Today marked the last of four sessions of Community Nutrition Educator Alyssa Atanacio’s Smart Live Strong class at Luther Towers. Over the past three visits, senior citizens living in the Wilmington residential tower learned more about a healthy and active lifestyle. The group learned they should eat 3.5 cups of fruits and vegetables each day (1.5 cups of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables) and participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days.
Alyssa opened the fourth class with a review of what the seniors had already learned. Each week, they have been responsible for filling out a weekly log of how many cups of fruits and vegetables they consumed and how much physical activity they participated in. Everyone who completed and brought their log to today’s class received a free recipe book, Recipes in a SNAP!
The seniors talked about their weekly experience consuming fruits and vegetables. Some had no difficulty incorporating the food groups into their daily diets, while others struggled to get the proper amounts. Participants shared tips for eating more fruits and vegetables. One participant had a vegetable pizza, while another sprinkled fresh fruit on her morning cereal.
Alyssa gave the group practical tips for consuming more fruits and vegetables. She advised them to check the labels when shopping for canned fruits and vegetables. “You want to make sure your canned fruit is in natural juices versus syrup and to look for low-sodium vegetables,” she pointed out.
Alyssa encouraged the group to utilize their SNAP benefits to purchase fruits and vegetable, buy fruits and vegetables when they are on sale and buy when it’s in season.
“Fruits and vegetables that are in season are cheaper. It’s much cheaper to buy strawberries in the spring and summer then it is in the winter,” she said. “When fresh produce is in season stock up and freeze it.”
The group also talked about the importance of physical activity. “It’s important to stretch every day,” said Alyssa.
Lindsey, our Summer Nutrition Educator, lead the seniors in a series of gentle stretches including neck and shoulder rolls and wrist and ankle rotations.
One senior noted how physical activity has helped with balance. Another said she had more energy throughout the day.
After the discussion, the group played two rounds of Fruit and Vegetable Bingo! Lindsey described different fruits and vegetables as participants called out the item and covered up its picture on their Bingo card.
Two lucky winners took home a bag of make-your-own kale chips. After the winners were called, Alyssa passed out a sample of the recipe of the day, pear and quinoa salad. It was a hit!
To close out the session, participants received a free bunch of bananas and a small bag of assorted vegetables!
To learn more about SNAP-education at the Food Bank of Delaware, please click here.