Every March draws special recognition to the importance of healthy eating. National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year’s theme encourages everyone to “Put Your Best Fork Forward” and reminds everyone that each bite counts. The emphasis is aimed at making small shifts in our food choices as they can add up over time. So let’s make those choices positive. The overall goal is to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, develop sound physical activity habits, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.
Oats are one of the most popular whole grains in America with seventy-five percent of U.S. households having oatmeal in their cupboards. Many individuals think about oatmeal being served in the form of a hot cereal (porridge), but it’s also found in a variety of baked goods, breads, granola, and muesli (an uncooked cereal consisting of grains, nuts, and fresh or dried fruits).
Getting an adequate intake of fruits and vegetables is already challenging enough, and in the winter, this task proves to be even more challenging. For adult males, the daily recommendation is 2 cups of fruit and 2.5-3 cups of vegetables per day, and for adult females, the daily recommendation is 1.5-2 cups of fruit and 2.5-3 cups of vegetables per day.
Life gets busy; it is a (non-scientific) fact. Somewhere in between getting kids to school, working, picking kids up from school, and driving kids to extra-curricular activities you have to figure out what to feed your family. After a long day, convenience is priority. Although eating out or grabbing some fast food may seem like the easiest option at night, preparing meals at home is a healthier and more affordable solution.
Our last South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC), “Beyond the Plate” article identified the importance of beef checkoff research like the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) study and its impact on healthy lifestyle choices. Supportive research continues to build and expand on the national research through the recent completion of, “Let Them Eat Beef,” a recent study conducted by South Dakota State University’s Dr. Kendra Kattelmann.
Research is the basis of virtually every checkoff program, which therefore makes it very important you know the “why” behind it. Checkoff funded research projects completed to date have likely saved the industry more than once from possible ruin, often brought on by beef information previously based on assumption, rumor, propaganda, and non-scientific studies.
“Eat your fruits and veggies!” You have probably heard this saying since you were a little kid and perhaps you are now telling your kids to do the same. There is a reason we are encouraged to eat our greens from a young age; these colorful foods are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The USDA recommends adults consume two cups of fruits and three cups of vegetables per day.
It’s the new year, which means many of us are striving toward New Year’s resolutions. However, that often means seeking “the next best thing” which might be a new product or fad diet. Unfortunately, consumers are often willing to shell out money for the latest and greatest secret. These new fad diets and products are often impractical and in general, might not be very good for us.
Food is a cornerstone of our lives. Not only is food necessary for keeping us alive, sharing a meal with other people is one way we connect and build relationships. Understanding how our nutrition needs change over time is critical to staying healthy.
Too often, individuals don’t take time to invest in the importance of good nutrition and exercise for their bodies. Many take their health for granted. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a realization or diagnosis of bad health or a health condition for the behavior changes to start.
The Family Food Cent$ Newsletter is published by Expanded Food & Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Family Nutrition Program (FNP).
The “Farmers Grow MyPlate” lesson series is a resource designed for rural school children to educate them about the Choose MyPlate guidance as well as how that food is grown in our Midwest states.
The SDSU Extension Power Chef lesson series is an educational program designed to teach basic food preparation skills and showcase important information about school food programs.
Pick It, Try It, Like It materials are filled with tips for selecting, exploring, and cooking a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Factual information complements simple, healthy, and tested recipes. Colorful fact sheets, recipe cards, and educational videos provide educators and families with fun, engaging tools to enhance any dietary curriculum!
The HealthySD website serves as one of the main hubs for South Dakota nutrition, physical activity and wellness opportunities, information and resources. The website breaks information down into 10 separate sectors: Kids, Teens, Adults, Seniors, Parents, Schools, Workplace, Health Professionals, Communities, Childcare so visitors can access material most relevant to their personal or professional interest. Grant opportunities, toolkits, posters, healthy living tips and current research and recommendations are all accessible.
To combat obesity among South Dakota’s youth, SDSU Extension developed iGrow Readers. A program which pairs children’s books, like Little Red Hen, Bread and Jam for Francis and Grandmother Spider Brings the Sun, with activities which promote healthy eating and physical activity. Our transdisciplinary team spent five years testing the program, The resulting data showed children who participated in iGrow Readers were more likely to try new foods and ask their parents for nutritional items when they grocery shopped together.
