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DPH Shares Fall Meal Planning Tips and Resources

Date Posted: Friday, September 22nd, 2017
Categories:  News Public Health

DOVER – Families are busy, trying to adjust to back-to-school routines and activities, and with some planning, healthy meals can quickly be on the table – or ready for when you’re on the go. The Division of Public Health (DPH) is providing simple tips and online resources to make it easier to live a healthy lifestyle.

One helpful tip is to double or triple your recipe, then freeze the extras for a future meal. Another is to freeze seasonal produce while it is still available; corn on the cob can be boiled for three minutes and then sliced off the cob and frozen to use in soups or casseroles later. Venture beyond your recipe box to posts and blogs that tout healthy eating and showcase ideas ranging from roasted vegetables to satisfying smoothies.

For meal-time inspiration, visit the USDA’s MyPlate website at www.choosemyplate.gov/supertracker-other-tools. The Interactive Tools page contains thousands of recipes, along with preschooler growth charts, how to eat within personalized calorie allowances, how to compute Body Mass Index, and recommended portion sizes.

Healthy eating can help prevent many health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity, according to DPH. Like the rest of the nation, two-thirds of Delaware adults are overweight or obese, with many eating and drinking too many calories and consuming few vegetables and fruits. Improving dietary habits among young children is especially important for them to grow into adolescence and adulthood in a healthy way.

The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, developed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), recommends making small changes like gradually shifting menus to include whole wheat bread instead of white bread, and changing from sodas to water, for example. Read the Dietary Guidelines at https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/.

A picture of healthy stir fried vegetables in a pan

Healthy stir fried vegetables in the pan and ingredients

Healthy eating patterns include consuming vegetables (dark green, red and orange, fruits (especially whole fruits), whole grains (such as brown rice, whole wheat flour), fat-free or low-fat dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese and/or fortified soy beverages), and protein foods including lean meats and poultry, seafood, eggs, beans and peas, nuts, seeds, and soy products. Very little saturated fats, added sugars, sodium, and processed meats and poultry should be consumed. Daily caloric recommendations are to consume less than 10 percent from added sugars and saturated fats and less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium.

The Dietary Guidelines advise Americans to consume calorie-free beverages – especially water – or that contribute beneficial nutrients, such as fat-free and low-fat milk and limited amounts of 100 percent juice. Sugar-sweetened soft drinks, sports drinks, and fruit drinks that are less than 100 percent juice are not recommended because they contribute excess calories with few, or no, key nutrients.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.

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