its occurrence. Currently the CDC only recommends...

Drexel research links racism and hunger [thecourierexpress.com]

New research out of Drexel University finds that racism can be a catalyst for food insecurity. Released Monday by the school’s Center for Hunger Free Communities, the report shows that people who experienced discrimination firsthand struggled with hunger twice as often as others. When — or where — that discrimination occurred didn’t matter. However, food insecurity was more likely the more someone had experienced racism. [For more on this story by Aaron Moselle, go to...

Pasta Primavera: HOPE Style [HOPE Garden Project blog]

Pasta Primavera: HOPE Style Pasta Perfect Last week our crew made Pasta Primavera from scratch (noodles included) and it was wonderful to watch the kids take turns digging into the dough. It was my first time to take part in the Summer Program here at (click link:) H.O.P.E . and being a part of the process was a special treat. I remember the first time I ever dug my hands into something messy. . . it was meatloaf and I was a lot more hesitant and dare I say grossed out than our crew members...

Access to Food Stamps Improves Children’s Health and Reduces Medical Spending [poverty.ucdavis.edu]

The Food Stamp Program (FSP, known since 2008 as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) is one of the largest safety-net programs in the United States. It is especially important for families with children. However, the FSP eligibility of documented immigrants has shifted on multiple occasions in recent decades. When I studied the health outcomes of children in documented immigrant families affected by such shifts between 1996 and 2003, I found that just one extra year of...

Blog Posts

School Lunch at 9am?

While we know that the national school lunch program is an essential part of students functioning, wellbeing, and achievement, the reality is that many schools serve lunch before 11 and even as early as 9 am (shout out to the 2 local Junior Highs in my childhood neighborhood in Queens, NY). Why this is nuts is a no brainer but as one student puts it: “It is way too early. People that have lunch periods at that time get hungry later on in the day which decreases our focus in classes,” says...

How to Use Mindfulness Meditation to Overcome Emotional Eating [betterhumans.coach.me]

As a teenager, I struggled with bulimia. Not only did I eat to manage my emotional states, but I also binged and then tried to compensate for my dietary transgressions. This never-ending cycle was so draining that I could not think of anything else but food. Stopping binge eating required a shift in my beliefs about my worthiness and my ability to cope with stressful situations. I used food to suppress three negative emotions in particular: powerlessness, anxiety, and emptiness. Fortunately,...

Trauma in early childhood boosts the risk of teen obesity, study says [philly.com]

Teenagers who have suffered adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) — such as physical or emotional abuse, or having a parent who is incarcerated or addicted to drugs or alcohol — are at greater risk of being overweight or obese, according to a new study . In fact, the study found that the more kinds of adverse experiences children endured, the more likely they would have excessive weight issues by middle school or high school. “This study adds to our understanding of childhood overweight and...

It's not too late to sign up: Second Chance Youth Garden Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA) program

Hi Everyone, Kristin Kvernland from Second Chance said that that they still have a few open spots left, so if anyone wanted to start next week they could pro-rate their share. Note: They don’t want to add anyone else after Week Two but they will have another season starting in March and will be sure to send the info for those interested in their Spring season. (See details in the original email below.) SIGN UP FOR OUR WINTER CSA SHARE! 1 CSA box = 1 youth employed in our program. The Winter...

Grateful Changemakers: Karma Kitchen (dailygood.org)

Imagine a restaurant where there are no prices on the menu and where the check reads $0.00 with only this footnote: “Your meal was a gift from someone who came before you. To keep the chain of gifts alive, we invite you to pay it forward for those who dine after you.” This restaurant exists, and it’s called Karma Kitchen, a self-described “volunteer-driven experiment in generosity.” Karma Kitchen was first opened in Berkeley, California in 2007 by volunteers inspired to seed the value of a...

Terry markets give hands-on learning (hanfordsentinel.com)

SELMA – Instead of merely learning about math concepts, organization skills and customer service by reading about markets in a book, the Terry Elementary after-school students have opened up their monthly Fresh Produce Stand for a hands-on learning experience. W ith their cafeteria transformed with signs, cashiers and apron-wearing staff ready to assist, the stand officially kicked off the season Dec. 12. Fliers were sent out to parents and staff and for future markets, the general public is...

Parenting Aggravation Associated with Food Insecurity Impacts Children’s Behavior and Development [poverty.ucdavis.edu]

Parents struggling with food insecurity can experience heightened levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. These pressures may negatively affect their parenting, which may in turn affect the behavior of their children. In this study, we investigated the parenting aggravation levels of parents who experienced food insecurity in the aftermath of the Great Recession. We also explored the extent to which such aggravation may be responsible for the link between food insecurity and children’s...

Biomarkers for Diabetes May Differ Based on Childhood Experiences [Diabetes In Control]

MIDUS study looks at individual adverse childhood experiences and their impacts on future diabetes. An adverse childhood experience (ACE) is any experience that produces long-lasting stress in a child’s life and leads to worse overall health, both psychological and physical as an adult. Research has shown that even a single ACE increases the risk of diabetes, but little is known about the mechanism behind this phenomenon or how to prevent its occurrence. Currently the CDC only recommends...

Drexel research links racism and hunger [thecourierexpress.com]

New research out of Drexel University finds that racism can be a catalyst for food insecurity. Released Monday by the school’s Center for Hunger Free Communities, the report shows that people who experienced discrimination firsthand struggled with hunger twice as often as others. When — or where — that discrimination occurred didn’t matter. However, food insecurity was more likely the more someone had experienced racism. [For more on this story by Aaron Moselle, go to...

Pasta Primavera: HOPE Style [HOPE Garden Project blog]

Pasta Primavera: HOPE Style Pasta Perfect Last week our crew made Pasta Primavera from scratch (noodles included) and it was wonderful to watch the kids take turns digging into the dough. It was my first time to take part in the Summer Program here at (click link:) H.O.P.E . and being a part of the process was a special treat. I remember the first time I ever dug my hands into something messy. . . it was meatloaf and I was a lot more hesitant and dare I say grossed out than our crew members...

Access to Food Stamps Improves Children’s Health and Reduces Medical Spending [poverty.ucdavis.edu]

The Food Stamp Program (FSP, known since 2008 as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) is one of the largest safety-net programs in the United States. It is especially important for families with children. However, the FSP eligibility of documented immigrants has shifted on multiple occasions in recent decades. When I studied the health outcomes of children in documented immigrant families affected by such shifts between 1996 and 2003, I found that just one extra year of...

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