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The NC Recre8'er - is the Blog for NC Recreation and Parks Professionals. We will feature posts from NCRPA members and staff about all the latest news, insights and tips in our field and around the state. Topics will include but are not limited to: Health and Wellness, Outdoor Recreation, Athletics, Advocacy, Aquatics, Therapeutic Recreation, Special Events, Marketing, Parks and Greenways, Cultural Resources and more! If you are interested in being a guest blogger please contact Matt at NCRPA Matt@ncrpa.net or 919-832-5868. The opinions of The NC Recre8'er (NCRPA) blog contributors don't necessarily reflect the editorial position of North Carolina Recreation and Park Association as a whole.

 

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June is Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month!

Posted By Matthew Carusona, North Carolina Recreation and Park Association, Monday, June 13, 2016

Summer is here and the weather is warmer, especially this past weekend. Thankfully you can grab a fresh slice of orange or watermelon to cool you down! June is Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month and this week’s blog will highlight a few resources to get more fruits and vegetable on your plate whether it be at home or at work as part of your programs!

Buy in Season, Buy Local: Have you ever wondered, what’s in season? Well the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services makes it easy with their NC Produce Availability Chart. This chart can be used for finding the freshest and best tasting produce available. Buying your produce at a local farmer’s market, or grocery store that sources locally further ensures your produce is fresh; better yet, see if you can buy direct from a local grower. Additionally extra fruit and vegetables can be frozen and used later for anything from smoothies to fruit desserts.

Grow a Garden: Teaching citizens about healthy eating is important, but they cannot put that knowledge into practice if they do not have access to healthy food outside of class. Community gardens are a fantastic way to promote healthy eating. They can help teach people where their food comes from, and give them a chance to connect with their neighbors. Gardens can be small or large, but even a small garden can have a large impact on the health of your community. Check out our Community Garden Page in the wellness toolkit for more info.

Set Healthy Snack Guidelines: Parks and recreation agencies provide a lot of programming for children. Often that programming involves food, which can often be unhealthy. Providing fresh produce can be a great way to keep things healthy and expose participants to different fresh fruits and vegetables. Our wellness toolkit has some great guidelines and resources for increasing healthy snacks and food in sports, camp, afterschool, and other programs. Check out our Healthy Snack Guideline Page in the wellness toolkit for more info.

Quick Ideas: While large-scale projects are great, don't be discouraged if you don't have the resources to tackle a large project right away. Here are some easy things you can do to promote fresh fruits and vegetables along with wellness in your agency right now!

  • Healthy snack day at community center (provide fresh fruit and vegetables to each participant, or work with a local vendor to have a fresh fruit and vegetables food week)
  • Short health lesson with a healthy snack, consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables in after-school programs.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables at staff meetings.
  • Fruit Fridays! Bring a different fruit to staff one Friday each month for a snack. Include a healthy recipe if you wish.
  • Pick up veggies from the farmer’s market (or harvest them from your garden) to share with staff.
You can also check out our webinar: 10 Ways to Improve Wellness in Your Department Now!

Tags:  Community Gardens  Health  Health and Wellness  Health Eating  Healthy Cooking  healthy eating  Healthy Foods  Healthy Lifestyle  Healthy Living  Healthy Snacks  Healthy Snacks Program  Live Healthy  Local Vendors  ncrpa  Recreation  Snack Nation  Wellness  Wellness bulletin 

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Heart Healthy Valentine's Day Treats

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Monday,

I hope everyone is enjoying February so far. This coming Sunday is Valentine’s Day! A day you may seek to indulge in a few favorite treats and to stray away from the healthy New Year’s resolution. However, you can still treat yourself with healthy, but tasty, treats! This blog discusses some quick, easy alternative foods to share on Valentine’s Day.

There are festive and eye-catching vegetable Valentine’s Day snacks that are easy to prepare and serve. Try celery with peanut butter and dried cranberries, or vegetable based pastries, which is a great fibrous alternative to Valentine’s Day cakes. Other healthier food alternatives include: zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, and apple bread or carrot cake. If you are baking these treats, one idea is to use whole wheat flower instead of white flour. Need a main dish? Create a healthy, veggie pizza, and add heart-shaped tomato cutouts to serve for dinner or to bring it in for a department Valentine’s Day party. You can also dip small pieces of fruit in dark chocolate for a nutritious, sweet snack. The ideas are endless, for more visit Healthy Valentine’s Day Snacks. For other healthy snack guidelines, visit our Healthy Snacks webpage.

Following theme of healthy eating. Our next Wellness Webinar is tomorrow, Tuesday, February 9th, hosted by Jill Edwards and Diana McCall, of Black Mountain Recreation and Parks. Jill and Diana will be discussing their Eat Smart Black Mountain program. Black Mountain has been extremely successful in creating and maintaining their community gardens and offering healthy eating education. The Eat Smart Black Mountain program works to promote healthy eating and active living through hands-on gardening and nutritious programs.  Register for the webinar to learn more how you can impact your community with a garden like Black Mountains: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7113675677016197121

Lastly, NC Recre8’s statewide 5k is excited to announce registration is now live! The race will take place on Saturday, April 16, at various locations across North Carolina. Click the following link for more information and to check if there are any race locations by you: www.ncparkrun.com

If you have any ideas for healthy alternatives for Valentine’s Day, please email us or submit them on the wellness site here: (colleen@ncrpa.net, http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)

Colleen 

Tags:  Healthy Snacks  Live Healthy  Valentine's Day 

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