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Nutrition Bites 2021 Vol. 27:0

In This Issue: 

Staying Healthy - Be Mindful When Grocery Shopping

Recipes and Nutrition Tips - Are You a Mindful Eater?

Physical Activity Tips - Try Tai Chi for a Mind-Body Practice of Movement

Food Access Resources in Massachusetts - HIP and P-EBT benefits, Project Bread, SNAP, WIC, USDA


Staying Healthy

woman in face mask shopping Use mindfulness when grocery shopping.

Mindfulness is focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, and being mindful can help us work toward our goals. Follow these tips to use mindfulness when planning for meals and food shopping:

  • Create a budget and stick to it. Avoid impulse buys and spending extra money.
  • Make a grocery list based on the meals and snacks you need for the week.
  • Check the cupboard and refrigerator as you are making your grocery list. Knowing what you have on hand can help with your meal planning and list.
  • Look for coupons or sale items to save money on the items on your list.
  • When you are at the store, shop around the outer aisles. They contain foods that are less processed and healthier, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products, meats, poultry, and breads. Processed foods are in the center aisles and tend to have more fat, added sugar, and salt.

Recipes and Nutrition Tips

baked potato Are you a mindful eater?

Mindful eaters pays attention to the what, why, and how they feel about what they are eating. Mindful eating has many benefits, such as learning to listen to body cues and the feeling of hunger or fullness. By practicing mindful eating, you can improve your relationship with food and reduce the amount of less healthy foods you eat at mealtime. Learn how to incorporate mindful eating at your next meal.

Visit and follow tips from Michigan State Extension.

Try out mindful eating with the Baked Potato Primavera recipe and remember to savor each bite! Did you know that you could cook a baked potato three different ways?

Watch this video to find out how:


Physical Activity Tips

older couple doing tai chi Try tai chi for a mind-body practice of movements.

Tai chi is a low-impact, slow-motion exercise that is described as "meditation in motion.” Practice tai chi often to build strength, balance, flexibility and coordination. Anyone, regardless of age or fitness level, can participate in tai chi.

Try these poses:

Rising and Sinking  
Stand straight, knees slightly bent and legs shoulder width apart. Inhale and slowly raise your arms outward in front of your chest up to your shoulders. Exhale and allow your arms to float back down. Repeat 10 times or for 5 minutes.


older couple doing tai chi Buddha Asks Guanyin for Forgiveness
Stand straight, knees slightly bent and legs shoulder width apart. Inhale and slowly raise your arms up above your head and touch hands together. Exhale and slowly lower arms (with hands still touching) to your waist level. While lowering arms, bend your knees slightly. Then allow your arms fall to your sides and return to start position. Repeat 10 times or for 5 minutes.

Learn more about tai chi for all ages and abilities at


Food Access Resources in Massachusetts

Healthy Incentives Program – It’s HIP to Be Healthy! Massachusetts residents can use their HIP benefits at winter farmers’ markets. To locate markets near you, visit this interactive map.


P-EBT provides food support to help families with children who receive free and reduced-price school meals. If you think your student qualifies but you did not receive a card or a letter in October, call the DTA Assistance Line at 877-382-2363.


Project Bread – Learn about food assistance resources available to the residents of Massachusetts. Visit or call Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333. This number is toll-free and confidential. Hotline hours: Monday–Friday, 8am to 7pm; Saturday, 10am to 2pm.


SNAP – You may be eligible for the Massachusetts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides monthly food benefits to individuals and families who qualify. Apply for SNAP benefits and learn more about recipes and healthy eating through SNAP education.


The Massachusetts Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program – WIC is a free nutrition program that provides healthy foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, referrals to healthcare, and other services to Massachusetts families who qualify. You can check your eligibility and apply for WIC online.


USDA extends free meals for kids through June 30, 2021. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) extends summer meal programs to continue serving free meals to all children. For more information, visit to find free meals for kids. If you have questions about receiving meals from your school district, contact them directly.


To learn more about nutrition education lessons provided by the UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program, visit


Nutrition Bites Issue 27

Nutrition Bites Issue 27 - Spanish