nvsnapstage

Active Kids All Summer

The kids are out of school for the summer.  Now what?  We know it’s important for kids to be active, but in a digital world, it can be hard to have them put down the devices.  Now is a good time to learn healthy habits, and maybe they will find an activity that they will love.  The American Heart Association recommends that kids and teens, ages 6-17 get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.

Children are naturally active. As they grow into adolescents, they tend to become less active. This is especially true for girls, who may need even more support and encouragement to stay active. Don’t be surprised or disappointed if your kids’ interests shift or they lose interest in activities they used to love. Help them find other activities they can enjoy instead of becoming inactive.

Here are some tips that may help:

  • Be a role model for an active lifestyle. Start moving more yourself and find ways to be active together as a family.
  • Physical activity should be fun for children and adolescents. Encourage kids to keep trying activities to discover the ones they like and will stick with. Don’t use physical activity as a punishment.
  • Reduce or limit sedentary screen time, including watching television, playing video games and using a digital device. Don’t use the TV or a device as a babysitter.
  • Provide kids with opportunities to be active. Give them active toys and games, like bikes, skateboards, roller skates, scooters, jump ropes, balls and sports equipment.
  • Support their participation in sports, dance and other active recreation like swimming, biking and running. Get familiar with community facilities near you, like pools, recreation centers, bike paths and parks.
  • When safe, let them walk or bike places instead of always driving them in the car. For example, you could walk or bike to school or the bus stop together.
  • If your child is very inactive now, start slowly. Increase the amount and intensity of activity gradually each week or so. This may help them avoid discomfort or injury and adjust to a more active lifestyle without becoming discouraged.
  • Praise, rewards and encouragement help kids to stay active.

A worksite wellness program that includes a physical activity component can help maintain a healthier workforce. A healthier workforce can benefit from reduced direct costs associated with health care expenses. The worksite wellness program also has potential to increase employees’ productivity, reduce absenteeism, and increase morale. Additionally, these programs are often seen as a central component of an attractive employee compensation and benefits package that can be used as a recruitment and retention tool to attract and keep high quality employees. Worksites can encourage physical activity through a multicomponent approach of offering management support, physical access to opportunities, policies, and social support programs.

Regardless of size, resources, setting, and type all worksites can provide opportunities to promote physical activity for their employees.  NV Snap-ed supports worksite wellness programs to increase physical activity because of the following:

  • Only half of all American adults report meeting the physical activity guidelines.
  • Each day in the United States, more than 150 million American adults participate in the labor force.
  • With employees spending 7.6 hours a day on average at their place of employment, worksites provide a unique setting to promote practices that can significantly increase physically active employees and potentially affect the health of millions of working adults.
  • Many barriers to physical activity can be addressed by worksite physical activity programs.

Here are some resources to get yourself active throughout the day, no matter the circumstances.

  1. 20 Essential Desk Exercises You Can Do Without Leaving Your Office or Home Workspace: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/hq_deskfit_booklet_6.10.2020.pdf
  2. CDC Workplace Health Resource Center: https://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/index.html
  3. Guide to help integrate physical activity into the workday: https://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/initiatives/resource-center/pdf/Workplace-Physical-Activity-Break-Guide-508.pdf
  4. Staying Active While Social Distancing:  https://health.gov/news/202004/staying-active-while-social-distancing-questions-and-answers

Parents, guardians, and teachers can help children maintain a healthy weight by helping them develop healthy eating habits and limiting calorie-rich temptations. You also want to help children be physically active, have reduced screen time, and get adequate sleep.

The goal for children who are overweight is to reduce the rate of weight gain while allowing normal growth and development. Children should NOT be placed on a weight reduction diet without the consultation of a health care provider.

Remember small changes everyday can lead to success!

There are 5 areas to concentrate on:

1. Develop Healthy Eating Habits

  • Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products.
  • Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products, including cheese and yogurt.
  • Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils, and beans for protein.
  • Encourage your family to drink lots of water.
  • Limit sugary drinks.
  • Limit consumption of sugar and saturated fat.

