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Eat Healthy
Eat Healthy
  • It is not cheaper to eat junk food than a nutritionally balanced meal.  Most fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods cost less than foods high in fat, sugar and salt.  Comparing the cost of foods by weight or portion size shows that grains, vegetables, fruit and dairy foods are less expensive than most meats or foods high in saturated fat, added sugars or salt. 

    That means that bananas, carrots, lettuce and pinto beans are all less expensive per portion than French fries, soft drinks, ice cream or ground beef.  Eating a chocolate-glazed donut with 240 calories might not satisfy you, but a banana with 105 calories just might.
Shopping smart can make healthy eating more affordable.   Some people think a $2 bag of chips is a better value than a $2 bag of apples.  We need to re-think that idea and choose less expensive fruits and vegetables that are in season and supplement those with frozen or canned fruits and vegetables. (Margo Wootan, nutrition advocate with the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and Andrea Carlson, scientist-author of USDA's Economic Research Service study, May 2012) 
  • The old adage “You are what you eat” is true.  A British study found that junk food causes bad behavior and leads to lower grades in school children age 6 to 16.  On the other hand, a healthy diet with lots of vegetables, fish oil, whole grains, nuts and water was linked to good academic performance.  (Junk food diet 'makes children badly behaved,' by Jenny Hope, U.K., DailyMail.com, May 2005) 
What You Can Do
  • Invite a nutritionist to speak to your group about eating for good health. 
  • Fast Food.  Research reveals that fast food not only increases body weight, but it also contributes to liver damage because the liver is not able to process such high levels of fat.  Eat healthy to improve and maintain good heart, liver and brain health.  (The effects of fast food on the body, by Ann Pietrangelo, reviewed by Dr. George Krucik, MD, MBA, Healthline, October 22, 2014) 
  • Processed Food.   Limit sugar, artificial colors, preservatives, and chemicals in your food.  These additives to most soft drinks and convenience foods have been linked to behavioral problems in children, such as hyperactivity, depression, and diseases.  The Center for Science in the Public Interest has petitioned the FDA for a ban on many common artificial food dyes, as well as warning labels.  The chemical dyes (such as Red 40, Yellow 5, 6 and Blue 1, 2) are petroleum and coal-based, used to make much of our food look more colorful and vibrant.   Many parents are choosing to help their children by avoiding products containing artificial dyes and other chemicals.   (Chemical Cuisine, Learn about Food Additives, Center for Science in the Public Interest, http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm)

  • Success with Better Nutrition in School Lunchrooms.  The Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 has required new healthier menus to have much less fat and salt and much more fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains.  WITS, a New York City-based school food mentoring program serving 75 schools and 40,000 students in New York, put chefs in the kitchen as mentors and trainers, helping them develop systems and from-scratch healthy recipes.  WITS helps schools replace processed chicken with roasted chicken quarters, expand their salad bars and make dressings from scratch, bringing in new recipes that conform to the standards. 

    WITS helps kids connect to real food by bringing the recipes they will eat in the lunchroom into the classroom to try out.  WITS chefs go into the classrooms, where students learn to make many of the new recipes that will appear in the cafeteria.  Most classrooms will have 4 to 6 workshops over the course of a school year.  One will focus on beans, and they will make vegetarian chili and humus.  Another will focus on making applesauce, another on salad dressings, and so on.  Each workshop introduces students to foods they will see in the cafeteria.  Those schools easily hit the nutrition standards without using canned or frozen foods or adding staff, and they did it at the same price point as those who do.  Now, kids are grabbing salad, humus and roast chicken and loving it.  ("Food Fight - New school lunch regulations could turn food into something kids won't eat," by Eric Schulzke, Deseret News, November 21, 2015)

Local Organizations
Additional Resources

Choose My Plate
(U.S. Dept. of Agriculture)
Eating on a budget, Recipes, Menus,
Food safety, Healthy foods, Snacks.
Children:           http://www.choosemyplate.gov/children

Protecting Consumers - Keep your family Safe.
Consumer products and Medical dangers.
Defective, unsafe, or harmful goods or products…
Baby/children products, drugs, medical devices,
household chemicals, televisions, furniture, gun safety....  

My Healthy Life
(Spokane Regional Health District)
Ways to achieve a healthier life.