AMES, Iowa – With its 2013 Healthy & Homemade calendar, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is working alongside Governor Branstad’s new Healthiest State Initiative to help Iowans live healthier.
“This calendar is geared toward individuals and families who want healthy meals but are not cooking experts,” said Peggy Martin, ISU Extension state specialist for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and the Family Nutrition Program. “It reaches people who have little time to cook and want to stretch their food dollars, which works well with part of the message of this initiative.”
The calendar supports MyPlate messages from USDA about balancing calories and avoiding oversized portions and also includes preparation and storage tips. Each month, an illustration shows a complete menu and gives the MyPlate breakdown of proportions.
“The recipes in the calendar feature vegetables and fruits, whole grains or legumes and dairy products – all very important factors of a healthy and whole diet,” Martin said. “We know activity is important for total health, which is why it is emphasized so greatly in the calendar along with healthy meals.”
The calendar has many other key features, including space for goals, daily activity tracking and appointments, as well as menu photos.
Each menu also includes a nutrition analysis that looks just like a package label. The back pages of the calendar provide tips for increasing family meals and conversation starters for children of different ages.
According to Martin, food safety is incorporated in each of the recipe steps. Only basic equipment is needed to create the simple, healthful meals in the calendar.
“Our calendar features healthy and satisfying recipes that help Iowans get more for their food dollar,” Martin said. “One of Extension’s main priorities is nutrition and health education, and the calendar provides just that.”
The calendars are available in the ISU Extension and Outreach online store and cost $2.00 plus shipping.