Photo of the Day - January 9, 2021

Two to the finish
Running along side his daughter Katie Duval, Doug Weaver keeps a steady pace to a first place finish in the Male 60 and Over division at the 2019 SJO 5K. He finished in 59th place overall with a time of 24:21.30. Just under 200 runners competed at this year's race. Proceeds are donated to the St. Joseph Middle School and St. Joseph-Ogden cross country and track programs. Clocking in second place in the Female 30 to 34 division, Duval finished in 58th place overall with a time of 24:21.10.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Photo of the Day - January 8, 2021

Kennedi Burnett

SJO rally seals conference win

Sophomore outside hitter Kennedi Burnett passes the ball to the front row during St. Joseph-Ogden's road game against Unity on October 8 in 2019. After dropping the first set 28-26, the Spartans rallied back in the Illini Pairie Conference match to take the last two, 25-20, 25-13 at the Rocket Center. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Editorial: If walks like a duck and quacks like one

Sentinel editorial At a rally Tuesday in front of the U.S. Capitol, newly elected U.S. Rep. Mary Miller, R-Oakland said, "Hitler was right on one thing; he said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future.’"

Bitte, warte eine Minute! Hold up a sec lady.

Was hast du gesagt Frau Miller?

Straight out of central Illinois and right into a pan of pan of hot political Crisco, the newly sworn-in Illinois lawmaker is getting her first rude, booty-hurt lesson of American stateswomanship: Every. Freakin'. Word. Counts.

After considerable backlash, some calling for her resignation - which won't happen - and rebuke from politicians around the state, including Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, Miller issued this statement this morning:

"Earlier this week, I spoke to a group of mothers about the importance of faith and guarding our youth from destructive influences. I sincerely apologize for any harm my words caused and regret using a reference to one of the most evil dictators in history to illustrate the dangers that outside influences can have on our youth. This dark history should never be repeated and parents should be proactive to instill what is good, true, right, and noble into their children’s hearts and minds. While some are trying to intentionally twist my words to mean something antithetical to my beliefs, let me be clear: I’m passionately pro-Israel and I will always be a strong advocate and ally of the Jewish community. I’ve been in discussion with Jewish leaders across the country and am grateful to them for their kindness and forthrightness."

From my perspective she has three problems.

First, Miller did not apologize for using the quote, but merely that her message was misinterpreted by some and then proceeds to the highly ineffective, it rarely works 'twist my words' defense.

She was not least bit contrite, admitting that it was wrong, unthinkable to have considered in retrospect using the quote in the first place. Her apology comes across with the same sincerity of a 12 year-old, who after returning container back in the freezer, caught minutes after devouring the last of Haagen-Dazs and with a smile still on their lips.

Second, she said, "I’m passionately pro-Israel and I will always be a strong advocate and ally of the Jewish community." Not one person pro-Israel, Jewish or not, would even REMOTELY consider using a quote from Hitler in political rally to support an ideal or public policy.

Finally, and most troubling point to note is in her speech she said Adolf Hitler was "right on one thing". Let's be clear, she did not say 'The only thing ...', which might have given her a bit of slack to play with if she had immediately apologized for the remark instead of waiting three days. The rub is this: If we believe someone is right on one thing, then usually we will find something else we agree with, and then another idea and another point and a ....

Miller is new on the job and we can only hope she does not repeat history yet again by quoting Adolf Hitler or any other fanatic of fascism, hate and universal evil.

Words. Freakin'. Matter. All of them.

Village Crier: January 6, 2021


Village community garage sale date set for April

With warmer weather still months away, the first date for community garage and yard sales is on the books. The St. Joseph Community Garage Sale will take place on April 8 - 10.


Billy Bob's settles case with the county

On New Year's Eve, Billy Bob's was issued a temporary restraining order by Judge Roger Webber for operating without a valid health permit. To avoid further unnecessary litigation, the Ogden eating establishment signed off on a settlement agreement with county public health agency on Tuesday to remain open for scaled back business operations.

