Nutrition Month: Eat Locally for Better Health and a Better Planet

eat-local-environmentally-friendly-eating                 Photo from 3.bp.blogspot

Have you been making an effort to “eat locally?” Lots of people are! Growing your own food or buying it from local farmers is good for you and the environment. Eating locally helps reduce greenhouse gasses created through mass production and distribution of food. It also helps you to eat fruits and vegetables that are in season, which taste better and can expand the variety of produce you eat. Here’s how you can make changes that will benefit your health and the planet:

  • Join a CSA program. Community supported agriculture (CSA) allows you to buy a share from a nearby farm. CSA subscribers receive a weekly box of freshly-picked produce for a set fee. There are many farms that deliver food to locations right in Decatur. Visit localharvest.org/csa to find a location near you.
  • Have a green thumb? Grow fruits and vegetables in your own backyard. If you don’t have the outdoor space, take advantage of the many community gardens in Decatur that you can rent for a small fee.
  • Shop at local farmers markets. The Decatur Farmers Market operates year-round and only sells produce grown within 100 miles of Decatur. There is even a dietitian on-site to give you cooking ideas and tell you more about the participating farms. Visit cfmatl.org/decatur for hours and a list of vendors.

Is Your Child a Picky Eater?

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Photo from parentdish.com

Do you have picky eaters in the house? You’re not alone. It can be particularly difficult to raise healthy eaters in today’s environment. Grocery stores are packed with junk food marketed to kids, and much of it is misrepresented as a healthy choice to parents. Holidays, celebrations, and even children’s sporting events are opportunities for kids to load up on processed foods and sugar. Why does this matter if your child isn’t overweight? Children who eat a healthy diet are more likely to eat healthy as adults, reducing their risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other diet-related disease.

It can take a lot of time, preparation, and determination to raise healthy eaters, but with these tips you’ll be on the road to improving your child’s palate and health.

  • Involve children in planning and preparing meals. Read cookbooks together, bring them grocery shopping, and give them simple food prep tasks to engage them in healthy eating.
  • Don’t give up if your child refuses certain foods. It can take 10, 20, or even more exposures to new foods before a child will eat them.
  • Ease up on snacks. Hungry children are more likely to eat healthy foods at mealtime. Keep sliced fruits and vegetables in the fridge to tide kids over during meal prep.
  • Buy a portion plate (like the ones found here: http://www.superhealthykids.com/shop) and ask your child to help you fill it. This teaches kids how to build balanced meals.
  • Make sure your child gets plenty of physical activity and sleep. Active, well-rested kids (and adults!) make healthier food choices and have fewer junk food cravings.

March is National Nutrition Month: Put Your Best Fork Forward

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Information from Active Living Board Member Shelly Head:

March is National Nutrition Month! This year’s theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” meaning you can make healthy eating changes one forkful at a time. Did you know that taking even small steps towards eating healthier can add up to big improvements in your health? Here are some things you can do to ease into healthier eating:

  • Add a serving of vegetables to your lunch and dinner. Vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients that can reduce risk for some diseases.
  • Replace saturated fats with heart-healthy fats. Cook foods in olive oil instead of butter, swap meat for fish, and stick with low-fat dairy foods.
  • Go meatless one day a week and try some vegetarian protein sources such as beans, eggs, and tofu. Eating less meat is good for your health and the environment!
  • Make at least half your grains whole, choosing whole wheat bread, unprocessed oats, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and even ancient grains whenever possible. Whole grains are high in fiber, which helps keep us full, aids in digestion, and even fends off heart disease. Over the course of the month we’ll be sharing more nutrition tips like these to help you put your best fork forward!

Weight of the Nation Viewings Scheduled

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March is National Nutrition Month. One way dietitians in Atlanta are recognizing this month is by offering several presentations to help

advocate change and alleviate the obesity epidemic.

 

Presentations of

Weight of the Nation

an HBO film documentary

will include question and answer sessions with Registered Dietitians.
Learn more about the causes, consequences and health effects of obesity.

Details on viewings below:

March 18th, 3:00pm- Scott Candler Library, Decatur

March 23rd, 2:00pm- Atlanta Public Library-Ponce de Leon Branch

25 Healthy Snacks for Children

Food and Nutrition Tips from the American Dietetic Association:

1.    Peel a banana and dip it in yogurt. Roll in crushed cereal and freeze.
2.    Spread celery sticks with peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese. Top with raisins. Enjoy your “ants on a log”.
3.    Stuff a whole grain pita picket with ricotta cheese and Granny Smith apple slices. Add a dash of cinnamon.
4.    Mix together ready-to-eat cereal, dried fruit and nuts in a sandwich bag for an on-the-go snack.
5.    Smear a scoop of frozen yogurt on two graham crackers and add sliced banana to make a yummy sandwich.
6.    Top low-fat- vanilla yogurt with crunchy granola and sprinkle with blueberries.
7.    Microwave a small baked potato and top with reduced-fat cheddar cheese and salsa.
8.    Make snack kabobs. Put cubes of low-fat cheese and grapes on pretzel sticks.
9.    Toast a whole grain waffle and top with low-fat yogurt and sliced peaches.
10.  Spread peanut butter on apple slices.
11.   Blend low-fat  milk, frozen strawberries and a banana for thirty seconds for a delicious smoothie.
12.  Make a mini-sandwich with tuna or egg salad on a dinner roll.
13.  Sprinkle grated Monterey Jack cheese over a corn tortilla- fold in half and microwave for twenty seconds. Top     with salsa.
14.  Toss dried cranberries and chopped walnuts in instant oatmeal.
15.  Mix together peanut butter and cornflakes in a bowl; Shape into balls and roll in crushed graham crackers.
16.  Microwave a cup of tomato or vegetable soup and enjoy with whole grain crackers.
17.  Fill a waffle cone with cut-up fruit and top with low-fat vanilla yogurt.
18.  Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on hot popcorn.
19.  Banana Split: top a banana with low-fat vanilla and strawberry frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with whole-grain cereal.
20.  Sandwich cut outs: make a sandwich on whole grain bread. Cut out your favorite shape using a cookie cutter. Eat the fun shape and the edges too.
21.  Spread mustard on a flour tortilla. Top with a slice of turkey or ham, low-fat cheese and lettuce, then roll it up.
22.  Mini Pizza: Toast an English Muffin, drizzle with pizza sauce and sprinkle with low-fat mozzarella.
23.  Rocky Road: Break a graham cracker into bite size pieces. Add to low-fat chocolate pudding along with a few miniature marshmallows.
24.  Inside-Out Sandwich: Spread mustard on a slice of deli turkey. Wrap around a sesame breadstick.
25.  Parfait: Layer vanilla yogurt and mandarin oranges or blueberries in a tall glass. Top with a sprinkle of granola.

Enjoy!!

For more ideas on healthy living, visit www.eatright.org.

March is National Nutrition Month!

March is National Nutrition  Month and this year’s theme is “Eat Right with Color”. Growing up, I always heard that the more color you have on your plate, the more nutritious and balanced your meal was. Turns out Mom was right!

Try making a Rainbow Fruit Salad: Combine in a bowl: 1 mango, peeled, pitted and cubed, 1 cup blueberries or red grapes, 1 cup melon cubed, 1 banana sliced and 1/2 cup orange juice. Pour the juice over the fruit and stir. Serve at room temperature and enjoy with three more friends (the recipe serves 4).

For some Nutrition games to play while enjoying your snack, click here.

Do you have some colorful, favorite recipes to share? Send them in and share with the rest of us!

For more information about National Nutrition Month, click here.

Eat healthy and stay active in Decatur.