February is Heart Month and Cancer Prevention Month. With all of the talk about making a better health plan, why not use this month to show everyone they can make their own health plan to prevent both heart disease and cancer?
The American Institute for Cancer Research (aicr.org) has a “big three list” to help reduce cancer:
1) healthy, plant-based diet
2) healthy weight
3) at least 30 minutes per day for physical exercise/activity
One of the most popular visuals everyone is using, according to our surveys, is a “what is in your food” show for salt, sugar and fat that is found in restaurant and processed food.
Potatoes - use our potato list in this issue and create a visual bulletin board or monthly menu using potatoes. Try a cooking demo or potato tasting activity so everyone can try a new one.
Day in photos - make a board or bulletin board and show what a day of a plant based diet looks like. Make a table filled with various plant-based foods like oatmeal, rice, beans, salad, canned fruits - and ask what these foods have in common - the answer is they are from plants!
Use these topics to create fun games and quizzes each week:
- Plant-based meals - name as many as you can
- Fat and the heart - name 4 best and 4 worst foods
- Get some exercise - gather a list of the best exercise activities for your area
- Weight myths - everyone can list a fad diet they have tried and you can explain why that one did not work.
For snacks, there could be nothing better than the fruit and vegetable tapas we have in this issue. Tapas don’t always have to be served - they can just be ready to grab!
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.