After paying $50 reinstatement fee for their health permit and submitting to an inspection, starting Friday the restaurant under the water tower will be open for carryout service only. The establishment posted on Facebook their new hours for service will be Sunday thru Wednesday from 11a to 7p and Thursday thru Saturday from 11a-8p.

The settlement also included a provision that Billy Bob's submit a written plan detailing its plans to operate under current county ordinance and state COVID-19 mitigation restrictions.

Health authorities suspended the permit on December 11 for continuing indoor service for remaining open in defiance of the state mandated mitigation plan which forbid indoor dining. Billy Bob's continued to operate without a valid health permit before receiving court summons.

For more information on carryout service call (217) 582-2277.


St. Joseph youth baseball registration opens next week

Player registration for the St. Joseph Youth Baseball Little League opens on Saturday, January 23. Eligible players have until February 6 to sign up. A birthday chart to help determine which level a child will play can be found here.


Tolono studio photographer offers mini sessions

Give that special someone in your life a photo on Valentine's Day. Photographer Madeline Wilson is offering Valentine's Day mini sessions with families, kids, couples and/or pets in her studio located at 104 Main Street in Tolono. Sessions will begin on January 31 and run through February 14.

For more information visit Wilson's Facebook business page or call (217) 621-4159.


Tier 2 on the horizon

Earlier this week Governor J.B. Pritzker said any region below the required metrics can move into Tier 2 restrictions a week from tomorrow on January 15. That is welcomed news for athletes and restaurants in regions around the state, especially those that have done well at slowing the spread of the COVID-19 pathogen.

"We are watching closely in this incubation period post-Christmas and New Year’s. I am cautiously optimistic as there are some early signs that some regions have made real progress," Pritzker announced during an afternoon press briefing. The news comes after he extended the emergency COVID restriction Monday, requiring people to wear a mask for another 150 days.

In order for a region to move back to Tier 2 mitigations, a region must experience less than 12 percent test positivity rate for three consecutive days, have more than 20 percent available intensive care unit (ICU) hospital bed availability and have declining COVID hospitalizations in 7 of the last 10 days. The Governor's team is waiting to see if there is a surge or spike of COVID-19 cases seeded from New Year's gatherings.

Locally there have seventeen new case identified in the past 48 hours. The Sentinel area saw the lowest number of active cases in over 51 days on Tuesday with 59. The number of infections have climbed to 71 likely from New Year's Eve revelry.

As of Wednesday night, 3,921 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. According state records, 783 of those patients were in the ICU and 450 patients on ventilators.


The Sentinel will help promote your business

If you own and operate a business located in Tolono, Sidney, Philo, Ogden, St. Joseph or Royal, fill out the form below to list your business or the services you offer in The Sentinel Business Directory. To list your business' contact information complete the online form here...


Send your business, social or community organization's press release or event information to The Sentinel at editor@oursentinel.com.

Photo of the Day - January 7, 2021

SJO dominates IVC

Lineman Cole Zaccarelli takes a much-earned drink on the sidelines during St. Joseph-Ogden's home football game against Illinois Valley Central on October 6, 2017. The Grey Ghost fell 38-20 thanks to dominating play on both sides of the ball by the Spartans.

Photo of the Day - January 5, 2021

Dani Gooch and Kylie Holland

Rockets, Spartans tangle on the hardwood

Rockets' Dani Gooch [left] and Spartans' Kylie Holland [right] battle for a loose ball during second half action of the SJO girl's basketball team's home game on November 27, 2007. St. Joseph-Ogden battled to a 54-47 finish over Unity to improved to 5-0 on the season. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Village Crier: January 5, 2021


Local COVID cases hits 6 week low

For the first time since November 13 of last year, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the Sentinel area has fallen below 60. Only two new positive test have been reported, one in Tolono and one St. Joseph.

Meanwhile, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District announced two additional deaths bringing the county's total to 90 individuals who have been taken by the viral infection.

County-wide there are 659 active cases now in isolation with 19 undergoing hospital treatment.

