Public health has long worked to make sure our food supply is safe and the food purchased at local restaurants and stores is prepared in a safe manner. In addition, public health provides information on how to read food labels, make healthy food choices and encourages foods that are lower in fat and sodium.
Listed below are some suggestions for identifying ways to make sure your family is eating well.
1. Be careful when preparing food at home. Keep fruits and vegetables away from raw meat – including cutting boards and counter tops. Wash raw fruits and vegetables carefully. Cook food to the proper temperature and keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Contact Pettis County Health Center at (660) 827-1130 for food safety information.
2. Are you a label reader? There is a lot of information on the label of the foods we buy. Check the portion size to really understand how much salt, fat and calories are in what you are eating. The University of Missouri Extension has excellent materials on food labels.
3. We eat 31 percent more calories today than in 1970 including 56 percent more fat and oils and 14 percent more sugar and sweeteners. Our idea of a proper portion has grown dramatically. When selecting what you are going to eat ask a simple question – would my grandmother or great-grandmother recognize this as food?
4. Eat fresh and eat local. The Sedalia Area Farmer’s Market will open on May 2 with lots of good fresh food. Even a small plot of land will support a few tomato and pepper plants. University Extension Master Gardeners can help you grow your own healthy, fresh food.