Food Environment

Improving the Access, Availability and Identification of Healthy Foods

The Food Environment Action Team (FEAT) works to develop and support policies and practices that improve the access, availability and identification of healthy foods in venues throughout the community.

Gardening Plots

FEAT Priorities and Recent Accomplishments

Power Of Produce Springfield

Power of Produce Day

Since 2021, the team has offered the Power of Produce Day, which aims to encourage families with children or senior citizens to visit their local farmers market, support local produce vendors, and encourage them to make healthier food choices by offering them money to purchase their own produce at the market. In the summer of 2023, 120 families participated in New Ulm and Springfield and a Power of Produce Day was also offered to 120 senior citizen households across the two communities.

The team also worked with the farmers market sponsor KNUJ to secure an EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer card) machine to allow SNAP-eligible community members with low incomes to shop at the market and access locally grown fruits and vegetables. Growers also benefit by being able to reach more community members who may otherwise not have access. KNUJ also became part of the MN Grown Directory to help advertise the farmers market more.

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Food Resource Booklet

Wellness The NU Way Logo

Wellness the NU Way Campaign

Created the Wellness the NU Way campaign to encourage eating healthier snacks, minimizing screen time and eating more fruits and veggies.

Chopping Fresh Vegetables In Kitchen

Cooking Classes on a Budget

Over the summer and fall of 2023, in partnership with New Ulm Schools Community Education, Registered Dietitian Jessica Weisbrich offered several one-session workshops titled “Meal Prep That Fits Your Budget.” The workshops attracted 22 participants and combined education, locally grown produce, and tools to ease the stress of meal planning while shopping within a budget (and eating healthier).

Eat Sign

Healthy Eats New Ulm Initiative

In the fall of 2023, the team launched Healthy Eats New Ulm to encourage everyone in the community to visit some local restaurants and try some great-tasting, healthier dishes. Participants who tried the featured dishes and received one or more stamps on a Healthy Eats Passport were eligible to win a gift card to a participating restaurant or Chamber dollars. Participating restaurants included The Rathskeller at Turner Hall, Cottonwood Grill at New Ulm Country Club, George’s, Lola’s and Órale Authentic Mexican Tacos & More.

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Healthier Vending Policy

Worked with New Ulm Park and Recreation to develop a healthier vending policy for all park facilities.

Heart of New Ulm Healthy Restaurant Program

Couple Eating Out

Through the Heart of New Ulm’s Healthy Restaurant Program, participating restaurants offer a variety of healthier eating options, such as more fruits and vegetables, smaller portion sizes, whole grain options and more!Plate and Silverware Icon

To qualify and participate, a restaurant must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a locally owned, non-chain with less than three locations
  • Have been in operation for at least 12 months
  • Be willing to implement strategies from the menu of options to achieve either Silver or Gold-level status
Gold Restaurant Sticker

Gold-level restaurants offer seven or more healthy options from the menu of options, including offering a non-fried vegetable or fruit as a substitute for an unhealthy side without added charge.

Gold-Level Restaurants

Cottonwood Grill at New Ulm Country Club
George's Fine Steaks & Spirits
Gutes Essen Deli & Catering (Oak Hills Deli)
Turner Hall

Silver Restaurant Sticker

Silver-level restaurants offer at least six healthy options from the menu of options.

Silver-Level Restaurants

Lola - An American Bistro

Wellness The Nu Way Logo

Wellness the NU Way Campaign

Overweight and obesity continue to be a health concern in New Ulm and making healthier eating choices can make a big difference. Wellness the NU Way focuses on encouraging people to eat more fruits and vegetables, enjoy screen-free meals, and choose healthy snacks

Healthy Vegetable Salad

Did You Know?

  • 1
    Healthier eating can help you better manage anxiety and stress.

    According to a new study published in March 2020, not getting enough fruits and vegetables in your everyday diet can increase your risk of anxiety disorders. But the specific nutrients that are abundant in fruits and vegetables — like carotenoids, potassium, fiber, vitamins and polyphenols — have all been associated with good mental health.

  • 2
    Too much screen time can negatively affect your well-being and lead to anxiety, weight gain, poor sleep habits and even a loss of social skills.

    Especially during today’s difficult times, it’s more important than ever to give yourself a break from the screen — especially during mealtimes. Turn off the TV and eat only in the kitchen or dining room. Have everyone commit to no texting or screen time during family meals.

  • 3
    The larger the package of food you eat from, or the larger the container you serve yourself from, the more food you’re likely to eat.

    Several well-known studies have shown that as a portion within a package increases, so does the amount we tend to eat. Skip eating from a big bag of chips or box of crackers and instead, take bites from a plate or choose an individual package. Better yet – skip the chips and try a healthier snack such as a small bag of veggies instead.

  • 4
    Snacks keep your energy up throughout the day and help you manage your appetite, preventing you from getting too hungry and overeating at meals.

    Snacks can also be a great way to sneak in an extra serving of fruits or vegetables.

Dealing with a Few Extra COVID Pounds?

Fruits and Veggies to the rescue!

Healthy Eating

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