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Choosing Healthy Foods

By: Andrea Wilcox Email
By: Andrea Wilcox Email

Summer time is the perfect time to bite into a fresh strawberry or peel a citrus orange.

Thursday, health experts were campaigning at a local grocery store to encourage healthy eating habits for children and adults.

The West Virginia Nutrition Network is combating the increasing obesity rate in the Mountain State.

Thursday they positioned themselves at Foodland in Parkersburg for an event called, "Pick the Right Snack." It encourages shoppers to pick the right food for themselves and their kids.

Twenty-two-year-old Josh Richard freely admits he doesn't like to eat healthy foods.

Richard says he likes, "Meat, high-fattening product, no fruits or vegetables, nothing like that."

Richard shopped at the Foodland with his future mother-in-law, skipping over the produce section.

When asked if he wanted to get some strawberries, Richard skipped ahead, saying he needed vegetable oil.

At the same time in the store, a health food campaign was underway encouraging shoppers like Richard to eat better.

Misty Buchanan is the Project Manager for the Family Nutrition Program at the WVU-Extension Service.

She says, "A lot of people don't know what to buy. They don't know what's healthy. There's different ways they can eat them. I'm just glad we're here and letting them try different things they've never tried before."

Foods included fruit with healthy dips and fun finger-foods for kids.

Buchanan says, "It's very easy to put peanut butter on celery and sprinkle with raisins. It's easy to make themselves which is fun for kids, and then they're more likely to eat it if they helped make it."

When you're at the grocery store, one thing to keep in mind is to stick to the outside of the store. That's where the healthy and staple foods are.

As you get closer to the middle, that's where the unhealthy, processed foods are.

Shopper Mona Basala says, "I like fruits and vegetables. My kids like fruits and vegetables."

Basala's eating habits are a little different from Richard's habits.

Basala is a mother of three. She says when her kids were growing up, granola bars and oranges were a staple.

It's a healthy example the health experts are encouraging on each and every shopper.

The "Pick a Better Snack" event was the first one in the Mountain State.

However, campaign leaders say they plan to hit other grocers all over the state to spread the message.


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