2. Limit Calorie-Rich Temptations

  • Reducing the availability of high-fat and high-sugar or salty snacks can help your children develop healthy eating habits.

3. Help Children Stay Active

  • Reducing the availability of high-fat and high-sugar or salty snacks can help your children develop healthy eating habits.
  • Remember that children imitate adults. Start adding physical activity to your own routine and encourage your child to join you.

4. Reduce Sedentary Time

  • Although quiet time for reading and homework is fine, limit the time children watch television, play video games, or surf the web to no more than 2 hours per day.
  • Instead, encourage children to find fun activities to do with family members or on their own that simply involve more activity.

5. Ensure Adequate Sleep

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and be a rewarding experience. Whether you are a self-motivated individual volunteer, represent a community or employee group, or are looking for school or work-related, or court-ordered community service opportunities, NVSnap-ed partners offer many great ways to volunteer in our own communities. It’s a fun and rewarding experience, and a potentially life-changing way to tackle the ongoing hunger problem here in Nevada.

Check out our partners and their volunteer opportunities.

With the holidays right around the corner, enjoying a meal together is a great way to connect with your family. Sit down together for a meal when you can. Turn off the TV and put away screens and devices so you can “unplug,” interact, and focus on each other. Plan meals for the week and include the kids when cooking. Kids learn by doing. Younger ones can mix ingredients, wash produce, or set the table; while older kids can help with ingredients. Everyone can help clean up. When deciding on foods and beverages, choose options that are full of nutrients and limited in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.

Here are some mealtime tips to help connect your family:

  • Remove distractions by turning off the TV and making a phone “parking spot” away from the table.
  • Have everyone share what they did during the day. What made you laugh or what you did for fun?
  • Try new foods at home. Kids need many opportunities to taste a new food to “get used to it.”
  • Have adults and older kids talk about the color, feel, or flavor of foods. It’ll make them sound more appealing to younger kids that may be picky.
  • On nice days, opt for a change of scenery. For example, go to a nearby park for a dinner picnic.

As we age, healthy eating can make a difference in our health, help to improve how we feel, and encourage a sense of well-being.

Eating habits change throughout the life span. Simple changes can help you enjoy the foods and beverages you eat and drink to meet nutrient needs, help maintain a healthy body weight, and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

The definition of healthy eating does change a little as you age. As you grow older, your metabolism slows down, so you need fewer calories than before. Your body also needs more of certain nutrients. That means it’s more important than ever to choose foods that give you the best nutritional value.

  • Try adding seafood, dairy or fortified soy alternatives, along with beans, peas and lentils to your meals to help maintain muscle mass.
  • Add fruits and vegetables to meals and snacks. Look for frozen, canned, or ready-to-eat varieties if slicing and chopping is a challenge.
  • Make eating a social event. Meals are more enjoyable when you eat with others. Invite a friend to join you or take part in a potluck at least twice a week. A community center or place of worship may offer meals that are shared with others.
  • The ability to absorb vitamin B12 can decrease with age and the use of certain medications can decrease absorption. Eating enough protein and fortified foods, such as fortified cereals, can help you meet your vitamin B12 needs. Speak with your healthcare provider to determine what, if any, supplementation is right for you.
  • If you use or are considering taking dietary supplements, it’s important to track and discuss all dietary supplements with your healthcare provider to determine what is right for you.

I started working virtually for Green Our Planet during the pandemic when all students joined Cooking Nutrition Lessons from their homes virtually. Although working with K-5 aged students is one of my favorite parts of the job, working with that age group in a virtual setting presents some hurdles. It took some adaptation to understand how to navigate the online platform and with up to 100 students per call, keeping the students engaged and facilitating discussions was definitely a challenge. Over time, I adapted. I developed strategies to overcome the obstacles, and each lesson became smoother and smoother. Still, as pandemic policies change, teaching strategies evolve, making adapting to new teaching models an integral part of my job.

