Healthy Burnett: National Snack Food Month
National Snack Food Month was officially designated back in 1989 when a group from the National Snack Food Association wanted to build awareness of snacks during a month when snack food consumption was traditionally low. The result has been a substantial increase in snack food sales during the month of February.
This can be a good time to take a look at what we are putting into our bodies as fuel. These days many individuals and families keep very busy schedules. Finding time to eat regular meals can be difficult if you are working late, running from one meeting to the next or running children to sports or other activities. Choosing healthy snack choices, or wise on-the-go foods can make all the difference.
Often times, the best snack choices are not the pre-packaged snacks but rather those that bring us back to the basics. Grabbing a piece of fruit, some carrot sticks or yogurt can make better alternatives and can help fill the gaps we may miss when we skip regular meal times.
Of course this is all information most of us already know but what about those who struggle with getting food into their homes? In rural Wisconsin, hunger is a major issue with 1 in 5 children dealing with food insecurity in their home. Many families in our local communities are dealing with hunger on a daily basis.
The Burnett County Salvation Army, alongside many volunteers, continue to work toward meeting a segment of the populations hunger needs. The Burnett County Salvation Army Backpack Program is serving children living in Burnett County who are in need of extra food over the weekends. These children may otherwise go without any food. Each backpack contains dinner items, breakfast, a snack and of course a fruit and vegetable. These backpacks can help supplement a family who is struggling and ensure our local students are not going without this important resource. Research shows how important proper nutrition is to children’s physical growth, mental development, and ability to concentrate and perform in school. They can suffer from physical, mental and emotional problems, sometimes experiencing permanent damage. They often struggle with disciplinary and performance issues in school, which has a lasting effect on their ability to receive a higher education, to find living-wage paying jobs, and to escape the cycle of hunger and poverty that trapped them at an early age.
Each of us should spend time evaluating our own snacking regimen and ensure we are fueling our bodies in a way that is beneficial and nutritionally sound. This may also be a good time to reflect on how fortunate we are to have the ability to look at our menu choices and strive to make better decisions. Many in our community do not have this opportunity and although many are working to make those opportunities available, it takes many hands to make a difference.
If you would like to learn more about the BackPack Program through the Burnett County Salvation Army, please contact 715-349-8744 or visit us on the web at www.safaithhouse.org.
Healthy Minute” is brought to you by healthyburnett.org
Submitted by: Angela Moulton, Burnett County Salvation Army