How to Eat Healthy in the Hood

Traditionally low-income communities have less full-service groceries stores that provide a large selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meats, and fish compared to more affluent communities. Yet the people who live in those communities have more access to fast food restaurants, corner stores and mini markets that have an overabundance of high sodium, cholesterol and fat prepackaged and deep fried products.

Over time and generations, the diets that contribute to diabetes, high blood pressure, cancers and heart disease become the norm. It may take a little more work and effort but eating healthy in the hood is an option and is becoming more of the norm for many reasons.

Many people have seen the devastations of preventable chronic diseases in the lives of loved ones, some people who know better are doing better and community members and leaders are taking action to make sure that policies, local ordinances, resources, and incentives are enacted to support and promote healthy eating.

Here are five things we can do to increase healthy eating in low-income communities:

1. Incorporate healthy meals and cooking classes in community events and activities. Back to school events are the perfect time to teach families how to prepare inexpensive healthy meals and snacks. Oftentimes, these events serve refreshments that include sugary drinks and snacks, potato chips and high fat meats. This is an opportunity to educate families on healthy ingredients and to teach them skills on how to prepare healthy snacks and meals. Especially snacks for children to eat after school/before dinner.