As of today there are only two active cases Ogden and Philo has 15, down from a high of 19 cases.• There are three active cases each in Royal and Sidney. Meanwhile, there are 16 positive cases currently in St. Joseph and 21 in Tolono.


State's Attorney files contempt charges against Lil Buford's

The News-Gazette reports that County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz filed a petition yesterday to find Jeffrey Buckler, owner of Lil Buford's in Tolono civil contempt and asked to impose sanctions against him for defiantly ignoring a temporary restraining order issued on Dec. 31 by Judge Ben Dyer for operating a food service establishment without a valid county health permit.

Despite the TRO and the possible new action against him, Buckler has kept the doors to his establishment open for dine-in service.

The Champaign County Public Health Department, which suspended the business' permit on December 17 for operating contrary to the state's mitigation mandate and allowing dine-in service, has successfully reined in other rouge operators after suspending their permits.

If the judge finds Buckler in contempt of the Dec. 31 TRO, possible sanctions include fines or jail until the order is followed, according to The News-Gazette.


Ogden restaurant to observe temporary pause in operations

Rich's Family Restaurant in Ogden has decided to close for business temporarily. The homestyle dining establishment tried to make a go of it with curbside and carry-out, but it appears the volume of visits was insufficient to sustain the family business.

"As you know due to the mandate of Illinois State Governor and Champaign County Health Department We have been ordered to suspend our dine-in services," the post on the establishment's Facebook page states. "Therefore, we have not been been able to generate enough business with carry out & curbside business. Unfortunately, we are going to temporarily pause Carry-Out and curbside business starting Monday Jan. 3rd, 2021."

The owners plan to reopen once indoor dining is permitted again in Illinois.

"We apologize for any inconvenience and we can't wait to be able to serve everyone indoors again!" the post says. "Thank you to our staff for understanding and support and thank you to all of you!"


Engagement announcements

The Sentinel is honored to announce upcoming weddings and unions of residents and family members from our community. Engagements announcements should be received at least 10 days prior to your idea publication date.

There is no charge or fee required with your submission. This is a free service to the community.

Follow this link for more information and how to submit your announcement.


Send your business, social or community organization's press release or event information to The Sentinel at editor@oursentinel.com.

Top destinations for travel in 2020 recognized

Overlooking the Lough Corrib, the second largest lake on the island of Ireland, the sprawling 350 acre estate of Ashford Castle is one of Ireland’s well-known wedding destinations offering warm Irish hospitality with a modern appeal. In addition to fine dining at Wilde’s Restaurant, the property offers a wide and unique portfolio of activities.

From fishing for trout, salmon and pike to a round of golf, tourists can also go horse riding, spend a few hours on the archery range and even try their hand at the ancient art of falconry. Guests can enjoy a relaxing cruise to explore the many islands within Lough Corrib, learn about the history of the area and take in the picturesque scenery of the largest lake within the Republic of Ireland.

Just before the start of the new year GayTravel.com announced their 2020 Gay Travel Awards. Asford Castle was one of the winners in several categories recognizing destinations, properties, events, and other travel-related organizations that support and promote LGBT+ travel and tourism as well as provide outstanding customer service and hospitality.

"This year has been like no other. With the pandemic raging across the globe, many travelers are restricted from traveling or waiting for a safer time," said GayTravel Chief Visionary Officer Steve Rohrlick. "In the meantime, The Gay Travel Awards give us all a moment to focus on the industry's best as a prologue to a time when it's safer to get back out there."

Below are this year's top travel destinations and hospitality providers.

BEST AIRLINE
Cape Air

BED & BREAKFAST/ INN
Inn on the Alameda

CAR RENTAL
Fox Rent a Car

DESTINATION BEACH
Los Cabos, Mexico

DESTINATION CITY
Atlanta, Georgia

DESTINATION FAMILY
Orlando, Florida

DESTINATION ISLAND
Mykonos, Greece

MOUNTAINS DESTINATION
Zermatt, Switzerland

NATURE DESTINATION
Costa Rica, Central America

WEDDING DESTINATION
Puerto Rico, Caribbean

BEACH HOTEL
Renaissance Cancun Resort & Marina

BOUTIQUE HOTEL
Andaz West Hollywood

CASINO HOTEL
Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
CITY HOTEL
Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City

