Jul 09, 2023

Eating healthier begins one small step at a Time

Edith Lovett

Pulaski County Extension

Taking the time to plan what you are going to eat today and for the week and making sure you have included fruits and vegetables daily will help you eat better and also save money.

It seems every month we have a special challenge. The Eating Over the Rainbow Challenge begins in August. Eating healthier begins one small step at a time. A step here, a step there and soon you will be eating well, planning good meals and moving more. Most of all you will feel better with more energy. So, look at some of our useful tips. One of our challenges is to eat at least one fruit and one vegetable each day during the month of August.

What are some other suggestions? Taking the time to plan what you are going to eat today and for the week and making sure you have included fruits and vegetables daily will help you eat better and also save money. It doesn’t take a lot of time to plan for what you are going to prepare for your family meals, just select foods the family likes. The wonderful thing about panning is that the more you do it, the easier it becomes. A little effort will help you go a long way.

Eating together around the table is a wonderful way for busy families to connect with each other. Planning out healthy meals ahead of time is a fantastic way to make this happen. Post your weekly meal plan in a place where everyone can see it. Allow the family members to make other suggestions. The refrigerator door is always a good spot, and we have menu sheets we will give to you to help plan for the week.

If you are new to meal planning, start small and work up to more. That may mean just planning meals for the first two days. Try these tips to help you get started. Think about your schedule. Will everyone be present for the meals for the next two days? What plans do you have for the coming days? Choose meals you can easily prepare when you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. Save menus that take longer to prepare on days when you have lots of time. Before you begin what, you are going to serve this week, check to see what foods you have on hand that you need to use. If you have a garden, there may be lots of fresh vegetables you need to plan to use. Check the ads to see what store specials are for the coming week. What other foods do you have on hand?

You really need to make a grocery list. Start by listing all the ingredients for meals you plan to make. Look in your garden, freezer, cabinets and refrigerator to see which ingredients you already have on hand. Don’t forget to include foods like fruit, vegetables and milk that might not be part of a recipe but are basics for healthy eating. Keep an ongoing grocery list in your kitchen or on a free mobile app and add items as you run out. Some mobile apps allow you to synchronize grocery lists with others in your household. Check out the “Top 5 Grocery List App.”

Stop by the office and we will give you a free weekly menu planner guide, with a rainbow challenge coloring sheet. We have a free nutrition class each month at the Extension Office you are welcome to attend. This class is scheduled for the 4th Tuesday in the month at 11:30. Try this recipe and get in two fruits.

Nonstick cooking spray

4 medium apples for baking

2 cups blueberries, frozen or fresh

4 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup quick cooking oats

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup cold butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Wash and peel the apples. Cut them into thin slices. Spread the apple slices and blueberries evenly over the bottom of the baking dish, which has been greased. In a small bowl use a fork to mix sugar, cornstarch, water, and lemon juice until smooth. Pour over apples. Combine oats, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut butter into the flour mixture until crumbly, Sprinkle over the apples and blueberries. Bake uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes or until the filling is bubbly. Allow it to cool before serving.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Continue to support your farmers by purchasing fresh items at their farm and the farmers market. You will find farmers selling fresh produce each day at their farm. Shop at the Farmers Market in downtown Somerset today until 2:00. Wednesdays shop from 9:00-1:00, and the 4th Thursday of each month 4:00-7:00. They also have fresh meats.

Woodstock Community Center has a farmers market each Wednesday and Saturday 8:00-12:00 noon. They always have lots of fresh produce at their market.

You can have your pressure canner gauge lid checked out at the Extension Office each weekday from 8:00 to 4:30. Free canning publications are available to you, and a free Ball Canning Book for coming by.

Attend our free cooking class on Tuesday, August 22 at 11:30. Please call to register at 679-6361. We need to know the numbers coming so we can have enough food prepared.

The Cards R Us meets on Monday, August 21, at 9:00 o’clock. This is a free class were you make different cards, for different events that you need in your lifestyle.

Our first homemaker training class will be held on Monday, August 21 at 1:00 o’clock,, The class will be on Emergency Preparedness, and is open to everyone. The McCreary FCS Agent will be the instructor.

Edith Lovett

Pulaski County Extension

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