Read more about the developmental origins of chronic disease to get a better understanding of how chronic disease risk begins.
Explore ways toTake Action
Crawl-Walk-Run Action Steps
Most articles on Better the Future conclude with actionable steps readers can take. While some of us may be ready to take off running right away, others may need time to learn to crawl. We come from different backgrounds and have differing motivations for wanting to influence change to our food culture. We hope somewhere within these steps everyone can find a comfortable place to begin.
Crawl steps are designed to make you stop and consider an idea, to think about why our culture is structured the way it is or to notice how food culture influences your daily life.
Walk steps move beyond thinking and discovering for yourself to begin to influencing the people closest to you, like family, friends and coworkers. Most people will find these manageable with few resources or outside help.
Run steps move beyond the comfort zone of our close social circles to influence the community in which we live, work and play. These often require the support of others, and work on a broader level.
If you have the means, donate supplies or volunteer time to a mutual aid network in your community.
Find a Veggie Rx program in your area. Make a call or send an email to find out how you can participate as a recipient or a volunteer.
Lots of local farms love for community members to spend time getting their hands dirty and sharing their passion for growing healthy food.
Find out if your local school district has a contract with a vending machine provider. If so, what is sold in the vending machines? Where do the profits go? Research methods schools have used to include healthier snacks, like flavored water and nuts, in vending machines. Bring these ideas to your next school district meeting, and see if a group can be put together to approach the vendor.
Adolescent kids at home? Get them in the kitchen! Make sure your kids or grandkids know basic kitchen skills and how to cook simple healthy meals before they leave home. It will set them up for a lifetime of good health, and make them a sought after roommate!
Is the break room at your place of employment filled with cookies and donuts? Do meetings over mealtime tend toward greasy pizza and soda? Work with your coworkers to implement a healthy meetings policy. Start small by gradually introducing healthier options like fruit and scale-up from there.
The next time you see your health care provider, ask what she/he thinks about the dietary guidelines and what you can do to incorporate them into your family’s diets.
Changing eating habits can be a daunting task. Start small by committing to cook one meal a week using only whole foods. Already meet this goal? Then try going a whole day eating and cooking with only whole foods.
Don’t know how much you weighed at birth? This is a great chance to talk to your mom about what life was like for her while she was pregnant with you. Is grandma still around? Ask her too. It’s a wonderful opportunity for some family bonding and learning more about your family history. How does what you eat now compare to what your mom or grandma ate while pregnant?
The next time you donate food for a food drive, think about real food options that still have a longer shelf life, like unsweetened canned fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, or whole wheat pastas and brown rice.