Workshop series offers healthy eating tipsBy Emily Beckett Published 2:52pm Thursday, October 3, 2013
Eat Healthy-Be Active workshops started Thursday at the Chilton County Extension Office in Clanton.
Regional Extension Agent Valerie Conner led a meeting called “Healthy Foods That Taste Great,” the first in a series of four workshops related to making nutritious food choices and incorporating physical activity into one’s lifestyle.
Conner reviewed the recommended serving sizes listed on the food pyramid for meat, dairy, grains and fruits and vegetables.
She referred to fruits and vegetables as the “foundation” of healthy eating because they are so high in essential nutrients, including calcium, fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A and C.
Conner said children should drink whole milk in order to develop strong bones, but she recommended skim milk instead of whole milk for adults to cut down on fat.
“We all need three cups or the equivalent of dairy per day,” Conner said. “Children need to get their dairy at an early age. You can’t build [bone density] once you get past that growing spurt; you just have to maintain it.”
Conner said eating on smaller plates is helpful in controlling portion sizes and avoiding overeating, and small changes such as substituting spices and herbs for salt to season foods can make a large difference.
Conner urged people to compare sodium in foods and choose foods with lower numbers (20 percent or less sodium).
“We think healthy eating is difficult, but it’s really not that difficult,” Conner said.
The remaining Eat Healthy-Be Active workshops will be Oct. 10, 17 and 24 from 10–11:30 a.m.
They are free to attend, but registration is required as space is limited.
To register or for more information, call (205) 280-6268.