Learn how the Aetna Foundation is helping to serve local communities + healthy tips
“This post is sponsored by the Aetna Foundation. All opinions are my own.”
Aetna Foundation recently awarded a local Cleveland area organization with $25,00 as part of their GoLocal grant program. The Refugee Response, Refugee Empowerment Agricultural Program (REAP) operates out of an Ohio City Farm on Cleveland’s west site to nourish the community with local food and empowers resettles refugees trainees in northeast Ohio by providing them with employment, training, and education.
The GoLocal grants were awarded to organizations that engaged their local residents in many different ways such as:
- Providing nutrition education or cooking classes
- Distributing products to reflect local and cultural food traditions
- Providing new ways to learn job skills
- Generating opportunities to support the project through community service or volunteering.
The president of the Aetna Foundation, Dr. Garth Graham; wants everyone to stay active and healthy during the holiday season regardless of what type of climate you live in.
- Eat well – Choose fresh seasonal nutritious foods as often as possible, however; keep in mind that frozen and canned fruits and vegetables still provide a healthy alternative. To achieve the most nutritional value of your fruits and veggies eat as soon as possible. Consider steaming or microwaving them to avoid loss of water-soluble vitamins.
- Cook together – Families that cook and plan meals together lead healthier lifestyles and make better nutritional choices. Cooking with your children or family members is a great way to teach those who are struggling with poor food choices learn how to make better choices.
- Get active – For us who live in cooler climates in the winter, it can be hard to get up and stay active during the winter. However, there are many ways you can stay active without heading to a gym or going outside. Consider playing interactive dancing video games, indoor hide and seek, exercising during commercials, or having a snowball fight outside. Not only you will have fun with your children but you will get your daily dose of exercise and you won’t even groan.
- Learn more ways to live a healthier lifestyle here.
With the Aetna Foundation, they are working to increase local access to healthy and locally grown fruits and vegetables in underserved communities. Do you know that where you live affects your health and longevity? Those who live in poorer areas are less likely have access to fresh fruits and vegetables than those who don’t.
The Aetna Foundation they look for health equity and how they can enhance the health of the underserved; whether it means reaching larger cities or rural areas they aim to make the lives of citizens lead a healthier life from a community by community. Aetna Foundation also works directly in the city and neighborhoods where people spend time the most; at school, church, in their neighborhood and out and about. They also are increasing the access to healthy fruits and vegetables to help with the health divide.
What additional ways I can get my family active and healthy?
By balancing nutrition and exercise can help your family lead to better health choices which will benefit them in the long run. Getting children involved in those choices is one way to make it fun for everyone.
Letting children try the foods they are interested in is one way to get them trying and eating new, and different foods. Perhaps visit a farmers market or consider growing your own garden in the spring. Let the children attend to your veggies is a great way to keep them active. To find local markets visit the USDA National Farmers Market Directory.
If you’re planning to start growing your own foods but live in a small area consider using plastic pots, or hanging baskets to grow your foods. Also, you can find a local community garden by using the American Community Gardening Association to find a local community garden in your area.
Find ways to let the whole family participate and stay active, growing your own garden is one way. Allow children to play games that encourage sports, dancing or fitness and think like a kid when picking out video games. Children are more likely to have fun with games that are up to date and with songs that they like. I personally love playing SingStar and Just Dance games with the family and they feature songs that everyone likes. When using video games also have your children keep in mind that there are a time and place for games and keep the dialogue open by talking to your children about the subject matter.