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Hicks: Make Every Bite Count

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By Johanna HicksTexas A&M AgriLife Extension, Family & Community Health Agent, Hopkins County

Johanna Hicks

Make Every Bite Count

As an Extension educator, I try to take advantage of learning opportunities that come my way.  Health/wellness, nutrition, and diabetes education are my main areas of focus.  Recently, I sat in on a virtual seminar about the newly released Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  The theme is, “Make every bite count.” 

               There are four driving principals behind the dietary guidelines:

  1. Follow a healthy dietary pattern at every life stage.  The new guidelines have added a chapter on infant and toddler nutrition, along with the usual sections on Children & Adolescents, Adults ages 19-59, and Older Adults.
  2. Customize and enjoy nutrient-dense food and beverage choices to reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions, and budgetary considerations.
  3. Focus on meeting food group needs with nutrient-dense foods and beverages, and stay within calorie limits
  4. Limit foods and beverages higher in sugar, saturated fats, and sodium; limit alcoholic beverages.


A copy of the dietary guidelines is available in my office, or you can view it at

Beginning at the earliest stages of life – infancy and toddlerhood – a healthy dietary pattern can hep people achieve and maintain good health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.  However, it is never too late to make improvements.  People at any stage of life an benefit by changing to nutrient-dense forms of foods and beverages across all food groups – in recommended amounts and within calorie limits.

2021 Better Living for Texans calendar

I’m happy to announce that Hopkins County is featured in a calendar that has been distributed to Extension Offices all across the state of Texas!  Several months ago, Family & Community Health Extension agents were given the opportunity to submit a recipe and photo that represents their county.  Since my office is located next door to one of our county’s popular visitor destinations (Southwest Dairy Museum and Center), I decided to submit a recipe and photo. 

               Fast forward six months.  I received a phone call from the Better Living for Texans office (BLT is a nutrition education program provided by Extension), stating that my recipe and photo would be featured in the calendar for the month of April! 

               We received 100 calendars and only have a few left, so if you would like to have one, please drop by our office, 1200-B W. Houston Street, Sulphur Springs.  We’ll be glad to give you one!

Closing Thought

Don’t let your worries get the best of you;  Remember, Moses started out as a basket case! – Christian One Liners


Contact Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, P.O. Box 518, 1200-B W. Houston St, Sulphur Springs, TX, 75483; 903-885-3443; or [email protected]

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Author: Ross LaBenske

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