Diet plays a vital role in our overall health and well-being. The essential nutrients our diet provides are essential for our body's growth, maintenance, and repair. Consuming excessive sugary processed foods and unhealthy fats weakens our immune system, leaving our body vulnerable to infections and disease.
To learn more about maintaining a healthy diet, visit MyPlate.gov.
Why Food Access Matters | Social Determinants of Chronic Disease
Food insecurity defined as the absence of stable food access, influences the development and worsening of chronic conditions. In our most recent Community Health Needs Assessment, NOHD discovered that New Orleans has the second highest incidence of residents experiencing food insecurity across the nation.
"...food insecurity, particularly in children, can lead to not only adverse health effects but also poor performance in school." - Mayor LaToya Cantrell, City of NO, via No Kids Hungry Louisiana.
NOHD, led by our Food Security and Nutrition Access Partners, have made ensuring residents have equitable access to nutritious foods one of nine top priorities of our Community Health Improvement Plan.
Rethink Your Drink | Water is Medicine
According to the CDC, sugar sweetened beverages (SSB), or sugary drinks, are the leading source of added sugars in the average American diet. SSBs include regular soda, flavored coffees, sports drinks, and energy drinks.
Why do we care? People who regularly consume SSBs are more at risk for developing diet related chronic conditions such as excessive weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and more. NOHD encourages you to #RethinkYourDrink and…
Choose Water (unsweetened, bottled or sparkling) as often as you can, adding fresh and sliced fruits when craving flavor (berries, lime, lemon, cucumber)
Stock Smart and keep a 3:1 ratio of water to sugary drinks in your fridge and pantry at home.
If Not Water then reach for drinks that contain important nutrients such as low fat, fat free or milk alternatives and 100% fruit or vegetable juices.
Rethink Your Order and consider skipping flavored syrups or whip cream when visiting your local coffee shop. Ask the barista for a drink with low fat, fat free or milk alternatives such as soy, oat or almond milk.
When Making Groceries read the Nutrition Facts Label to choose drinks that are low in calories, added sugars, and saturated fat.
On the go? Carry a reusable water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day
Still thirsty? Learn how to drink more water.
Food Assistance | Second Harvest Food Bank
Food insecurity, the state of having inadequate access to food, is a growing concern for the City. Second Harvest works to combat this through their:
- Mobile and School Pantries
- Summer Feeding & Kids Cafe
- Senior Cafe
- Backpack Program
- & more
Learn more about Second Harvest's fight against hunger by visiting their "What We Do" resource page.
In need of food assistance? The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) supports individuals and families facing food insecurity by providing benefits to purchase foods. Check out this How To Apply Guide from DCFS and get connected with your local SNAP advisor to complete your application.
Healthy Eating | American Heart Association
The American Heart Association shares tips and tricks to maintain a "heart-healthy" lifestyle. Learn what to look for at the grocery store, restaurants, your workplace and any eating occasion by visiting their Healthy Eating resource page.
SNAP Education | Crescent City Farmers Markets
Farmer's Markets provide residents access to fresh. locally grown produce and farm raised meats. Market Umbrella, coordinator of the Crescent City Markets across town, takes their commitment to nutrition a step further by offering a New Orleans culture infused SNAP education series "How Do You Cook Dat?".
Enrolled in SNAP? Learn how to double your SNAP benefits with Market Match. Also, discover how you can get those goods delivered through TopBox Foods x Market Match
Eat Fit NOLA | Ocshsner Eat Fit
Eat Fit collaborates with your favorite local restaurants, markets, and beyond to spotlight nutritious and delicious meal options. Download the free Eat Fit mobile app for access to find restaurants near you, shopping guides, nutritious recipes, video food demos, and more!
Eat Fit App: Apple | Android
Ochsner Eat Fit also provides culinary toolkits, recipes, workbooks and activities to local schools, camps, recreational departments, churches, community programs and youth programs. Each 8 lesson series of cooking classes can accommodate up to 20 students for hands-on training for participants as they learn culinary and nutrition concepts. Both child (ages 8-18) and adult toolkits are available to implement at your organization. To learn more about this program, visit their Eat Fit CHOP Resource Page.