grocery cart with healthy foods

Shopping Smart on a Budget

Did you know that the average supermarket carries 39,500 different items? With so many options, how do you shop smart and make the best choices for your family? When you’re trying to eat smart on a budget, grocery shopping can be hard. But it is possible to save money and still eat well. It just takes some planning. These are the five best ways to shop smart on a budget. Continue reading

nakesha moore

How FNP Helps Feed VA

In honor of Feed VA Day of Action, we’re highlighting Virginia Family Nutrition Program’s educators who take action every day as they empower Virginians to make good food choices, work to eliminate food deserts and strive to end hunger in our state.

Our Program Assistants, SNAP-Ed Agents and volunteers work with individuals and families by teaching them grocery shopping strategies, meal planning tips, cooking skills, food safety skills, and tips for maintaining active lifestyles. These are the folks who work in their communities, sharing their knowledge and giving people tools to make healthy choices for their families.

Are you interested in helping us in our mission? We are always looking for volunteers to work with our educators throughout Virginia. Take action to end hunger in your community. Contact your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office to learn about volunteer opportunities.

 

Fall Recipe Inspiration

 

Pumpkin spice might be the official flavor of fall, but there are other seasonal foods that deserve a spot on your menu. Root veggies, winter squash, leafy greens, apples, pears, and more are in season in fall. As the nights cool off and the days get shorter, comfort food is back on the menu. It’s not too hot to use the oven again and a hot bowl of soup sounds satisfying, not uncomfortably sweaty. And for everyone not yet ready to give up the taste of summer, the last tomatoes, squash, and bell peppers of the season are still at the market. Enjoy the best of both seasons with this fall recipe inspiration. Continue reading

checking food temperature with food thermometer

Safe Temperatures for Food

Just like us, bacteria need food and water to grow and multiply. They also need a comfortable living environment, not too cold and not too hot. Bacteria that cause food borne illnesses are commonly found in foods we eat. So how do we keep this food safe to eat? By making it hard for bacteria to grow, multiply, or survive by how we handle food. Along with handwashing, keeping foods at the right temperature is an important part of proper food safety. Bacteria grow best between 40 °F and 140 °F. They can double in number in as little as 20 minutes. It only takes a few bacteria to make you very sick. To prevent bacteria from growing in your food, follow these steps when storing and cooking food. Continue reading

standing quad stretch

Stretching and Flexibility Training for Fitness

There are four types of physical activities that we should perform for overall fitness – aerobic (cardio) exercise, strength (resistance) training, balance exercises, and flexibility training. Cardio and strength training are emphasized a lot, but balance and flexibility are just as important. Flexibility exercises maintain or improve the range of motion in our joints, allowing us to squat all the way down, reach our arm behind our back, and twist our trunks from side to side. Flexibility training is functional training. This allows you to pick up heavy things from the floor without injury, zip your dress all the way up your back, and other common movements in your daily life. And it feels good to stretch your body and loosen up all your muscles. Continue reading