March Is Living Well Month!

— Written By

Raising kids, eating right, spending smart, living well—that’s the theme of a national Living Well Campaign that is being promoted by the Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, both at the national level and here in North Carolina.

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences declares March Living Well month. During this month Family and Consumer Science (FCS) Extension professionals share tips to help individuals and families gain knowledge and skills to help them live full and productive lives.

There are many ways FCS professionals help North Carolina citizens in this quest. Across the state we provide evidence and research-based information in a variety of areas — helping to transform information into practical everyday applications. During this month of Living Well and all through the year, FCS educators address important topics including:

Click on the links above or look for more information throughout March. Send us your questions for personal answers at taneisha_armstrong@ncsu.edu or call the office.

To make every month a “Living Well Month,” consider these tips.

  1. Engage children in at least 60 minutes of physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week. Adults need at least 30 minutes of physical activity. Besides participating in sporting activities, turn on some music and dance. Be creative by assembling an obstacle course or using hula-hoops. Start planning a garden. Take a walk or bike ride in your neighborhood.
  2. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. The average adult human body is approximately 60 percent water, which is found in muscle, blood, brain, bone, etc. Water regulates every living cell’s processes and chemical reactions. It transports nutrients and oxygen. Water helps to maintain normal bowel habits and prevent constipation. Limit the amount of soda and fruit drinks consumed daily.
  3. Eat a variety of healthful foods. Be sure to have plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables every day. Most people need at least 4 ½ cups to meet the daily recommendation. Have a glass of 100 percent juice or sliced banana on cereal for breakfast, enjoy raw vegetables with dip to accompany a sandwich at lunch, and have a sliced apple for dessert. At dinner, steam some vegetables and prepare a fruit parfait with yogurt for dessert. Try a new fruit or vegetable. See Choose MyPlate for more information about nutrition for yourself and members of your family.
  4. Read, read, read. Go to the library and check out books. Keep the mental stimulation flowing throughout the year regardless of your age.
  5. Maintain a healthy home. Be sure your smoke detector is working correctly and test for the presence of Radon. Help manage allergies and/or asthma by cleaning and vacuuming regularly to reduce allergy triggers in the home. Avoid accidental poisonings by keeping medications locked up, and cleaning agents and other poisons out of reach of children.
  6. Keep your family finances in check. Track your expenses and update your budget regularly. Eat at home often because meals outside of home usually cost more. Plan your menus and use the coupons to help plan your menus. Use leftovers as the basis for another meal.

Try this quick, tasty recipe to help you meet your MyPlate goals. This perfect weeknight meal features Lemon Chicken with Rosemary and Garlic. Fill half your plate with a double serving of Collard Greens with Yellow Squash and complete your plate with a dairy, fruit, and grain of your choice.

Lean Protein: Chicken
Nonstarchy Vegetables: Collards, yellow squash
Carbohydrate foods: sweet potatoChicken and vegetables

For more suggestions on how to make healthy meals in your kitchen, visit your local Family & Consumer Sciences agent.