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MissouriFamilies eNewsletter

March 13, 2017



“May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.”

~Irish Blessing



Put Your Best Fork Forward: National Nutrition Month®

Tracy Delaney, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Lafayette County, University of Missouri Extension

National Nutrition Month 2017 graphicNational Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education campaign launched each March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics... The goal of the campaign is to reiterate the basics of healthy eating and to celebrate the expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists.

Each year a theme captures current nutrition-related culture and trends. The 2017 theme —“Put Your Best Fork Forward”— reminds us that each bite counts and small changes over time can greatly improve our health.

For tips to put your best fork forward, see the full version of this article at

Add some green to your diet

Christeena Haynes, MS, RD, LD, former Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Dallas County, University of Missouri Extension

Green foods in the shape of a heartAccording to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, vegetable and fruit consumption in the U.S. is lower than recommended. The guidelines suggest that Americans should increase their vegetable and fruit intake, as well as include a variety of vegetables in their diets.

Fruits and vegetables provide many nutrients and decrease the risk for chronic diseases... Start incorporating a variety of fruits and veggies in your diet by making it fun — for example, pick a color theme every month until eating a colorful variety becomes part of your normal routine.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, here are a few examples of green fruits and vegetables and the benefits they offer...

For the health benefits of green fruits and veggies, plus tips for increasing fruit and veggie consumption, see the full version of this article at

Also for St. Patrick's Day, here are some tips to trim fat and calories from your corned beef and cabbage feast:

March 13-19 is Brain Awareness Week

Boost early brain development

Nina Chen, Ph.D., CFLE, former Human Development Specialist, University of Missouri Extension

Mom interacting closely with young babyScientists have discovered how children’s earliest experiences affect the way the brain is shaped. They have also learned how early brain development and the parent-child relationship interact to create a foundation for future learning.

Research on early brain development suggests the following guidelines to help children build their brain power and develop healthy patterns for life-long learning...

For guidelines to boost early brain development, see the full version of this article at

March 13-19 is Brain Awareness Week

Senior citizens should jog their memory daily

Illustration of brain lifting weightsVirtually every day more research is focusing on issues impacting senior citizens. One recent example is a study that said keeping the mind active is a key to good health.

“As we age, we lose neurons, but these neurons can form new connections,” said Jim Wirth, human development specialist, University of Missouri Extension. “Research is being conducted now to determine if new brain connections develop with mental and physical exercise. Many researchers already believe that is the case.”

According to Wirth, the brain of a senior citizen is similar to the brain of a healthy young person. But, like muscles in our body, the brain can grow and change...

For ways to keep your mind stimulated and sharp, see the full version of this article at

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