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MSU kicks off HappyHealthy food education campaign
RAYMOND, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service recently launched a social marketing campaign, HappyHealthy, to help Mississippians improve their health while maintaining their traditions surrounding food.
The HappyHealthy campaign focuses on teaching Mississippians how to choose and prepare foods in a healthier way and pass these customs down to the next generation. The campaign is facilitated through the Office of Nutrition Education, or ONE, which implements Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education, or SNAP-Ed, in Mississippi.
“Extension is proud to offer these educational resources to help improve the lives of Mississippians,” said Extension Director Gary Jackson.
Nutrition educators with SNAP-Ed will incorporate HappyHealthy into their program deliveries in schools and communities. SNAP-Ed educators are housed in Extension county offices and teach limited-resource families ways to improve their health, increase physical activity and manage their food resources.
The HappyHealthy campaign offers quick and easy instruction on shopping, cooking and sharing food traditions with other family members, including children.
Participants will learn how to plan meals and cook favorite foods while limiting the salt, sugar and fat. They also can get recipes and tips on food shopping, cooking safety, picky eaters and proper measuring techniques. How-to videos demonstrate recipes and cooking methods, as well as what to look for when buying fresh fruits and vegetables.
“Our goal is for Mississippians to include more fruits and vegetables in their diets and to be physically active,” said Extension professor Sylvia Byrd. “We want to teach our clients simple ways to prepare fruits and vegetables while still maintaining their family traditions.”
HappyHealthy is delivered through Extension and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-SNAP through the Mississippi Department of Human Services.
“The Mississippi Department of Human Services provides multiple resources for families to enhance their well-being, and this campaign is another tool families can utilize to help them make healthy choices and teach those practices to the next generation,” said MDHS Executive Director John Davis. “We are pleased to partner with Extension in this effort.”
HappyHealthy is a strategy of Mississippi’s SNAP-Ed aimed at improving health through informed food decisions. Other strategies include Share Our Strength Cooking Matters, a hands-on cooking and nutrition series used in communities; Smarter Lunchrooms Movement, a program designed to encourage children to make healthy choices in the school lunchroom; and implementation of school and community gardens.
For more information on the program, visit the HappyHealthy website at http://happyhealthy.ms.