FAMILY HOTEL
JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa

GOLF HOTEL
Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort

HONEYMOON HOTEL
Sri panwa, Phuket

LUXURY HOTEL
The Langham Huntington

HOTEL SPA & WELLNESS
JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa

VALUE HOTEL
Skyrock Inn of Sedona

WEDDING HOTEL
The Lodge at Ashford Castle

GAY TRAVEL INFLUENCER (TIE)
@tcappelli
@onairplanemode__

Photo of the Day - January 4, 2021

Zach Becker tries to dribble around Rockets' Tim Collins

SJO wins rivalry game over Unity by four

St. Joseph-Ogden's Zach Becker tries to dribble around Unity's Tim Collins during the game at the Rocket Center in Tolono on December 9, 2007. Despite a massive number of turnovers, The Spartans won the struggled holding on to beat the Rockets, 61-57. (Photo: PhotoNews/Clark Brooks)

Guest Commentary: Never underestimate the power of $6 and a little time

By Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator


When I was sixteen years old, I was invited to speak at a little country church in rural Denver Kentucky, not far from Paintsville.

The church had all but closed its doors but one man, Harold Rice, and his family wanted to see the church stay open and do well.

A church with few to almost no people typically does not attract too many interested ministers. I had spoken in my home church a few times and was a guest speaker in a few others. Mr. Rice asked if I would consider speaking at the church on the second and fourth Sunday afternoons at 2:00. I agreed, and brought a message to maybe seven or eight people my first Sunday. The crowd consisted of Harold and his wife June Rice and their family. The church was an old building with a pump organ and a sign behind the pulpit that said, "Preach the Word."

I stayed with the little congregation called Liberty Baptist Church throughout high school. By the time I was seventeen Mr. Rice was talking to me about being the official pastor and about ordination. In time I would become the pastor and would be ordained. I was too young, too inexperienced and unskilled for such a responsibility but youth is adventurous and will try what those of us who know better would never consider.

The church grew and we started having 20 to 30 people and often more. People literally received Christ, joined the church and were baptized. This was all amazing.

Even more amazing was Mr. Rice offered me a grand salary of $60 a month to help buy my gasoline. The trip one way from home was over 30 miles so this was appreciated.

He also presented me with paperwork for a perk. The church was going to put 10 percent or $6 of my salary into the church denominational retirement plan, then known as The Annuity Board. It's called Guidestone today. He had me to complete a form solidifying my agreement to this monthly contribution. I was about seventeen at this stage and had zero interest or thoughts about retirement. Six dollars a month kind of seemed like a joke.

I was with Liberty church a couple of years or more and about ten to twelve of those months Mr. Rice made that $6 contribution to my retirement faithfully. Although, I never thought another day about it from the moment I signed those papers.

Seven or eight years ago I did wonder if that account even existed. I called up The Guidestone retirement people and with my Social Security number they told me in a few seconds that the account did indeed exist and my balance was $31,000.

Shocked would not describe how I felt. I almost had to pick myself off the floor. If Mr. Rice had made as many as 12 contributions the total invested would have been $72. Now, years later I was looking at over $31,000. Since that day of first inquiring that little $6 account now has over $46,000 and still growing. The point of all this is save some money when you can.

Start as young as possible but even if you are old put something away every month. If you can save hundreds every month that is wonderful, please do. However, don't ever underestimate the growth potential of saving a little bit of money every month, even if it's just $6. And yes, every time I look at that account, I remember Mr. Rice and the good people of Liberty Baptist Church who not only encouraged me then but are still encouraging me today with just $6.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of American Issues, Every American Has An Opinion and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.

-----------------------------------------------------------

This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers.


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Village Crier: January 4, 2021


Local confectioner taking orders for Valentine's Day

It is not too early to start thinking about Valentine's Day. Danielle Howard, a confectioner and stay-at-home mom from nearby Oakwood, is taking orders for her increasingly popular hot chocolate bombs.