After the first few weeks or so of lessons, I was able to predict their behavior. And after the first month, I developed strategies to nip any interferences in the bud and use the virtual tools that were initially a distraction to absorb them into the lesson. For instance, to increase engagement with the students, I had them use the chatbox to share their thoughts and questions. I also called on individual students to unmute their microphones to answer questions and share their thoughts on the lesson. Once I got the virtual classroom dynamics down, hybrid teaching models rose to the surface as in-person schooling was making a comeback. 

Over the year, students started coming back into their classrooms while some still joined the lessons from their homes. During this time, the number of students attending class in person was relatively low, so teachers could hear students and share their answers with me virtually. I would go back and forth, having students in the classroom answer questions and have students from their homes answer questions. 

Recently, schools are now back in person. Bartlett Elementary School was the first school I taught with everyone back in the classroom. The teachers put my face up on a big screen for this lesson, projecting the lesson to multiple grade levels in a gymnasium. Unaware this would be the layout, it took some trial and error to determine what teaching strategies worked best. From previous lessons, asking questions via chat or unmuting the microphone allowed me to see how well students understood the material and allowed students to ask questions easily. However, with this new platform, with all students together in person, it was hard to engage students by my previous strategies of asking questions and receiving feedback. 

I adapted to this lesson by having students raise their hands if they had tried a fruit or vegetable. I used more sign language (for lack of a better term) and gestures to test students’ comprehension of the lesson. I had students give me a thumbs up, half thumbs down, or thumbs down. With students being in person and having other friends and classmates, there was more room for distractions. During times of hindrance, I had my kindergarten class get up and do jumping jacks to get some energy out of their system and come back to the lesson, then relate food and physical activity to the lesson. I had students wait to ask questions towards the end of the class. I had the instructor call on students and had them come up to the screen/ microphone to ask their questions or identify their favorite part of the lecture. 

Overall, the virtual platform continues to change and grow. It’s in learning to adapt and grow with instructors, students, and content that educators can help improve future students’ education. I am happy to be a part of the process!

– Sierra Kuno, Nutrition Chef Program Coordinator/ SNAP-Ed Nutrition Educator


Previous Himan ES lesson with students in their homes 

Barlette ES Lesson students back in person 

As we transition into a routine of school, work, and the weather changing, it’s a good time to remember that we also need to move daily and make time for physical activities with our families.  Fit physical activity into your family’s schedule by starting small.  Setting too many goals is a sure way to burn out quickly.  Begin by introducing one new family activity and add more when you feel everyone is ready. Take the dog for a longer walk, play another ball game, or go to an additional exercise class.

Here are some more tips:

  • Turn off the TV! Set a time limit on viewing TV and playing video games. Instead of a TV show, play an active family game, dance to favorite music, or go for a walk.
  • Plan ahead and track your progress. Write your activity plans on a family calendar. Let the kids help in planning the activities. Allow them to check it off after completing each activity.
  • Include work around the house. Involve the kids in yard work and other active chores around the house. Have them help you with raking, weeding, planting, or vacuuming.
  • Treat the family with fun physical activity. When it is time to celebrate as a family, do something active as a reward. Plan a trip to the zoo, park, or lake to treat the family.
  • Include other families. Invite others to join your family activities. This is a great way for you and your kids to spend time with friends while being physically active. Plan parties with active games such as bowling or an obstacle course, sign up for family programs at the YMCA, or join a recreational club.

We are excited to announce a new collection of recipes coming to NVSNAP-Ed.org

Physical activity is critical to the physical, cognitive, emotional and social development of every child. There are several ways to promote physical activity at home or in the classroom including dance, sports, games and free play. Some children will be naturally drawn to these activities while others find it difficult to engage. Using positive engagement strategies in fun, playful social settings are key to promoting physical activity.

It is also important to know about strategies that are ineffective.  Most of these involve pressuring a child to do an activity or taking physical activity away as a form of punishment, both of which develop a negative experience around physical activity.
Encourage participation using fun, motivational strategies.  Allow them to be the leader, choose the activity, or call out the commands. Withholding physical activity from children deprives them of health benefits and the opportunity to develop fundamental movement skills necessary for a healthy lifestyle.

