Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Did you know, according to the 2014 Hunger in America Study, 58% of client households have a member with high blood pressure? In those same households, 33% have members with diabetes. In the senior population those numbers are even higher.
The clients we work with are more likely to have diet related chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes. In an effort to improve health outcomes, food banks and Partner Agencies have started looking to nutrition. As a resource provider, we have the ability to provide clients with food that will benefit their health. What are some ways that we can build a better food box? Below are some suggested food items categorized by food group. Including all of the food groups in food boxes you distribute will provide the recipient with a variety of nutrients.
Fruits & Vegetables
- Fresh produce
- Low sodium or water packed canned vegetables, including tomatoes and tomato sauce
- Canned fruits in 100% juice or lite syrup
- Dried fruits and vegetables with no added sugar or fat
- Low sodium or water packed canned meats and seafood. Chicken, tuna and salmon are high in protein and low in saturated fat.
- Dried beans, peas and lentils
- Low sodium canned beans and peas
- Frozen meat
Dairy & Dairy Substitutes
- Shelf stable milk or non-dairy alternatives, such as soy milk or almond milk
100% Whole Grains
- Whole wheat pasta, barley, brown rice and wild rice
- Whole grain cereal and rolled oats. Low sugar or unsweetened are encouraged
- Low sodium nuts and nut butters, such as peanuts, almonds and cashews
Nudging your clients to pick healthier foods
Our goal is to make the healthiest choice the easiest choice for clients. Research has shown that small changes to the food distribution environment can greatly influence clients’ choices. These environmental cues or “nudges” include simple changes such as product placement, signage, appearance, and packaging. At Second Harvest, we hope to apply these nudges to our food distributions to help our clients pick healthier foods. If we can help clients pick more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low fat dairy, we can influence their overall health and decrease their chances for chronic diseases.
1. Place healthy foods at the front—People are likely to take more when their cart is empty versus when it starts to fill up.
2. Cooking Demonstrations or Food Samples—These are especially helpful with more “strange” foods such as spaghetti squash or bok choy.
3. Recipes—Click here for some great recipes created by Second Harvest’s dietician specifically for your clients
4. Signage—Make signs to tell people what it is. Also display pictures of healthy foods in waiting areas to prime clients to pick those foods.
5. Abundance—People are more likely to take food if there appears to be an abundance of it. Make sure crates are full and that produce appears attractive.
For more information watch this video: Nutrition and Health Strategies Nudges