How to Create a Healthy Game Plan

— Written By Lethia Lee and last updated by Patricia Burch
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Making a plan before heading to the store can help you get organized, save money, and choose healthy options.

Shop smart to fill your grocery cart to get the most for your dollar. Follow these tips to help you stay on tract. You must first understand the price tag. The price tag on the grocery shelf includes a lot of helpful information. Learn what the numbers mean. Retail price is the price you pay for each item. Unit price will tell you how much an item cost per pound, ounce, quart, etc. It can be very useful when comparing two items. How is the unit price found? Total Price divided by the size = unit price. For example, the unit price of a 6 oz. yogurt that has a retail price (the price you pay) of 0.72 divided by 6 oz = .012. The unit price of the yogurt is .012 per oz.

My plate is a reminder to find your healthy eating style and build it throughout your lifetime. Everything you eat and drink matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future. This means you need to focus on variety, amount and nutrition. Choose foods and beverages with less saturated fat and sodium and added sugars. Start with small changes to build healthier eating styles and support healthy eating for everyone. Eating healthy is a journey shaped by many factors, including our stage of life, situations, preferences, access to food, culture, traditions, and the personal decisions we make over time. All your food and beverage choices count. My plate offers ideas and tips to help you create a healthier eating style that meets your individual needs and improves your health.

Focus on making healthy food and beverage choices from all five food groups including fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy to get the nutrients you need. Eat the right amount of calories based on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level. Building a healthier eating style can help you avoid being overweight and reduce your risk of disease such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Make small changes to create a healthier eating style. Think of each change as a personal win on your path to living healthier. Each “my win” is a change you make to build your healthy eating style. Find little victories that fit into your lifestyle and celebrate as a “my win”!

Make half your plate fruits and vegetables — focus on whole fruits and vegetables. Make half your grains, whole grains. Move to low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt. Vary your protein routine.

One other important thing I need to talk about is being a role model for our children. We are the most important influence on our children and we can do many things to help our children develop healthy eating habits for life. Offering a variety of foods helps children get the nutrients they need from every food group. They will also be more likely to try new foods and to like more foods. When children develop a taste for many types of foods, it’s easier to plan family meals. Cook together, eat together, talk together, and make mealtime a family time. Show by example, eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains with meals or snacks. Let your children see that you like to munch on raw vegetables. Go food shopping together and that can help teach your child about food and nutrition. Discuss where vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein foods come from. Let your children make healthy choices.

For more information on healthy foods, contact Lethia Lee, N.C. Cooperative Extension of Sampson County, at or 910-592-7161.