Teaching and practicing fundamental skills in early childhood years is the key to helping children gain confidence and skill development.  Learn more about fundamental skills: https://extension.unr.edu/healthykids/pub.aspx?PubID=2927

We all need protein, but how much is enough? Most people, ages 9 and older, should eat 5 to 7 ounces of protein foods each day, depending on overall calorie needs.

What counts as an ounce of protein foods? 

  • 1 ounce lean meat, poultry, or seafood
  • 1 egg
  • 1⁄4 cup cooked beans or peas
  • 1⁄2 ounce nuts or seeds
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter

It may seem hard to get protein in your diet, but we are here to share a few tips.

Try mixing up your proteins throughout the week.  Add seafood, beans, nuts, seeds, soy, eggs, lean meats, and poultry to your menu.  Choose lean or low fat cuts of meat like round or sirloin and ground beef that is at least 90% lean. Trim or drain fat from meat and remove poultry skin. Next, pull out the slow cooker. Lean meats need slow, moist cooking to be tender—and delicious – and the crock pot can save you time as well as money.

Many students across the state are starting the new school year. It’s a great time to focus on the nutrition of our children both in school and at home.  Creating healthy habits can help kids:

  • Concentrate and do better in school
  • Feel good about themselves
  • Grow and develop strong bodies
  • Lower their future risk of diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer

You can feed your family healthy snacks in the time it takes to open a bag of chips!  When they get home from school, try a snack of carrots and peanut butter, celery and creamcheese, or a simple piece of fresh fruit. 

Making and keeping healthy habits is always important, but during a pandemic, staying healthy is more important than ever! That’s why our partner Green Our Planet teamed up with Caesars Entertainment, SNAP-Ed, and the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services to host the Get Healthy Challenge. Over the past two months, the challenge called on students across Nevada to submit short videos showcasing what they do to stay healthy.

Green Our Planet’s programming helps students learn about health and nutrition through school gardens and indoor hydroponic gardens. They provide nutrition education to students through online video lessons and in-person nutrition lessons. Green Our Planet’s Chef Nutrition Specialists go into each school showing the students how to prepare healthy, delicious recipes using student-grown produce. Through this program, students connect to where their food comes from, learn how to make healthy recipes, and gain an understanding of the importance of eating a nutritious diet.

By teaching students how to grow their own fresh food, Green Our Planet’s programming helps students develop healthy habits at school and at home. But they wanted to learn more about how students were staying healthy during this unique school year.

The Get Healthy Challenge had an amazing turn out, and Green Our Planet received 115 video entries! With the help of Chef Zach Hillberry, Green Our Planet Board Member and Director of Food and Beverage at Caesars Entertainment, Green Our Planet made the very tough decision to pick the top 3 winners.

FIRST PRIZE Skylar from Bass Elementary School

SECOND PRIZE Wyland and Weston Gilmore from Clark Middle School and Cashman Middle School

THIRD PRIZE Chelsie from Bass Elementary School

From exercising and getting enough sleep to growing and eating fresh fruits and veggies at home, Nevada’s students are making lifelong habits that will keep them happy and healthy for years to come. These students are sure to continue spreading their healthy habits and will inspire their communities to get healthy, too!

Green Our Planet will run more competitions like this in the future, so stay tuned!

Fruits and veggies are at the core of SNAP-Ed.  It can be fun to purchase seasonal produce to try different flavors throughout the year and make seasonal flavorful dishes that your family will enjoy!  Head to the nearest farmers markets to get seasonal fruits and veggies! They cost less when they are in season and are a great way to support local farms.

Seasonal produce in your area will vary by growing conditions and weather. Remember, fresh, frozen, canned, and dried: fruits and vegetables are a delicious way to make every bite count!

