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What’s In Store For 2023?

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By Johanna Hicks, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Family & Community Health Agent, Hopkins County, [email protected]

With the new year you may be interested in being healthier, but what does healthy mean? The word healthy can be hard to define because there are many factors that contribute to one’s health.  So let’s start with a few basics:

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  1. A Balanced Plate: A balanced eating routine adds up over time. Try to make half your plate fruits and vegetables, a quarter whole grains, and the remaining quarter low-fat protein, along with a serving of low-fat dairy or calcium-fortified alternative.
  2. Preparing Safe Food: Proper food safety can reduce your family’s risk of food poisoning. Some food safety practices that help prevent the spread of germs include washing your hands, utensils, and countertops, keeping ready-to-eat foods or raw produce away from uncooked meats or other proteins, using a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of cooked foods, and cooling and storing foods safely in the refrigerator to slow the spread of harmful bacteria. 
  3. Being Physically Active: Find an activity you like to do! Recommendations vary between ages, but every minute counts. Adults should try to do 150 minutes or more a week (30 minutes a day for 5 days a week) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity; and two days a week of muscle-strengthening activity.   Children (ages 6-17) should do 60 minutes or more of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. 
  4. Growing Fruits and Vegetables: Increase the availability of fresh produce at home by growing your own fruits and vegetables. It can be a fun activity for you and the family and an opportunity to get physically active while being outside. The Extension Office has a growing guide to help you select the best options for your climate.
  5. Food Resource Management Skills: Managing and creating a food budget may help promote balanced eating and reduce financial stress. Reduce the amount of money spent at the store by meal planning, using a grocery list, limiting the number of grocery trips, and being aware of local sales and available seasonal foods.

Remember, there are many factors that contribute to a healthy life. Do not feel like you have to ‘master’ everything at once; small steps can become great strides towards a healthier lifestyle. 

Upcoming Events

  • Thursday, January 12, 4-H Poultry to be picked up at 7:30 at the Extension Office
  • Saturday, January 14, County 4-H Food Show, 1 p.m. Extension Office (please contact the Extension Office if you plan to participate)
  • Thursday, January 26, County 4-H Roundup, 5:30 p.m., Extension Office (4-H members can find information in the January/February 4-H Gazette)
  • Friday, January 27, Retirement Reception for Johanna Hicks, 1 to 4:30 p.m., Extension Office (come-and-go)

Closing Thought

You can fuss about the rain or you can splash in the puddles.

Contact Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Family & Community Health Agent at the Hopkins County Office at P.O. Box 518, 1200-B West Houston St., Sulphur Springs, TX 75483, 903-885-3443, [email protected]

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Author: Faith Huffman

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