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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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Providing a Healthy Work Environment

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Monday!


Providing a healthy atmosphere in your work environment is important and offering fresh ideas can help spark motivation and inspiration among your staff. As mentioned before, the recreation and park profession, employees can serve as great role models for encouraging increased healthy eating and physical activity in our communities.  Continuing to make employee wellness a priority helps recreation and park professionals to be leaders in their community and facilitate conversations that promote wellness. The Employee Wellness Programs page has multiple resources that agencies can implement throughout the year. Below are some options you can implement at your recreation and park agencies.


The easiest option is to provide healthy snack alternatives in the office. Healthy snacks aid in weight control, boost energy, and can improve mood among your staff. Another option is to inspire some creativity in your office by compiling a cookbook of favorite recipes that are both healthy and simple. You can share it as a word document or printed booklet. Bring together your office with a monthly healthy potluck. Create a simple sign-up sheet so employees know what to bring during the get together. Another idea is to locate a local farmers market and visit the location for lunch or dinner with fellow employees. This will help increase awareness of local fresh produce in your community. To get more ideas of what employees want, create a simple survey to find what your coworkers want the most. These are all simple ideas that can create cohesiveness and a common goal among your staff.  Snack Nation is another resource that provides plenty of employee wellness program ideas!


Please remember the Wellness Webinars will start back up in August. To gather more information on how the Wellness Initiative can improve the offerings for the Wellness Webinars, please take this quick surveyhttps://www.surveymonkey.com/s/T3X8PVVWe appreciate any feedback because ultimately it helps us serve your needs better.


If you have any employee wellness programs that are unique and new to your program, then please email us or submit them on the wellness site here: (colleen@ncrpa.net, http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub).

 

Colleen 

Tags:  Employee Wellness  Healthy Snacks Program  Snack Nation  Wellness 

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