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franklin county times

Good nutrition very important

By By Beth Randall/4-H youth agent
March 3, 2002
Okay, it is time to admit it. Food plays an important role in my life! My social life revolves around food. For example, I attend and host dinner and lunch meetings, meet friends for dessert, go out for lunch, have friends over for snacks, and the list goes on and on. Seldom do I get together with friends when food is not involved! Can you identify with me?
Lets face it food is always around! That is not a bad thing. We have to be in control of the type and amount of foods we eat.
Eating is one of life's greatest pleasures. National Nutrition Month is celebrated each year in March this year's theme is "Start today for a healthy tomorrow."
Americans of all ages benefit from making healthful eating, physical activity and lifestyle choices. Trying new foods and new physical activities can jump-start your plans for health.
Personalize the "Food Guide Pyramid" as your roadmap toward eating a variety of foods, using moderation when selecting portion sizes and balancing your choices over time.
Taking the first step toward making healthful choices can be easy if you enlist help from friends and family.
This is a time for us to consider the foods we eat and ways we can make improvements in our diets. Good nutrition is eating those foods that provide our bodies with the proper nutrients. Nutrients are substances found in food that are used in body nourishment.
I want to encourage you to pay special attention to the foods you eat this month. The food choices we make today can affect our future.
Here are some tips to help you get started on a healthy pathway.
Get moving. Activity can make you stronger and more flexible.
Eat healthy every day. Choose fruits, vegetables, breads, cereals, lean meat, poultry, fish, dry beans and low fat or nonfat milk and cheeses.
Eat slowly. You will be able to tell when you are full before you eat too much.
Eat less fats, oils and sweets. Butter, margarine, oils, candy, high-fat salad dressings, and soft drinks offer little or no protein, vitamins, or minerals.
Eat when you are hungry. Your body will tell you when it's hungry. Snacking is OK, but try to go for a variety of nutritious snacks.
Cooking opportunities for youth:
The 4-H Cloverleaf Club will meet at 4 p.m. March 18 at the Lauderdale County Extension Office. The program will be "FOOD IS FUN." All 5- to 7-year-olds may attend, but must pre-register by calling 482-9764. The youth will prepare a snack.
A cooking class for 8- to 18 year-olds will be 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. March 14 at the Lauderdale County Extension Office. Participants will learn about nutrition and will actually get to cook. The cost is $2. Register by calling 482-9764. The class size is limited; you must register by 5 p.m. March 12.

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