A Foundation of Nutritious Food and Education
March is National Nutrition Month®, which was created 50 years ago by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This is a time to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating. We know that access to nutritious food is an important foundation for a healthy life and nutrition education is a valuable building block.
Driven by the USDA’s MyPlate recommendations, The Idaho Foodbank categorizes the food we distribute to ensure we are providing nutritious items such as fruits and vegetables, dairy, whole grains, and protein. In our last fiscal year, 85% of the food we distributed was considered nutritious.
Consumption of nutritious foods contributes to a healthy diet and increases an individual’s overall health. However, when individuals are unable to access these foods or are unsure of which foods to eat, it can negatively affect their health and increase their risk of developing chronic diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Fortunately, our diet can help us manage some of these diseases or reduce the risk of getting these diseases. Nutrition at every age is critical for our health and well-being.
Providing nutrition education is an ongoing initiative at The Idaho Foodbank. This includes nutrition education through cooking videos; sharing nutrition information and healthy recipes; and in-person cooking classes for caregivers of young children. It is not enough to provide the people we serve with more healthy food options – it is also important to educate people about how to cook and prepare healthier food, like fresh produce. With our work around nutritious food and education, our goal is to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
At The Idaho Foodbank, our vision is to move people from a place of hunger to one of health by building and supporting healthy communities. With a foundation of nutritious food we can work towards healthier communities for all Idahoans.