Cook with seasonal vegetables and try these recipes:
Bell Pepper Recipes: Recipes | MyPlate
Tomato Recipes: Tomatoes | SNAP-Ed (usda.gov)
Carrot Recipes:   Recipes | MyPlate

It’s National Garden Month, and today we’re featuring a success story from Green Our Planet! Green Our Planet is one of our partnering organizations based in Las Vegas, Nevada, that brings school garden and hydroponics programs to schools across the country. Green Our Planet believes in the power of experiential learning through these school garden and hydroponics programs. A huge part of their mission is educating students about health and nutrition. Green Our Planet provides nutrition education to students through in-person demos. Green Our Planet’s Chef Nutrition Specialists go into each school showing the students how to prepare healthy, delicious recipes using student-grown produce. Through this program, students connect to where their food comes from, learn how to make healthy recipes, and gain an understanding of the importance of eating a nutritious diet.

When COVID hit, the schools sent the students home, and the possibility of in-person nutrition lessons, along with their other in-person programming, crumbled. Rather than leaving their destiny to chance, Green Our Planet completely transformed its operational model. They took into account feedback from schools, the community’s current needs, and ideas from a cadre of teachers. The result was a fast-tracked plan to pivot their programming online. For the Chef Nutrition Team, this pivot took their program in two different directions: they began hosting Live Virtual Chef Nutrition Lessons and pre-recorded videos on the Green Our Planet Virtual Academy. Virtually hosting the Live Nutrition Lessons brought forth unforeseen benefits of the program. They began to see that the parents get to participate in the lesson because the students attend the class from home. Not only is parent involvement supporting the success of students, but the parents seem to enjoy participating as well. Another unforeseen benefit is that the students can often cook along with the Nutrition Specialist, allowing them to absorb the lesson experientially.

Green Our Planet creates the pre-recorded lessons on The Green Our Planet Virtual Academy using their standards-aligned Health Curriculum. This online resource is the hub for all of the organization’s online lesson content. It is like a Discovery Kids channel for teachers that is open-access for parents and educators everywhere. In each nutrition video, they feature one of their Chef Nutrition Specialists cooking a meal from start to finish explaining each step and how the ingredients benefit the wellness of your mind and body. You may be wondering: if the students have been cooking from home, what has been happening to all the fruits and vegetables produced by the school gardens and hydroponics systems? Green Our Planet has been donating much of the produce to Delivering With Dignity, a nonprofit that prepares and delivers meals to people in need throughout the Las Vegas community. Now students are back in their classrooms, able to cultivate and enjoy the fruits of their school gardens and hydroponics systems once again. The Chef Nutrition Lessons that Green Our Planet provides will remain online at least until the rest of the school year. Given the program’s success this year, they will likely continue to offer their programming virtually next Fall.

Green Our Planet programming is funded by Nevada Snap-ed.

As an older adult, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can prevent many of the health problems that seem to come with age. It also helps your muscles grow stronger so you can keep doing your day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others.

Older adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Keep in mind, some physical activity is better than none. Older adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity gain some health benefits.

If you are 65 or older you can follow the following recommendations:

Activities could include:
Walking or hiking
Dancing
Swimming
Water aerobics
Jogging or running
Aerobic exercise classes
Some forms of yoga
Bicycle riding
Some yard work, such as raking and pushing a lawn mower
Tennis or basketball
Walking as part of golf

As we age, healthy eating can make a difference in our health, help to improve how we feel, and encourage a sense of well-being.  Eating habits change as we get older.  Simple changes can allow us to receive all the nutrients our bodies need.

  • Add sliced fruits and vegetables to meals and snacks. Look for pre-sliced varieties if slicing and chopping is a challenge.
  • Ask your doctor for other options if the medications you take affect your appetite.
  • Drink 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk throughout the day. If you cannot tolerate milk try small amounts of yogurt, buttermilk, hard cheese or lactose-free foods. Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
  • Consume foods fortified with vitamin B12, such as fortified cereals.

