AMES, Iowa — Although Iowa is slowly re-opening, many people are still spending most, if not all their time at home. This means they may have more opportunities to snack all day long. Social/physical distancing is needed for public health. However physical activity and healthy eating are needed for personal health, say nutrition and wellness state specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
Sarah Francis and Ruth Litchfield encourage Iowans to look at their continuing time spent at home as an opportunity to focus on healthy habits. They suggest Iowans follow these five tips:
- Focus on MyPlate friendly meals. When building a meal, aim to include at least two to three MyPlate food groups. Refer to choosemyplate.gov for more resources on building balanced meals.
- Stock up on frozen produce and meats. It is always handy to have fruits and vegetables in the freezer. These frozen items are as healthy as their fresh counterparts, and unlike fresh fruits and veggies, do not go bad quickly in the refrigerator. Frozen vegetables can be heated up and served alongside a meal within minutes.
- Choose filling snacks. Snacking is a healthy part of any meal plan. The key is choosing snacks that are nutrient rich. Explore the Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website, https://spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/, for healthy, tasty and easy snack recipes.
- Stay physically active. Aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity weekly. Physical activity is important for brain health, strengthening bones and muscles, reducing anxiety and depression, and enhancing quality of life.
- Focus on your well-being. In addition to your physical health, take time to focus on your well-being. You can find tips and resources for mental health and well-being at https://www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/disaster-recovery.
For more information and strategies to adopt healthy habits, watch this short healthy habits video.
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