UF has experts for back-to-school news stories on head lice, lunchbox germs & more

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has experts for back-to-school news stories on head lice, lunchbox germs & more.

1. HEAD LICE: Head lice, an easily transferable pest, are often found in children due to their play activity and close contact. Early detection can help prevent advanced infestations. With September being National Head Lice Prevention month, Rebecca Baldwin, an assistant professor in the UF/IFAS entomology and nematology department, can help explain ways to prevent head lice as well as ways to inspect and treat them. Phone: 352-273-3974; email: baldwinr@ufl.edu

2. LUNCHBOX HYGIENE: Food Safety expert Keith Schneider can help you be confident your child’s lunchbox isn’t a germy mess. Schneider, an associate professor in food science and human nutrition, is at keiths29@ufl.edu or 352-392-1991, ext. 309

3. MAKING SCHOOL LUNCHES FUN AND NUTRITIOUS: It’s almost time to put away the barbecue grill and break out the school lunch bags again, and a University of Florida nutrition expert has ideas for making those sandwiches and snacks almost as much fun as summer vacation. Karla Shelnutt, an assistant professor of foods and nutrition, says a nutritious lunch helps your kid do his or her best. When kids eat well, they’re ready to learn and do better in class. She’s got specific tips for how to make nutritious lunches your kids will actually want to eat. Email kpagan@ufl.edu or 352-392-1778, ext. 240

4. FRESHMAN 15: Many have heard about the dreaded “Freshman 15” – the extra pounds some students gain during their first year in college. However, help avoiding the extra pounds can come from healthy eating choices. Julie England, a family and consumer sciences agent with UF/IFAS Extension in Lake County, can share some easy ideas for healthy eating for college students as well as some techniques to keep meals inexpensive and simple. Phone: 352-343-4101; email: julieeng@ufl.edu

5. TOO MANY EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES?: How many after school activities is too many? Researchers found that moderate involvement in activities appeared to be beneficial and was linked to improved school performance. However, at very high levels of involvement — more than 14 hours a week — teens’ academic well-being did decline. UF/IFAS assistant professor Bryan Terry can talk about the value of extracurricular activities for young people. Phone: 352-273-3539, email: terrys1@ufl.edu