Fuel for the Future: Making healthy food choices

Published 1:49 am Wednesday, March 15, 2023

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March is National Nutrition Month® and the campaign theme for 2023 is “Fuel for the Future.” When you make healthful eating choices now it will affect your future health and your family’s health too. Teaching our children to make healthy food choices when they are young will also be helping them to develop a healthy future lifestyle.  The leading cause of death in America is heart disease with cancer being in second place.  Our health is greatly affected by our food choices.  We often hear that diseases are inherited from our families, but the problem may really come from our inherited recipes or lifestyles.


A famous quote from Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Even though this quote is thousands of years old, it still stands true for today.  A good choice would be eating nutrient-dense foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients important for health, without too much saturated fat, added sugars and sodium. We’re talking about fruits, vegetables, whole grains, non-fat and low-fat dairy, fish and seafood, unprocessed lean meat and skinless poultry, nuts, and legumes.


Making lifestyle changes can be exciting especially when we focus on the positive effects it will have on our family’s health.  Changes are always difficult, but every small change we make helps us develop healthy habits that will make a difference in years to come. Challenge your family to try new foods, especially fruits and vegetables.  Our local grocery stores carry a great variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to select from. Try new flavors and foods from different cultures and places around the world; St. John Parish Libraries have an amazing selection of recipe books to explore different cultural cooking styles. Your family may want to start a backyard garden to grow fresh vegetables, and if space is limited you can at least grow herbs in a window box. Cooking with fresh herbs and spices can really be exciting.  Start now making healthy food choices that will fuel your future.


For more information on nutrition or to attend nutritional education classes or programs, please contact Rinalda Rocquin, LSU AgCenter’s Area Nutrition Agent for St. John and St. Charles parishes.  rrocquin@agcenter.lsu.edu or (985) 497-3261