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Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle
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National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The theme for 2015 is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” which encourages everyone to adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.  
By now, most people can identify the MyPlate icon for healthy eating. This food guidance system was adopted in 2010 to give us a simple, identifiable picture of what a healthy diet should include. The sub-headings of the MyPlate icon include:
• Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
• Make half your grains whole grains
• Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products
• Eat a variety of lean protein-rich foods
Oh, and did I mention that the plate we eat off of is supposed to be nine inches in diameter? That fact alone will help dictate the portions of food we consume.
Another simple healthy eating habit includes starting each day with a powerful, nutrient dense breakfast. Our grandparents knew this was important, our parents knew this was important, and somewhere along the way we lost this information in the crazy pace of our lives. Studies show that people who eat a solid, healthy, balanced breakfast are healthier, have fewer cravings throughout their day and make wiser food choices.
An upcoming educational program will focus on the obesity issue that is becoming an epidemic in this country. A fact sheet I wrote last year titled, “Action Plan for Managing Obesity” looks at the environmental and emotional influences that we do have control over when it comes to making healthier choices. It was fun working with an editor from Kansas State University, to make this fact sheet informative and user friendly. Come and learn how an “action plan” can improve your life. The program, “Action Plan for Managing Obesity” will be presented Wednesday, March 11th, at noon at the Great Bend Activity Center, 2715 18th street, and Friday, March 13th, at 1 p.m. at the Great Bend Senior Center. The information will be the same at both locations. Later in the month I will take this presentation to three adjoining counties. Thursday, March 26th, I will present the information in Russell at noon, and Ellsworth at 5:30 p.m. The following day, March 27, I will present “Action Plan for Managing Obesity” at noon at the Ellis County Extension Office Meeting Room.    .
Mark your calendars for one of these educational programs and make healthy eating a priority during National Nutrition Month.
Donna Krug is the Family and Consumer Science Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Barton County. You may reach her at (620)793-1910 or