News Blog

Promote Physical Activity

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

Switch Up Your Protein

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.

Back to School

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. 

100+ Clark County Students Enter Green Our Planet’s Get Healthy Challenge

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!

Summer Seasonal Produce

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

hands holding basket of vegetables

Cooking Matters

“Cooking Matters” classes begin May 14! Learn to cook healthy, delicious meals on Zoom with food boxes that we deliver weekly. Open to all SNAP eligible participants. Email Alleese@lssnv.org for questions or to enroll.

Six-Week Class Schedule Every Friday from 11am-12pm Starting May14 Ending June 18 COOKING MATTERS NUTRITION EDUCATION, VIRTUAL CLASSES • Are you currently receiving or eligible for SNAP? • Do you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera or a smartphone? Join us for our Cooking Matters classes now on Zoom! Learn how to cook healthy meals on a budget. Learn quick and easy physical activity exercises to do while at home. Also, learn about nutrition and receive recipe boxes every week. • erICOOKING NO#DIMATTERS' Program Requirements: Complete enrollment forms and engage in activities through Zoom for six weeks. Classes are limited and will fill up quickly. For more info or to RSVP email our SNAP-Ed Coordinator Alleese at al leese©Issnv.org This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program_SNAP. For more information call SNAP-(775)684-7200 LUTHERAN SOCIAL SERVICES OF NEVADA

Green Our Planet

Green Our Planet Brings School Garden and Hydroponics Programs to Schools Across the Country Despite Challenges Posed By COVID!

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.

How much physical activity do older adults need?

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

Eating Healthy has benefits that can help individuals 65 and up

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

Get Healthy! Get Outside!

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.

How to Make Healthy Cookies

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.

How to Make Monster Veggie Fries

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)

How to Make an Apple Salad with Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

Want to make something delicious and healthy and learn how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet? Join our NV Snap-ed partner, Green Our Planet’s Chef and Nutrition team as they show you how to turn simple, garden-fresh ingredients into delicious meals for your whole family!

Living a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

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

Healthy Recipes for the New Year

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

Using the Nutrition Facts Label

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/

Healthy Meals for a Healthy Lifestyle

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/

Healthy Holiday Recipes

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

Luthern Social Services Center Open Air Market

Open Air Markets are back at LSSN

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!

DigiMart Hours

DigiMart Distributions are BACK!

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

Hunger Action Month

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

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

Distance Learning and Staying Active

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

Eating Seasonal

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

Exploring the Outdoors Safely

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.

Working Out At Home

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

Family gathers at kitchen table for meal.

Emergency Food Distribution

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

Woman gardening planting flowers

Staying Active While At Home

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/

Southern Nevada Farmers Markets

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/

Free Summer Lunch for Kids and Teens

Nutritious Free Meals for Children Offered Now through Summer.

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.

School Meals

Signing up for school meals can help parents save time and money. And most importantly, healthy meals and full stomachs help make children ready to learn all day long! See all the nutritious school menu offerings at nevadawellness.org

Women hiking canyon.

Get Moving in Clark County with Neon to Nature

There are over 1,000 miles of trails in the Las Vegas Valley just waiting to be explored. Use the FREE Neon to Nature app to discover these beautiful walking and biking trails. Make exercise fun with your family by getting outside and exploring what’s in your own backyard.

For more information visit: https://gethealthyclarkcounty.org/get-moving/community-activities/neon-to-nature/

Childhood Obesity

One in three children in the United States are obese. The good news it can be prevented.

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