National Nutrition Month: Start Your Journey With UsLee Health in the Community
Did you know? March is National Nutrition Month!
Lee Health – a year-round platform sponsor of the American Heart Association – joins with our community partners every day to improve nutrition education. That’s because a healthy diet reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke and chronic disease.
In fact, 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with nutrition education and action, according to the American Heart Association.
Lee Health is on a mission to spread the word about the importance of making better food choices and developing good exercise habits using recommendations from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
This year, the theme of National Nutrition Month is Personalize Your Plate. Personalizing is important because there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health.
Numbers tell us that obesity continues to increase among adults in our area. But there is some good news: Childhood obesity has been improving since 2007, according to the Lee County 2020 Community Health Needs Assessment.
Many factors affect the health of our community, including food insecurity. What is food insecurity? The FDA defines it as a lack of consistent access to enough food for a healthy life or a lack of household financial resources for the right kinds of food.
Studies show that women and low-income adults struggle with food insecurity and inadequate levels of physical activity. Nutrition, weight management and physical activity help increase your heart health and cut your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure.
Not to mention, better food and physical activity just helps you feel better all around. It certainly reduces stress and boosts your mood – very important these days!
Don’t Know Where to Begin?
So: We hear a lot about eating right and exercising more. But where are you supposed to start?
It’s all about finding that perfect plan before you dive in. Lee Health’s Healthy Life Center offers free nutrition classes and cooking demos for the community, and registered dietitian nutritionists are standing by to talk to you one-on-one. These consultations are perfect entry points: Trained experts get to know you, your habits, your struggles, and they come up with a plan that is right for you.
“Our virtual cooking classes are some of the most popular classes,” says Carrie Bloemers, MS, RDN, LDN, director of Lee Health’s Healthy Life Center – Education & Navigation. “Registered dietitians teach you new culinary skills as well as nutrition tips. It is such a fun and engaging way to learn.”
Click here to register for one of the demos today!
Some Handy Tips
The Lee Health Outreach Team works with dozens of community partners to make these programs and educational opportunities available for everyone. Incorporate some of these tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Personalize Your Plate campaign for a healthier you.
- Eat a variety of nutritious foods every day
- Include healthy foods from all food groups.
- Eat the rainbow.
- Drink more water.
- Avoid sugar sweetened beverages.
- Avoid distractions while eating.
- Take time to enjoy your food.
- Plan your meals each week
- Choose healthy recipes to make during the week.
- Use a grocery list to shop for healthy food.
- Pack your lunch.
- Be menu-savvy when dining out.
- Learn skills to create tasty meals
- Follow Lee Health – Healthy Life Center on Facebook for recipes or @LeeHealth_TeachingKitchen on Instagram.
- Tune in to one of the Healthy Life Center nutrition classes and cooking demos.
- Share your new skills and enjoy a healthy meal with family and friends!
Lauren Ware, Community Programs Coordinator
Stephanie Wardein, System Director of Community Affairs