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Inside Grundy County

Healthiest State Initiative

October 15, 2011
Bill Arndorfer Butler-Grundy County Extension Educator

By now you have heard about the Healthiest State Initiative which is an initiative that is intended to help Iowa become the number one healthiest state in the nation by 2016. In order for that to happen, we will all need to do our part to improve our health and encourage family and friends to do the same.

Iowa State University Extension has many resources that can help move us towards that goal. I would like to cover some of the resources available to help achieve this very worthy goal. The following information is available from ISU Extension. This is not a complete listing of all resources but is intended to give you a good idea of the materials that are available to help move us forward.

MyPlate is the new food icon replacing MyPyramid. MyPlatehelps you visualize the proportion each food group should contribute to your plate. The icon shows that half of your plate should consist of fruits and vegetables, with vegetables comprising slightly more than the fruits.The other half of the plate consists of grains and proteins, with grains comprising slightly more than the protein. Dairy is depicted as a circle (i.e. glass of milk) off to the side of the plate.

Food For Fun and Fitness is a newsletter, that provides easy to prepare recipes, fun activities, snack ideas and healthy tips to help you and your family stay fit.

Raising Healthy Kids is a series of publications designed to help parents, communities, and childcare providers address important health and nutrition questions. The prevalence of overweight American youth has become an epidemic. The number of overweight children (age six to eleven) has almost quadrupled in the past four decades and for adolescents (twelve to nineteen) has tripled. In only twelve years the prevalence of overweight children has increased five percent, depending on the age group.

Healthy Meals in a Hurry is a publication (PM 2035), available from the ISU Extension Online store, that provides recipes for fourteen main dishes that makes it easier to make smart food choices when you have a freezer already stocked with ready-to-reheat main dishes. Each of the featured recipes has "Eat now" and "Eat later" directions.

Spend Smart. Eat Smart provides families three easy steps to healthy meals. The first step shows how to reduce your food expenses by planning before shopping. Step two provides tips to find nutritious items and save money at the grocery store and the third step, shows how you can save time and money when eating out or eating at home.

Words on Wellness blog. This blog promotes a healthy lifestyle, with reliable, research-based information about nutrition, exercise and food safety in each post. The blog explores the power of incorporating healthy practices into daily living for you and your family and can be found at:

For more information about ways to improve your health, be sure to check out the above mentioned resources or contact the Grundy office of ISU Extension at 319-824-6979.



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