Keeping warm and healthy this winter

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With autumn making a quicker enter, then exit; new MSU Extension officer Jeanette Allday has great advise as to keeping warm this winter while keeping your food budget in check.

From choosing the right harvest vegetables to creating a healthy meal for the whole family to enjoy.

Allday will be hosting a Free Eating Smart Being Active class for families around the County to take part in.

The free class is also in conjunction with the SNAP-Ed programs.

“The series of classes will cover topics including easy meal planning according to MyPlate, ideas for stretching food dollars, tips for increasing physical activity and tasty ways to eat healthy. Preparation of healthy and inexpensive meals or snacks is a part of every lesson and taste testing is included,” said Allday.

She also continued to say that due to the many low income families that reside in Sanders County, learning new techniques to stay healthy during the winter months can have many benefits including keeping at bay those winter colds and flus.

“In each of our class sessions for the Eating Smart Being Active 9 week class, we will make a recipe in class together practicing a skill we learn,” she explained.

Physical activity is also another big part of the program. Teaching families easy ways to stay active during the colder months as it can be a little more difficult to continue when temperatures drop outside.

Allday said she will incorporate examples of aerobic exercise during most of the class sessions. Adding 15 minutes of physical and stretching activity will help those that attend get a a strong idea what they can achieve as a family to keep their overall health on track.

According to the Montana State University Extensions nutritional fact sheets; at least one in four people in the United States eat some type of fast food everyday. For busy people, restaurants off convince, choices and as much food as we want.

Though the connivence of just picking up your meal is something that has become extremely popular, what the MSU classes will enable you to do is actually create easy, belly filling meals that have minimal prep time.

In more times than not, people feel that the amount of food put in front of them is a single serving, though unfortunately this isn’t really the case and in winter months you can easily over indulge and incorporate too many calories into your diet.

Understanding the correct portion sizes along with healthy meal can be the difference between winter warmth and winter pounds that most want to avoid.

Allday will also explain the different portion sizes for adults and children as though the meal maybe healthy, portion sizes differ for each person and learning what is best for your family and their meals will only enable the body to digest correctly.


SNAP-Ed nutrition classes will be presented with practical information and skill-building activities for:

·         Choosing healthier foods

·         Preparing meals

·         Learning appropriate food safety practices

·         Modeling good food choices for family members

·         Incorporating ways to be more physically active

·         Stretching your food dollar

·         Easy meal planning according to MyPlate

Participants can taste test dishes and will receive incentives for attending classes such as recipes, measuring cups and spoons, a meat thermometer, a vegetable brush, a pedometer, or a cookbook.


Who is eligible for nutrition classes? Individuals who are eligible for assistance programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), WIC, Head Start, and WORC programs are eligible for the nutrition lessons.


While this first class will be in Thompson Falls, Allday plans on scheduling additional Eating Smart Being Active (ESBA) classes around the county in the coming year. 

Classes will be scheduled at various times and locations for accessibility to folks in Plains, Hot Springs, Dixon, Noxon, Trout Creek and even in Superior in Mineral County.

Residents of the county who are interested in taking part can get all the details from the MSU Extension office in Thompson Falls.

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