The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) focuses on helping families and youth improve behaviors in the following areas: Dietary Intake as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines and MyPlate, Food Resource Management skills and practices, Nutrition Practices and Food Safety practices.
KidQuest is a school based nutrition and physical activity program designed especially for pre-adolescents in the 5th and 6th grade. Youth engaged in KidQuest build skills in making healthier lifestyle choices through eight different nutrition lessons.
The Healthy Concessions Model Policy and the Munch Code Toolkit is a statewide effort led by the South Dakota Department of Health. The DOH provides free start-up materials and technical assistance for those interested in implementing the Healthy Concessions policy.
Inactivity throughout the day increases your risk of cancers, disease, and mortality, even if you are meeting the physical activity guidelines. This makes moving throughout the day an important step for your health.
Am I getting older or is the supermarket playing great music? I wonder about things like this as I cruise the aisles of my local grocery store. Grocery stores have thousands of products, with most food items grouped together to make your grocery store experience easier. Healthy food choices are important for good health and well-being. Consider building a healthy diet with smart shopping.
Quick, effortless, and convenient are a few ways meal replacements have been described. Meal replacements have been utilized since 1994 and have become a popular choice for weight loss strategies. They are portion-controlled, vitamin and mineral fortified, and prepackaged, usually in the form of a bar or shake. The convenience meal replacements offer is appealing, but do they work for long-term weight management?
Eating three square meals a day is a thing of the past for many Americans and snacking has gone mainstream. In fact, 94 percent of Americans snack at least once per day, with half snacking multiple times. Additionally, for the average person, approximately 25 percent of total calories come from snacks.
Not everyone has a work schedule that resembles a traditional work day. In fact, 15 million Americans work outside the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. or work swing shifts rotating between day, evening, or night shifts. With working such odd hours comes a difficult sleep schedule.
Fall is in the air, which means time for comfy, warm sweaters, crockpot meals, soups and pumpkins! Yes, carving pumpkins is celebrated by people everywhere this time of year but they are more than that. Pumpkins are plump full with nutrition and low in calories.
Fall has arrived. As the days get shorter and cooler, and the grass continues to dry out, one thing is on the mind of many South Dakotans and visitors from other states: ROOSTER! Hunting provides physical activity, emotional and social benefits and a nutritious, low-fat protein.
Inflammation is a natural healing process in which our body responds to an injury or exposure to a harmful substance. For example, skin healing from a cut; however inflammation can be debilitating. Chronic inflammation is when the immune system attacks healthy tissue over an extended period of time. Inflammation can be associated with several chronic diseases including heart disease, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, etc.
Nearly 1 in 3 adults drink sugar-sweetened beverages such as regular soda, fruit drinks, sports and energy drinks, or coffee drinks daily. So how do you fight the tantalizing temptation of sugar-sweetened beverages? Try the following tips to ‘rethink your drink’ and choose a healthier alternative to your favorite sugary drink.
The month of August, for some parents and students, means back to school in South Dakota. It also means that the hot summer temperatures may still be upon us. As the students head back, not all will experience the comfort of cool air in the classroom as many schools are not equipped with an air conditioning system. Keeping cool when temperatures are high isn't just about comfort. The absence of a cooling system can create sweltering temperatures inside the classroom that can lead to the development of a heat-related illness.
Daylight savings brings upon early darkness, cold days, comfort foods and busy schedules. These new changes can bring a variety of feelings, one being a feeling of “winter blues”. With this feeling, exercise might be the last thing on your mind. Instead of falling into a winter slump and skipping your work outs, use the winter months as a time to refocus and set new goals for your health.
It’s that time of year again, sore throats and the sniffles seem to be abundant and hard to avoid. With a change in your normal health status, you may question how being sick influences your physical activity routine. Prevention is key and a great way to decrease the risk of getting sick is engaging in regular exercise. Studies have shown exercise helps our immune system fight small infections, like a cold.
Ballerinas have been doing Barre workouts for years, and now in the 21st century these awesome workouts are becoming mainstream. Ballet Barre workouts have been become very popular in the last 10 years and have found their way to South Dakota.
Working on a farm can be a demanding career. Working from sun up to sun down and completing the never ending to-do lists can make finding time to exercise a challenge. The health benefits of squeezing in exercise are abundant and moving exercise to one of your top priorities should be a key behavior for running your business.
