Why Eat Well?
Eat Well means eating more healthy food and less unhealthy food. Eat well to keep yourself and your family healthy!
Too many adults and children in America eat more food then they need every day. Many choose foods that are not healthy. Many do not get the exercise they need to stay fit. Eating well together helps families fight against chronic disease and being overweight.
What should I eat?
2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans has selected messages for consumers. Take action on the Dietary Guidelines by making changes in these three areas. Choose steps that work for you and your family, and start today! Let shopping at your local farmers’ market help.
- Enjoy your food, but eat less.
- Avoid oversized portions
Foods to Increase
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Make at least half your grains whole grains
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
Foods to Reduce
- Compare sodium in foods like soup, breads, and frozen meals – and choose the foods with lower numbers.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov to find out how many calories you need each day (it’s different for everyone!), and how much fruit, vegetables, and whole grains you should eat.
Why Eat Local?
Eating local means eating foods grown or raised on farms near where you live. This means foods grown or raised on farms within 50 miles or 100 miles of your home, or within your state or region.”
Eating locally grown foods is good for both you and your community.
Benefits for you:
- Locally grown food, eaten soon after it is picked, is a healthy choice.
When fruit and vegetables are picked, they begin to slowly lose nutritional value. Food that is grown locally usually spends less time getting from the farm to your table. With local food, you get more healthy nutrients in each bite!
- Locally grown food tastes great!
Farmers’ markets sell many different types of fruits, vegetables and herbs. Many of these varieties are not available at your local grocery store. You get to taste produce with different colors, flavors and textures.
Benefits for your community:
- Local food supports communities.
When you buy directly from local farmers, your money supports their farms. This helps farmers stay in business and create jobs at their farms. Their food can be sold to local restaurants and other businesses. It keeps your money in your community.
- Local food builds community.
Farmers’ markets are fun places to bring your family. Tell your friends, and make a date to meet at the market.
- Local food preserves genetic diversity.
Farmers sell many different types of produce at markets, not just the ones that travel well.
- Local food keeps land as farmland.
More farmland means more open spaces, and more nature for you and your family to enjoy.
- Local food reduces the carbon footprint of agriculture.
Food sold at local markets doesn’t have to travel as far as food sold across the country. A shorter distance means less gas is used getting produce to markets!
Why Eat Together?
Eating together is good for you and your family. Finding time to sit down together for a meal can be hard, but it is well worth the effort.
Did you know?
- A large national study found American teenagers who eat meals regularly with their families have greater success in school.
- Family meals prepared at home often have more fruits and vegetables, dairy foods and whole grains – and fewer sugary soft drinks!
- Family meals prepared at home save money. You get more for your money when you buy in larger quantities or foods on sale, and do the preparation yourself.
- Children who eat with family members are more likely to be a healthy body weight.
- If you turn off the television, your family will have more time to talk, play, and do projects with each other. One study from New York State showed that eating with the television on eliminated the positive benefits of eating together.