Access to healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables and low-sodium products, is vital to good health. Yet, not everyone has equal access to these recommended foods. For many, eating a healthy diet may be difficult due to a lack of available, accessible, and affordable food options in their community.
OCHD is working to increase access to healthy foods in small retail venues. Helping small retailers expand their stock of healthy and affordable items will benefit the entire community. Residents will have greater access to healthy foods, increasing their potential for good health. Employers may benefit from increased revenue and a broader customer base, while the community may benefit from both increased economic revitalization and a healthier resident population.
Sodium Reduction in Communities
Eating too much sodium (salt) can cause high blood pressure (hypertension) which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Click this link to learn more.
Thyme to Spice it Up! Training
The Onondaga County Health Department’s Sodium Reduction in Communities Program and Syracuse University collaborated to have Chef Bill Collins demonstrate cooking with less or no salt at SU’s Learning Café and Kitchens. Those who attended learned about using spices and herbs in their recipes to reduce the amount of salt added. The results were delicious! They found there was so much flavor in the foods Chef Collins prepared that they weren’t even thinking about adding salt! Participants included chefs and food service personnel from the Onondaga Community College, SUNY-Environmental Science and Forestry, Salvation Army- Syracuse Area Services, PEACE, Inc., and The Syracuse City School District.
FLAVOR and SAVOR Training
The Onondaga County Health Department’s Sodium Reduction in Communities Program (SRCP) planned, developed, and held two “Flavor and Savor” trainings: one in December 2017 and the other in January 2018. Participants were led through activities using the “addition method” to dilute the sodium in a pre-prepared product by adding other sodium-free ingredients, how to use herbs and spices instead of salt, and how to read labels to check sodium amounts. These trainings impacted over 30,000 students throughout the county. Our partners include Onondaga Community College, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Upstate Medical University and Early Childhood Education Centers include PEACE,Inc Headstart, Children’s Learning Center, Upstate Daycare, Salvation Army, Lydia’s Lullaby, and the Syracuse City School District.
Snapshot of Small Food Retail Initiatives
Through the Healthy Communities Initiative, we work closely with small food retail locations within the City of Syracuse to encourage each to sell healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables. The Onondaga County Health Department supports these stores by helping select and promote healthy food products through signage and incentives, as well as, encourages store owners to place healthy foods where customers can easily see them and purchase them. Our goal is to encourage residents to eat healthy foods to reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
Sugary Sweetened Beverages Are Adding A Lot Of Sugar To The American Diet
Childhood obesity is a big issue today with leading contributors such as sweet and sugary drinks. The Onondaga County Health Department wants people to be mindful of the drinks we choose.