"Hot chocolate bombs are amazing," she said. "They are a thin layer of chocolate filled with hot chocolate mix and marshmallows. You put the hot chocolate bomb into a mug and pour hot water, or milk over the bomb and watch the magic happen!"

In addition to making themed hot chocolate bombs for the most romantic day of the year, she is also creating breakable chocolate smash hearts and chocolate covered strawberries.

"We already have orders for Valentine's day in our books!"

Each bomb cost $5 a piece and orders can be placed via her Facebook page Dani Jo's Creations or message her Facebook.


COVID-19 cases on the decline again

The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District reports just one new COVID-19 case for our area. There are now 62 active cases spanning the six villages.

According to the latest figures from the CUPHD today, Ogden has 3 active cases, Philo 15, Royal 3, Sidney 3, St. Joseph 17 and Tolono 20.

Champaign County has reported fewer than 700 cases for 13 consecutive days.


Runners finish their first race of the year, Plotner comes in 5th

Five area runners, all from St. Joseph, have tucked their first race of 2021 into their belts on January 2 at the 37th annual Siberian Express trail race. The group made up 125 that finished this year's installment.

To make the race safe to run during pandemic this year, runners competed against each in one of six waves and the field was limited to only 150 individuals. Competitors in each wave had a two-hour time limit to run the course through Kickapoo Park.

The local contingent of runners was led by veteran harrier Corey Plotner who finished the 7.45 mile course in fifth place overall in 58 minutes and six seconds. The top area female runner, Amy Bailey, ran the same trail in 1 hour, 23 minutes and .51 seconds. She was the 19th woman competitor to cross the finish line and was 60th overall.

Other finishers from our area included John North (24 overall, 1:10:25), Scott Hendren (68, 1:25:25) and Linda Berry (110, 1:51:05) who gave a high-five to a finish line worker as she crossed the finish line at 39th in women's division.


Ribs and brisket in Tolono

Traxside smoked brisket
Photo provided

How do mouthwatering ribs sound for dinner this weekend? Traxside at 4 East Holden in Tolono is now taking orders for carryout of their smoked Brisket, pulled pork and pork spare ribs pickup on Friday.

Steak and baby back ribs are available Saturday nights, and regular menu items are available Fridays as well as throughout the week.

"I recommend you pre-order beginning at 10 am on Friday mornings because we sell out fast," guest pitmaster Sean Talbott, who fell in love with cooking at the age of 5, told The Sentinel. "I smoke locally raised meat ... with locally harvested hickory and cherry wood, and allow the meat to smoke for 12 to 15 hours until fully cooked to the perfect temp. I strive to produce the best tasting and tender smoked meat around."

Call (217) 485-1016 to place orders for Friday evening.


A call to all local artists

Carson Mills story

Last spring, The Sentinel had the pleasure of publishing spotlight on several seniors in the Class of 2020 from St. Joseph-Ogden high school. It was then we discovered the amazing artistic talent of senior Carson Mills, one of three in a set of triplets, while writing dozens of stories in April and May. I was struck by her attention to detail and realism.

Back in January of 2004, while taking pictures for The Leader back when it was owned by St. Joseph resident and founder Scott Hunter, this publisher, then a photographer, made a handful of images of author, artist and retired farmer Alvin Decker of Philo.

Alvin Decker of Philo

We know there are more artists in our area. We just haven't met you yet but would enjoy seeing fruits of your creativity. If you paint, draw, sculpt or do metal work, The Sentinel would love to feature your work and share your artistic talent. Do you spend hours at the potter's wheel, dabble in mixed-media, do glass-work or design jewelry pieces? We'd like to hear from you.

Have you been more creative or had more time to focus on your art? One upcoming story idea we are working on ruual art and the pandemic. We are looking artists who have created unique art pieces over the past nine months that reflects life and living during the COVID outbreak.

If you are interested in having your work featured in a story, please send a brief bio in an email with a link to your website or a online gallery featuring your work to editor@oursentinel.com. We very much look forward to sharing your passion and vision with our readers.


