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.
FEAT Priorities and Recent Accomplishments
Power of Produce Day
In the summer of 2022, the team offered the Power of Produce Day in New Ulm and Springfield to 75 families. The Power of Produce Day aims to encourage families with children to visit their local farmers market, support local produce vendors, and encourage youth to make healthier food choices by offering them money to purchase their own produce at the market.
All About Herbs Worksite Training
In partnership with the Worksite Wellness Action Team, in June 2022 the team offered worksite wellness leaders a chance to learn basic information about herbs, including growing conditions, therapeutic uses, flavors and varieties, cooking tips, harvesting and preserving, and tips for creating a successful and rewarding herb garden at the workplace.
- Work with the farmers market to create events during open times.
- Continue to work with restaurants on offering healthier options.
- Continue to provide education on healthier meals and snacks.
- Work with Community Education to offer cooking classes led by Jess Weisbrich, registered dietitian.
- Research having an EBT machine at the KNUJ Farmers Market or New Ulm Co-op.
Heart of New Ulm Healthy Restaurant Program
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!
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-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.
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
Did You Know?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Additional Resources and Information
Dealing with a Few Extra COVID Pounds?
Fruits and Veggies to the rescue!
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