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Challenge Idea: Get Your Grains

This September, challenge each of your department members to make a plan to get more whole grains in their diets as part of Whole Grains Month. Eating grains, especially whole grains, provides many health benefits, including reducing high cholesterol, blood pressure, and the risk of heart disease. Grains provide many nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of our bodies, such as fiber, iron, folate, and Vitamin B. People who eat whole grains as part of an overall healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Ask your department members to focus on increasing their intake of this important part of the food pyramid.

Start the challenge by distributing the Get Your Grains tracking sheet to all participants.

Challenge Rules:

  1. Think about how many servings of whole grains you eat each day. Find out what constitutes a serving here.
  2. Take stock of your eating habits to determine where you can make changes.
  3. Set your goal. Determine how many servings of whole grains you can realistically strive to eat each day during September.
  4. Track the number of servings you eat each day on your Get Your Grains tracking sheet.

To motivate your department members, send out weekly emails with tips on adding more whole grains into your diet, easy recipes, and motivational messages and quotes. Periodically check in with each participant to see how they are progressing and encourage them to keep going. Organize healthy lunches with your department. Find more nutrition resources and activity ideas on the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program web site.

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