Send your business, social or community organization's press release or event information to The Sentinel at editor@oursentinel.com.

Sons and daughters of Navy pilots are eligible for scholarship

Are you a high school graduate and the natural, step, or adopted child or grandchild of a current or former Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard Naval Aviator, Naval Flight Officer, or Aircrewman? Have you been accepted as an undergraduate at an accredited college?

If so, you may qualify for an annual scholarship through the Tailhook Educational Foundation to support the academic aspirations of the children and grandchildren of Naval Aviation veterans and active carrier aviators. Individuals, children and grandchildren of individuals who are serving or have served on board a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier in a Carrier Air Wing, Ship's company, or embarked on a Staff also qualify for scholarship funds that was established by the TOPGUN Fighter Foundation.

"We are always looking for ways to pay it forward and support our Tailhookers and their families who have given so much to our country," said E. Matthew 'Whiz' Buckley, Founder and Chairman of TOPGUN Fighter Foundation, in a released statement about the educational award. "What better way to show appreciation than helping fund the education of their children and grandchildren while enriching their knowledge of Naval Aviation."

Buckley was a F/A-18 Hornet Instructor and flew 44 combat missions over Iraq. He was awarded 2 Strike/Flight Air Medals by the President of the United States.

He added: "I am honored and humbled to wear the wings of gold and defend this great country and putting the ladder down for the next generation of Naval Aviators is the least I can do."

The scholarship is funded by a $60,000 in donations made to the Tailhook Educational Foundation. The permanent scholarship, set up by the TOPGUN Fighter Foundation, will use the $3,000 annual yield to support each year's grant payout. The annual scholarship was a natural fit to help countless children and grandchildren of Naval Aviation veterans and active carrier aviators.

In the past, the Tailhook Educational Foundation has awarded over 100 scholarships annually ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 per year with a number of the grants awarded to students pursuing an education in either Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts or Math. The goal of the funding is to help Naval Aviation legacy students in their pursuing an undergraduate degree.

The Tailhook Educational Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in February 1992. The Foundation's mission is to educate the nation's public with regard to the history and present-day activities of the United States Navy carrier aviation and its importance to our country's national security.

To apply for a 2021 scholarship visit https://www.tailhook.net/tef-home.

Photo of the Day - January 3, 2021

Tony Stierwalt fires a pitch

Bringing the heat

Unity pitcher Tony Stierwalt fires a pitch over the plate in the sixth inning of the first game of the Rockets' doubleheader against visiting Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley on Saturday, April 21, 2007. The Rockets split the twin bill winning game one 5-1 and falling in the nightcap, 12-7. (Photo: PhotoNews/Clark Brooks)

New performance sports drink to challenge Gatorade

Move over Gatorade. Kick Powerade to the curb. There is new, healthier sports drink alternative available later this month hitting the market for area athletes.

Photo provided
Electra, made with sea salt, coconut water concentrate, watermelon concentrate, potassium and magnesium -- the last four which are excellent sources of electrolytes -- begins shipping this month. The company says it uses a zero calorie sweetener called NCZ Sweet, also known as Reb M, which according to the company is a natural, zero-calorie, high-potency sweetener produced naturally through clean fermentation of sustainable sugarcane from Brazil.

The new sports drink is currently available in three flavors – Passion Punch, Oh Yeah! Orange and Litty Lemonade. Each 16oz, single serving bottle contains no artificial colors or ingredients, and is packed with vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants and electrolytes for prehydration, performance, recovery and rehydration.

In 2018, the sports drink industry generated about 22.37 billion dollars in sales. Gatorade is the leading brand with in estimated 77% of the market share according Grand View Research.

"I've consumed tons of hydration drinks over the past 30 years – many of them full of sugar and artificial ingredients," Fran Harris, Founder and CEO of Electra Beverages, who Harris led the University of Texas' to a 34-0 NCAA championship in 1986 and was a member of the Houston Comets' first WNBA championship team in 1997. "Consumers are demanding healthier options – less sugar, fewer calories and more functionality."

