Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Eat right, your way, every day

Food preferences, lifestyles, cultural and ethnic traditions and health concerns all affect our food choices. That is why, as part of National Nutrition Month® 2013, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day.”

Each March, the Academy encourages Americans to return to the basics of healthy eating through National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme emphasizes the advantages of developing a healthful eating plan that incorporates individual food choices and preferences. This year marks the 40th anniversary of National Nutrition Month.

“There can be a misperception that eating healthfully means giving up your favorite foods,” said registered dietitian and Academy President Ethan A. Bergman. “Our ‘Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day’ National Nutrition Month theme encourages consumers to include the foods they love as part of a healthful eating plan that is tailored for their lifestyles, traditions, health needs and, of course, tastes.”

Unfortunately, many individuals in Yolo County, including families, children, and seniors, do not know where their next meal might come from. As such, the ability to “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” is challenging. Currently, more than 34,000 people in our community struggle with hunger and regular access to enough food for an active, healthy life.

Often, those who are at risk of hunger cannot afford preventative and follow-up healthcare services. For this vulnerable population, access to nutritious foods is vital in maintaining good health. Studies show that growing children need a balance of vitamins and minerals for cognitive and behavioral development.

In response to this need, the Food Bank of Yolo County provides nutritional resources to more than 22,000 people each month. Through programs like the Kid’s Farmers Market and Friday’s Table, FBYC supplies access to fresh produce and educational information to provide supplemental food assistance and encourage healthy eating habits. Thanks to generous funding from First 5 Yolo, a new program called Children’s Harvest was created to provide fresh produce to young children and their families in rural locations throughout the county. Families with children ages 5 and younger are invited to attend the bi-weekly distributions and receive a minimum of 10 pounds of free fresh produce.

As part of its public education campaign, the Academy’s National Nutrition Month website includes a variety of helpful tips, games, promotional tools and nutrition education resources, all designed to spread the message of good nutrition based on the “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” theme. In addition, FBYC has created a National Nutrition Month calendar with simple suggestions for healthy eating habits and information about the organization.

To learn more about FBYC programs and download the Nutrition Month calendar, please visit: www.foodbankyc.org

For tips and information about National Nutrition Month, visit www.eatright.org/NNM.

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By Shawn Kramer, community relations manager at the Food Bank of Yolo County

Special to The Enterprise

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