Eat Your Greens
With hectic lifestyles, forgetting to eat your daily dose of greens can happen. It’s a common problem in York and Adams counties — a 2015 assessment noted that only 4 percent of area residents consume daily recommendation of fruits and vegetables. What’s more, 68 percent of the York and Adams communities are overweight or obese based on their body mass index.
Each year during its “Eat Your Greens” campaign, Family First Health encourages individuals to make fruits and veggies part of the discussion with their doctors and dentists.
What you eat matters: Studies have shown that proactive health habits such as a well-balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables can provide cost efficiencies in health care coverage. A major study by National Institutes of Health showed a 58 percent reduction in new cases of diabetes over five years with a modest lifestyle and diet intervention with a 5 percent weight loss.
But how can you sneak your greens in the go? Here are a few ideas:
Hide them in muffins and breads: Zucchini bread or spicy carrot muffins can make for a great breakfast on the go! Bake a loaf or batch over the weekend and eat them all week.
Add greens to your smoothie: Enjoy the sweetness of fruit while getting the benefits of the hidden greens. Spinach, chard and kale are three smoothie-friendly veggies.
Cut ’em up: Right when you come home from the grocery store, cut up your veggies. This way when you’re looking for a quick snack in the fridge, it’s just as easy to grab a handful of veggies as any other (less healthy) snack.
Tired of the boring sandwich for lunch? Ditch the white bread for something lighter. Prepping a salad the night before can help you sneak your five veggies a day into your routine as well as aid in your post-lunch fatigue the next day.
Carry a snack to munch on between meals. Fresh veggies or fruits can be a great pick-me-up throughout your day and help to curb your appetite before your next meal.
Prep your breakfast in advance: Prepare healthy breakfasts the weekend before. Prep some cooked greens (broccoli, peppers, sautéed kale) in individual bags. Then in the morning just cook up an egg/omelet, throw the veggies on top, and voilà!
You can also download our “Eat Your Greens” pledge, sign it, and share your photos with us on social media!
And, mark your calendars for our community event in April:
Go Green in the City: Join Family First Health on Beaver Street in York for veggie and fruit stamping fun. We’ll have information about our services, tips on sneaking fruits and veggies into your meals, and our plush friends. We’re also teaming up with Mr. Nice Guy Produce and Corner Cabinet to show you how different juices are a good way to pack a fruit or veggie punch. Go Green in the City runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 23.