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September Is National Fruit And Veggies-More Matters Month

September 23rd, 2012 by

“Mom, Dad, I’m hungry!”

How many times a day do parents hear those words? Unfortunately, children don’t always reach for healthy snacks, and the junk food habit can lead to long term health problems including obesity, or being overweight.

Being overweight is a major risk factor for heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. These chronic diseases accounted for 7 of every 10 deaths, and affect the quality of life of 90 million Americans according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Many of the behaviors that contribute to obesity begin in childhood. Data from the CDC states that in 2009 14% of Arkansas students were obese, and in Drew county 19.81% of students were overweight and or obese.

Although chronic diseases are among the most common and costly health problems, they are also among the most preventable. One way to help your children avoid these heath problems is to encourage them to eat more healthy foods. There are some great alternatives to junk food for healthy munchies!

For an afternoon snack, keep cut raw vegetables in water in the refrigerator, or if you’re on the go, take along some dried fruit like apricots or raisins. Snacking on apples, bananas, or carrot and celery sticks can save not only your health, but also your money! Pound for pound fruits and vegetables cost less than chips, cookies, candy and other “snack items”.

September is National Fruit and Veggies-More Matters Month. Celebrate this month by encouraging your children to try one new healthy snack a week. The behaviors they adopt today will have long lasting effects on their health.

The Drew HEALTH Coalition meets monthly to develop and implement plans to create healthier communities. If you are interested in addressing nutrition for children, or other health issues, we invited you to attend our monthly meetings. For more information contact Karen Brown at 870-367-6234.

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