Monday, April 25, 2011

The Healthy Monday Campaigns: Del Norte Style

It's been a busy couple weeks around the CAN offices -- busy, but good -- and the Growing Tables blog has been neglected. But today is Monday! It's the start of a new work week! A day to resolve to do better in so many ways (like updating the blog). And as I just read this morning, Mondays are "the January of the week". For me, that's definitely true. Mondays always feel like a fresh slate: no matter how hectic the previous week was, I can always do better on Monday.
So I was very pleased to find the Healthy Monday Campaigns this morning. Healthy Mondays was started by two schools of public health based, in part, on research showing that most Americans view Mondays as a day "for a fresh start" or a day "to get my act together". Because creating new, healthier habits often takes several attempts, choosing Mondays as your starting point makes sense: you get 52 chances every year to make that new habit stick. If you choose to make health resolutions only on January 1st each year, you only get one shot.

We already covered one of the Healthy Monday Campaigns in the first month of Growing Tables. The Del Norte school district's efforts to do Meatless Mondays is part of the overall Healthy Mondays concept. Some of the other Healthy Monday Campaigns include MoveIt Monday (full disclosure: when I read that, I got up and walked downstairs and back up before continuing to read the website) and Quit and Stay Quit, a smoking cessation program.

As it happens, next Monday offers a local opportunity to get a fresh start on your snack habits! Almost everyone snacks, so it's important to learn to snack on healthy, fun foods. Champions for Change, our school-based nutrition program that is part of the Network for a Healthy California, is holding a Fruit and Veggie Fest at the ShopSmart Food Warehouse on Northcrest Drive on Monday, May 2nd, from 1 to 4 pm. Champions for Change nutrition educators will present healthy snack ideas, give away recipes and other freebies, and show parents how to get their kids to grow up with healthy snacking habits. If you need more information, you can call Michelle Postman at 707 441-5567.

As a fun extra, they'll be showing off their new Smoothie Bike! Hop on this bike and instead of taking a ride, you'll blend up a fresh fruit smoothie. It's a fun way to get your exercise AND a healthy snack. Stop by to learn to "Snack Every Day the Healthy Way!"

Let this be the first Monday of your personal Healthy Monday campaign. Move more, eat better, and generally pay attention to your health habits. With all the recent news about how bad sitting still is for our bodies, I think I'll go run up and down the stairs again now...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Eating and Living Healthy with FIRST 5 Del Norte

We'd like to welcome First 5 Del Norte to our blog! First 5 will be a regular monthly contributor to Growing Tables, providing food and nutrition information for the 0 to 5 year old set. Their first post, as you will see, contains valuable information for us all:

A key to eating right is knowing how much food you and your children should eat at mealtimes. That's why we've included a picture of an ideal plate to help you determine healthy portion sizes, which can be very simple.  When sitting down to a meal, divide your plate into three sections. Fill half of your plate with fruits and/or vegetables. Then fill a quarter of your plate with healthy protein, and the last quarter of your plate with healthy carbohydrates. If you're still hungry, eat more fruits and vegetables. Daily physical activity is an important part of a child's healthy lifestyle. When parents exercise with their children, they become role models for them and get healthier, too! 
Always consult your primary care provider for your child's individual dietary needs, including feeding charts and allergies.


First 5 has partnered with respected certified nutritionist, mother and TV personality, Chef LaLa, in addressing a leading health problem in our state – childhood obesity. Currently 1 in 3 children in California is overweight or at risk of becoming overweight.  First 5 Del Norte has posted its Recipe of the Week in the kitchen of the Family Resource Center.  The recipes featured will empower families to make better food choices for their children, cook together as a family and develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Stop by the Del Norte Family Resource Center and get a free recipe card featuring a healthy meal that you and your family will have fun making!