Use these simple tips to help make smart food choices for years to come: Healthy Eating for Older Adults | MyPlate

It’s a great time to get outside with the family, and Nevada is full of places and lands to explore.  The Nevada outdoors provides a wonderful experience for you and your family to establish physical activity habits for an active lifestyle.  By building a foundation with regular physical activity, you can produce long term health benefits. Examples include increasing your chances of living longer, getting a better night’s sleep, improving brain function and handling physical and emotional challenges.

Did you know you can make delicious and healthy cookies without an oven? Nutrition Chef Lisa shows us how!

Recipe below.

Ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins (also try mini chocolate chips)
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (can also use chopped walnuts or almonds)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup maple syrup or raw honey
1/2 cup peanut butter, almond butter (or any nut-free butter)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Recipe:
1. In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients and stir until evenly combined. The mixture should be a little sticky.
2. Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into firmly packed balls.
3. Store protein bites in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to a week.

Nutrition Chef Lisa Cheplak shows us how to make a healthy and fun snack! Recipe below!

Ingredients:
1, 15 oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 avocado
1 handful fresh basil
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 cup spinach water (to thin out as needed)
1 tsp salt

Directions:
1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender.
2. Blend until smooth.
3. Serve with veggie “fries” (celery, carrot, jicama, and bell pepper sticks)

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. But you can do a lot to protect your heart and stay healthy, not just during Heart Health Month, but all year long.

Heart-healthy living involves understanding your risk, making choices, and taking steps to reduce your chances of getting heart disease, including coronary heart disease, the most common type. Coronary and other types of heart disease cause heart attacks, but by taking preventive measures, you can lower your risk of developing heart disease and also improve your overall health and well-being.

Preventive Measures include: 

-Choose Heart-Healthy Foods

-Aim for a Healthy Weight

-Manage Stress

-Get Regular Physical Activity

-Quit Smoking

-Get Good Quality Sleep

-Get Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Checked

It’s the beginning of a new year, which usually comes with making healthy resolutions.  Many have been cooking at home more than ever, which is the first step to staying on budget.  Let the NV SnapEd website be your resource to find healthy recipes.  Many recipes have a short list of ingredients and be prepared quickly.  Try this 20 minute Creole Chicken or 3 Can Chili to have a hot meal on the table for your family.
https://www.myplate.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/20-minute-chicken-creole

https://www.myplate.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/3-can-chili

The Nutrition Facts label has a lot of information.  It can be confusing to know what you are looking at and how to make the healthiest decision for your family.  When read properly, the Nutrition Facts label found on packaged foods and beverages is your daily tool for making informed food choices that contribute to healthy lifelong eating habits.  

Helping your kids understand how to read the Nutrition Facts label on food packages is important. After all, the label is a tool for making food choices that they’ll be able to use throughout their lives. And the sooner they begin, the sooner they’ll be making healthful choices when comparing foods.

1) Find the serving size and number of servings per container
2) Check calories and calories from fat
3) Look at the Percent (%) Daily Value for each nutrient
4) Look at the list of ingredients

Follow this step-by-step guide to reading the label: https://nvsnap-ed.org/eat-healthy/shop-smart/

After being on hiatus due to COVID-19 since March, Open Air Markets are back!

On Saturday, September 26th, Lutheran Social Services of Nevada will be holding a special Open Air Market in collaboration with Golden Ages Adult Daycare, located at 5020 Alta Drive, 89107. They will be distributing a variety of wholesome, nutritious food to anyone in need. Distribution begins at 8:00 a.m and will go until 10:00 a.m. while supplies last. No registration necessary– just come on and bring an ID!

Lutheran Social Services of Nevada DigiMart Emergency Distributions are BACK!  If you are in need of food, visit the LSSN headquarters at 4323 Boulder Highway, 89121 between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A drive-through and standing line are available with social distancing precautions taken, and no pre registration is necessary to receive food.

Hunger Action Month is a time when people all over America stand against hunger.  Millions of families are facing hunger – many for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Join us in thanking our hardworking food bank staff and volunteers serving on the frontlines every day to help feed and get Americans back on their feet.  Take action this month by sharing, fundraising, and volunteering.

