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Become a Champion for Change

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By Dr. Astrid Mickens-Williams


Summer vacation is winding down and it's time to get back to school and social activities. Busy schedules can make dinner time the only time for everyone to check-in and have a healthy meal. Celebrate National Fruit and Vegetable Month this September with healthy dinners and use the time to talk about ways to make healthy food choices a regular part of your lives. Gathering together at dinner has been an important tradition throughout African American history. These occasions were about more than just eating together, they were also a time for re-telling family history and celebrating milestones. Today, family dinners continue to play a vital role in sharing stories at the dinner table. However, juggling work, school and extracurricular activities, and making dinner happen every night can be a challenge. One solution is that quick, delicious recipes and nutritious meals allow you to spend more quality time with your family. 

The Network for a Healthy California-African American Campaign invites you to become a "Champion for Change" for your family.  A "Champion for Change" chooses healthy options for their kitchen and provides a healthy home environment for their family by preparing recipes with more fruits and vegetables. Becoming a "Champion for Change" offers your family invaluable lifestyle lessons on making healthy food choices to meet standard recommendations for good health while still enjoying the tradition of a down home meal.

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables everyday may reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke and obesity, as well as heart disease for you and your family members. Here are a few tips for getting the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables for better health. 

  Don't forget to make physical activity a regular part of your family activities. Adults need at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and children/teens need at least 60 minutes. After dinner, take a walk, dance or find another activity that everyone likes to do. Physical activity can make you look and feel great, give you more energy, and lower stress to help you relax.

The Network for a Healthy California-African American Campaign can help you become a "Champion for Change" in your kitchen, home, school and community. Join us for workshops offered on how to prepare healthy meals, reading food labels and tips for stretching your food budget dollars.

You can also visit www.mypyramid.gov  and click on MyPyramid Plan to learn about the amount of fruits, vegetables and physical activity you need for good health. The MyPyramid Plan offers you a personal eating plan with the foods and amounts that are right for you.

For more information on Network for a Healthy California-African American Campaign contact Astrid Mickens-Williams, Network for a Healthy California-African American Campaign Coordinator at (909) 387-0173 or email: amickens@dph.sbcounty.gov  at the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health Nutrition Program.

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