Electra is available through direct order through the company's website and is currently negotiating with distribution and retailer suppliers. The business is located in Austin, Texas.

Next Friday, January 8, Harris, who was selected out of a pool of more than 30,000 applicants, will appear on ABC's Shark Tank, where she will pitch her new product to venture capitalists.

"There's nothing like being in the Tank," said Harris. "The potential impact on one's business is well-documented."

Latest diet guidelines features new guidance for infants and toddlers

In the United States, more than half of all adults have in our country suffer from one or more chronic diseases that would be preventable proper eating habits and regular exercise. Every five years since 1980, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published the Dietary Guideline for Americans to help citizens adopt and maintain a healthier diet and lifestyle.

Primarily intended for policymakers, nutrition educators and healthcare providers, the report outlines steps to help people improve their overall eating habits.

In the latest report, there are now new national guidelines designed for the unique nutrition needs of pregnant women, lactating moms, infants and toddlers.

One of the key takeaway in the report is how important eggs are as a first food for infants and toddlers, as well as for pregnant women and lactating moms. As a vital source of nutrients for people of all ages, eggs provide several key nutrients important for babies during the time in which their brains are most rapidly developing.

Choline, a nutrient found in large quantities in eggs and now a recommended first food for babies to reduce risk for an egg allergy, has now been recognized as important for brain health.

"Understanding the importance of nutrition in the first years of life builds a foundation for lifelong health and prevent chronic disease."
According to the American Egg Board, just one large egg provides the daily choline needs for babies and toddlers, and two large eggs provide more than half of daily choline needs for pregnant moms.

The report notes that between 4-6 months of age and when a baby is developmentally ready introducing "potentially allergenic foods" like eggs, peanuts, shellfish and soy products with other complementary foods is a good idea. Authors say there is "no evidence that delaying" adding allergenic foods to an infant's diet will prevent the development of a food allergy. In fact, it may also help reduce the risk of one.

"The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans confirm what the science has shown: eggs provide critical nutritional support for brain health, and they play a crucial role in infant development and prenatal health," said Emily Metz, president and CEO of the American Egg Board. The AEB is the U.S. egg industry's national commodity marketing board whose mission is to increase demand for eggs and egg products through research, education and promotion. "With 90% of brain growth happening before kindergarten, eggs help make every bite count, especially when babies are just being introduced to solid foods."

Gerber Products Company, a leading company in infant nutrition founded in 1928, says understanding the importance of nutrition in the first years of life builds a foundation for lifelong health and prevent chronic disease.

"These new Dietary Guidelines are a tremendous step in the right direction to set up moms and babies for long-term success in their health," said Dr. Erin Quann, Registered Dietitian, head of Medical Affairs at Gerber/NestlĂ© Nutrition. "At Gerber, research such as our Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) informs everything we do – from the products we make, the nutrition education we deliver and the services we offer. We are thrilled to see this science-based approach to baby's nutrition take a more prominent place within the Dietary Guidelines for Americans."

One of the recommendations is for approximately the first 6 months of life, infants should feed exclusively on breast milk and continue to feed on mother's milk through at least the first year or longer, if desired. When human milk is not available an iron-fortified infant formula is the next best thing.

The diets of infants and toddlers should avoid foods with little nutritional value and large amounts of added sugar. Sugar-sweetened beverages like fruity drinks for babies and toddlers should be avoided.

The report also points out that during the second year of life children continue to have high nutrient needs from small amounts of foods. Toddlers should consume a variety of nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy products like cheese, milk and yogurt. High protein foods, including lean meats, poultry, eggs, seafood, nuts, and seeds are also recommend to promote healthy early development.

"From Gerber infant cereals fortified with iron, to nutritious meal and snack options with fruits, veggies and whole grains, and even beverages made without added sweeteners, Gerber has long been developing products that make every bite count," said Sarah Smith-Simpson, principal scientist at Gerber. "The release of these new Dietary Guidelines reinforces our mission to establish healthy eating habits right from the start. Gerber will continue our work to advance research and high-quality products that further support baby's dietary needs."


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