Learn more: https://www.feedingamerica.org/take-action/hunger-action-month

Making meals at home has become the new normal…in a great way!  Cooking at home saves money and always gives you the freedom to choose healthy recipes.  Most of these recipes have a short ingredient list, that makes meal planning and grocery shopping easy.  So let’s start cooking!

Breakfast:  https://food.unl.edu/nep-recipes/breakfast

Main Meals: https://www.azhealthzone.org/recipes?keywords=&category_id=1

Side Dishes: https://cachampionsforchange.cdph.ca.gov/en/recipes/Pages/default.aspx

Snacks:  https://foodhero.org/recipes/categories/50

Desserts: https://eatfresh.org/recipe/filter-meal-type/desserts-1

Taking time to plan healthy meals can help you stick to a healthy eating style and save money.  If you are new to planning meals, start with one easy tip and then add more as you get comfortable. 

1)  Start by mapping out your meals for the week.  Be sure to include drinks and snacks.

2)  Next, make a grocery list of ingredients using your meal plan.  This will help you not overspend at the grocery store.  Try this grocery list to keep you organized:  https://choosemyplate-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/budget/grocery_list_interactive.pdf

3)  Choose different protein foods throughout the week. If you have chicken one day, try seafood, beans, lean meat or eggs on other days.  

4) Try to find balance in your meals throughout the day.   If you have veggies, dairy and protein at one meal, include fruit and grains in the next to cover all 5 food groups over the course of a day. 

Lastly, learn to love your leftovers.  When you go to so much work to prepare a meal, make sure you have extra for another meal later in the week.  This saves on time and money, which we can all get behind. 

To learn more about meal planning on a budget visit:  https://nvsnap-ed.org/eat-healthy/shop-smart/

School will look a little different this Fall.  Many parents are creating school desks and learning spaces in their homes, but let’s not forget about physical activity for our kids.   Physical activity is critical to the physical, cognitive, emotional and social development of every child.   Some children are drawn to physical activities naturally, while others need positive reinforcement. Take breaks in school work to get their bodies moving.  These are called ‘Brain Breaks’.  After 30 minutes of sedentary time, take a short physical break.  Simple movements like running, jumping, walking, dancing, or skipping increase blood flow and oxygen, which improves brain function.  Kids will be ready to take on their next lesson.

Here are some fun ‘Brain Breaks’:

Follow the Leader: https://extension.unr.edu/healthykids/pub.aspx?PubID=2933#followtheleader

Red Light, Green Light:  https://extension.unr.edu/healthykids/pub.aspx?PubID=2933#redlightgreenlightgame

Count My Moves:  https://extension.unr.edu/healthykids/pub.aspx?PubID=2933#countmymoves

Treasure Hunt:  https://extension.unr.edu/healthykids/pub.aspx?PubID=2933#treasurehunt

The holidays will be upon us soon and they will probably look different this year than any other year.  That doesn’t mean you can’t serve a healthy meal that doesn’t break the bank.  From roasted turkey, to mashed potatoes, green beans, and a pumpkin cheese pie, we have you covered.  These recipes can be prepared at home, save you money, and still create a special meal.  Try them on your family and see how delicious and thrifty they can be.

Healthy Holiday Recipes: https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-education/healthy-thrifty-holiday-menus

Eating healthy and staying on budget is possible.  Start by mapping out your family’s meals for the week.  Try to include all drinks and snacks. Next, create a grocery list. A great way to save money starts with eating seasonal fruits and vegetables.  Fresh fruits and vegetables will taste better and cost less. Look at it as a challenge to try a new healthy ingredient each week and have your family join in.  It will make meal time exciting and fun!

Check out your local farmer’s market for seasonal produce:   https://nvsnap-ed.org/eat-healthy/farmers-market/

Discover different fruits and vegetables throughout the year using this guide: https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide

Staying physically active is one of the best ways to keep your mind and body healthy. We are lucky that the State of Nevada has many areas for people to visit parks, trails and open spaces to relieve stress, get some fresh air, and stay active. Valley of Fire State Park is just one of many parks to provide hiking opportunities and breathtaking views.