Millions of Americans travel through airports each day. Airports can be a hectic place, long layovers and people everywhere. Walking is the easiest and most preferred method of physical activity by South Dakotans. Walking is something you can do anywhere, even in airports when the craziness and lack of sleep seem overwhelming.
July and August can be some of the hottest months in South Dakota. Along with a drastic change in temperature, many individuals participate in a variety of different sports and spend prolonged periods of time in the sun during this seasonal change. The human body serves as a great temperature regulator, but without practicing proper safety precautions, it is possible for the body to overheat.
This week’s intense heat wave has many people reminding themselves about how to keep themselves safe from the heat and humidity – but people should consider those measures for their pets as well. Heat stress signs serve as an alert to animal owners that their pet’s body is working hard to cool itself down, and that more severe problems – such as heat stroke - may result if help is not provided.
The spine is a support structure for the back, and a complex system of muscles that attach to the spine reinforce its strength and stability which keeps our bodies upright and mobile. Back pain is most commonly caused by strains to these muscles. Muscle strain is often induced because of weak core muscles which increases the amount of stress being placed on the spine. Core muscles are comprised of the muscles of the back, abdominals, and obliques. Strengthening these 3 muscle groups assists with alleviating back pain caused by muscle strains.
Many people participate in exercise to improve their health status, reduce disease risk, modify body composition and improve all around physical fitness. In order to receive the best results from an exercise routine, it is important to choose an exercise that uses the large muscles of the body in a continuous, rhythmical fashion, and that is relatively easy to maintain at a consistent intensity.
When talking or learning about exercise, you often hear the word “intensity”. Intensity refers to how hard a person works to do a select activity. The two most often examined intensities in exercise are moderate and vigorous intensity.
Dairy group foods are important throughout our lifespan. Children, teens and adults need their daily calcium; children are building strong bones, teens are growing rapidly and adults need to keep their bones strong. Foods in the dairy group provide many nutrients that are beneficial to the body – especially improved bone health. Calcium is a key nutrient found in dairy group foods.
Grains are great! They provide many nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of our bodies. Grains are divided into two subgroups, whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains contain B vitamins, such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. Whole grains also have fiber, which helps with digestion.
The protein group includes all meat, poultry, seafood, beans, peas, eggs, soy products, nuts and seeds. Proteins build and maintain body tissues like bones, muscles, skin, and blood. It’s also a good source of energy, helps to fight infections and serves as building blocks for enzymes, hormones and vitamins. Next to water, protein is the most plentiful substance in your body.
Vegetables are versatile! There are so many ways you can add vegetables to your favorite dishes. You can add shredded or chopped vegetables to spaghetti sauce and pizza, and thicken soups and stews with cooked, pureed vegetables such as potatoes and carrots.
Fruit is fantastic! Most fruits are naturally low in calories, fat and sodium. Fruits are good sources of many essential nutrients including dietary fiber, Vitamin C, potassium, and folate (folic acid). Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure.
Many families with young children are often faced with the challenge of needing to prepare quick, healthy, tasty meals on a pushed schedule. Add to the task that picky eating behavior is common for many children from the age of 2-5 years. They may eat only a certain type of food or refuse foods based on texture or color. Making time to include children in cooking activities can provide many benefits.
Tis’ the season for enticing winter holiday food to be everywhere we look, including magazines, television and social media. Photos often accompany holiday recipes that leave us with “visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads”. Traditional favorite recipes can help us make the holidays memorable for everyone, but it’s also important to take time to consider your needs as well.
The really warm days of summer make me think of the old saying, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” It’s hard to resist the temptation to stay cool with a tasty, frozen treat. While ice cream is a much-loved favorite of adults and kids, it is usually loaded with added sugars and sometimes fat. Homemade frozen snacks are a healthier option when you’re craving something sweet.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans are a versatile legume and a common ingredient in Middle Eastern and Indian dishes like hummus. The roots of chickpeas can be traced back to ancient Egypt and the word hummus means chickpea in Arabic. Regardless of where it is from originally, hummus is one of the most popular dips in the United States.
We hear a lot about whole grains, including the USDA’s MyPlate message that recommends we make at least half our grains whole, but there may be individuals who wonder why it’s important to eat whole grains. According to MyPlate, “People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases.”