6 Heart-healthy cooking tips for American Heart Month

Did you know that February is American Heart Month? The Food Shuttle’s Nutrition Education team works hard year-round to build awareness of heart-healthy habits when grocery shopping – even on a tight budget. To celebrate American Hearth Month, the Nutrition Education staff added extra Cooking Matters At The Store (CMATS) tours every Monday during February. (A special thank you to Food Lion for hosting these tours!)

During the guided CMATS tours, low-income participants practice key food shopping skills such as reading food labels – which is useful for watching sodium intake! Participants also receive handouts and recipes (like the one below) so they can continue practicing what they learned at home and on future trips to the store.

Food Shuttle CMATS tours are facilitated by a wide range of local volunteers who work as dietitians, community nutrition educators, culinary professionals, extension agents, or staff of community agencies serving families in need. If YOU would like to volunteer, contact Elizabeth.Weeks@foodshuttle.org

Cook for your heart

The good news is that much can be done to prevent heart disease:

  1. Stove Top Mac n CheeseChoose foods with healthy fats, like avocado, nuts, and fish
  2. Choose low-fat or fat-free foods, like skim milk, grilled lean meats or steamed veggies
  3. Limit packaged snacks, sugary treats and bakery foods
  4. Choose whole grains … breads, pasta, brown rice & oatmeal
  5. Eat plenty of colorful fruits and veggies
  6. Cut back on salt … the easiest way is by cooking for yourself

Getting started on better heart habits is easy! Just follow this recipe for a healthier version of everybody’s favorite winter dish … Mac & Cheese … approved by our Nutrition Education team. Happy eating!

Stove Top Mac n Cheese recipe

About American Hearth Month

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched American Heart Month in 2011 in an effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. by 2017.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States! One in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke…adding up to 2,200 deaths per day.


By Sally Bache, IFFS Administrative Services Manager. Contact: Sally@FoodShuttle.org