Here are some tips to keep safe:

  1. Visit parks near your home.
  2. Check with the park before visiting to prepare safely and find out if bathroom facilities are open.
  3. Stay at least 6ft. away from people you don’t live with.
  4. Don’t visit parks if you are sick with, tested positive for COVID-19, or know you were recently exposed to COVID-19.

While we are at home, it’s easy to be distracted by kids, tv, house chores, and of course, our phones.  Self care is important, so find some time to get your body moving!  Many apps are providing free classes during this time.  Also check out your local gyms.  Many are hosting virtual classes.  You’ll be able to break a sweat, have accountability, social interaction, and best of all, FUN!

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Maintain a schedule
  2. Aim to do 150 minutes of moderate cardio per week
  3. Do strength training 2 times a week
  4. Incorporate stretches to build flexibility
  5. Warm up and cool down before and after each workout
  6. Drink water to stay hydrated
  7. Participate in a fitness challenge through an app or with friends and family

The state of Nevada has many Emergency Food Distribution sites in response to COVID-19.  As the times are ever changing, the needs of our residents are changing. Many partnerships have been made to offer resources and distributions sites to serve our communities.
If you need food assistance for your family, your kids, or someone you know, please click the links below.  

Clark County:

https://www.threesquare.org/learn/news/press/three-square-food-bank-implements-emergency-food-distribution-strategy-in-response-to-covid-19?fbclid=IwAR2ovuxMsjonBbDBAvi2KeucW99VOI8dxFHlaSi32P4rxXzmlioqu1-aXCg

Lutheran Services of Southern Nevada DigiMart:
DigiMart will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Emergency Food Boxes will be provided to anyone who comes in.  Clients are asked to bring an ID and remain 6′ apart.  This is a walk-through, farmer’s market style set-up, no car is required.

Northern Nevada:

https://www.fbnn.org/gethelp/

Elko County: 

Student Meals – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tVaFSdNhwdI18Gvc_fDZ0rH-vMPCwJ13/view
Food Bank/Soup Kitchen – https://fishelko.org/

Lyon and Storey Counties:

https://healthycomm.org/food-hub/

Nye County:

NCSD Food Distribution (PDF)
Pahrump Food Pantries
Community Resources- During Covid-19 Closures

When times are uncertain, the best thing we can do is stay strong and active. Nevada offers plenty of outdoor space and trails to get your heart pumping.  

If you are starting a new exercise routine, the key is to increase your activity level slowly. You need to feel comfortable doing moderate-intensity activities before you move on to more vigorous ones. Slowly replace those that take moderate effort, like brisk walking, with more strenuous exercises, like jogging.

With many Nevadans staying home, think about other activities that could raise your heart rate, like gardening, mowing the lawn, or just having a dance party.

Our life and dedication to our health does not have to stop. For more ideas, visit: https://gethealthyclarkcounty.org/get-moving/how-to-be-active/physical-activity-basics/

Desert living might not make you think of fresh fruits and vegetables, but there are many farmers markets that offer you just that in Southern Nevada.  Spring is right around the corner and produce will be in abundance.  You have access to locally and regionally grown produce to help you and your family maintain a healthy lifestyle.  While visiting these markets, take the opportunity to visit with the farmers and producers to learn more about where your food comes from.

Check out this link to find a Farmers Market near you.  Many accept SNAP benefits, debit, and credit cards: https://gethealthyclarkcounty.org/eat-better/farmers-markets/

Click here for the Meal Site finder or visit Summer Food Rocks. Or text “summer meals” to 97779, a meal location will be sent to you. Or call 1-866-348-6479.

Nutritious free meals are available for children and teens 18 and younger at many locations throughout the nation throughout the summer while school is out of session.

For more information on becoming a sponsor to offer meals or volunteer please visit the Nevada Department of Agriculture.

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