Eating healthy is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. The foods we eat affect our health, bodies, and minds. Making healthy food choices lets us look and feel our best and decreases our risk of chronic diseases. So, how do you make eating healthy easy?
Start with MyPlate and make half of your plate fruits and vegetables at every meal. Fruits and vegetables provide us with the vitamins, minerals, and fiber our bodies need. They are also low in calories and may help protect you against chronic diseases, including stroke, high blood pressure, and some types of cancer. MyPlate has an excellent collection of informational Tip Sheets from their Nutrition Education Series on a variety of nutritional topics; including cutting back on your kids' sweet treats, smart shopping for veggies / fruits, healthy eating for vegetarians and many more.
Tips for Increasing Fruits and Vegetables
- Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter
- Keep frozen vegetables on hand for convenience
- Use the weekend to wash and prepare fruits and vegetables giving you easy grab-and-go snacks for the week
- Grow your own vegetables; kids are more likely to eat what they have grown
- Get your kids involved and have them add new or favorite fruits and vegetables to the shopping list
It's important to keep portion sizes in mind. Serving sizes have grown over the last few decades and what we think is one serving, is often much more. Pay attention to the serving size on the Nutrition Facts label of packaged foods. For other foods, use these comparisons. Research has shown that making a few small changes leads people to eat less. Some of these changes include, using a smaller plate, serving yourself from smaller containers, and eating at the table.
Stop by the Farmer’s Market this week and take advantage of all the beautiful fresh produce…it is the perfect time to buy something you haven't tried before. Never cooked rhubarb? At the farmers' market, a grower can advise you on how to select and prepare it. Locate a market near to you.
Buy Fresh, Buy Local: The Eater's Guide to Local Food -- (3rd Edition) Local North Valley publication that highlights a complete listing of Farmer's Markets, growers and farm stands throughout Butte, Tehama and Glenn counties. The guide also lists the Northern Valley Seasonal Fruit and Vegetable Crop Specialties.
Did you know that there are many community garden spaces in Butte County just waiting for you? What is a community garden? A community garden is any space of land provided for community members to grow healthy food for their own individual consumption or in shared plots for their communities on private or public land. Most community gardens charge a small fee for your own gardening space; others are eager just to get your community involvement, and in return you take home your portion of the produce. Visit Cultivating Communities Community Garden page to learn more and find a garden near you.
Classes / Workshops / Events
Please continue to check our Butte County Public Health Facebook page for local nutrition / physical activity workshops and classes taught by our Health Education Specialists; as well as, outreach events that are occurring in your area.
More great physical activity and nutrition tips; as well as programs that are happening in our local communities from partnering programs can be found on their Facebook pages at UC CalFresh Nutrition Program or Centers for Healthy Communities
Also visit Cultivating Communities NV and GRUB Chico for more great tips and classes.
Recipes, Recipes, Recipes -- Our Favorite Sites
Fruits & Veggies: More Matters
What’s Cooking: USDA Mixing Bowl
Champions for Change: Healthy Cookbooks
Are you a parent or caregiver? Research shows that eating meals together at the table makes a difference both nutritionally and emotionally. Some of the benefits kids receive from regular family dinners include reduced risk of obesity, substance abuse, and teen pregnancy as well as higher self-esteem and better academic performance. Visit The Family Dinner Project for more information and tips.
For local CalFresh / SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) information or to receive food assistance, please call Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services at 530.879.3479 (Chico) or 530.538.7711 (Oroville). Online visit www.c4yourself.com or www.calfresh.ca.gov