Traditional Food Guidebooks Encourage Native Youth to Eat Healthy
Eating traditional native foods is a key facet of leading a healthy lifestyle and something the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) plans to promote through traditional food guide workbooks geared at Indian youth.
The guidebooks will be funded by a $25,000 grant from the Prevent Cancer Foundation, which encourages healthy lifestyle choices and nutritional habits among children at risk for obesity, cancer and other diseases, according to an ANTHC press release, reported the The Arctic Sounder.
This year's guidebooks for children were inspired by the ANTHC's first "Traditional Food Guide for Alaska Native Cancer Survivors" published in 2009, sponsored by the LiveStrong Foundation. The books on traditional food for cancer survivors listed recipes such as duck soup and provided information about its nutritional value, reported The Arctic Sounder in November 2010. "Individuals in the community frequently ask about the nutrition content of many of the foods in your book [--] the photos and stories make it enjoyable to read. Finally! A resource that is specific to Alaska Native people," stated feedback received from a tribal diabetes program director.
With more than 9,000 copies distributed and/or sold so far, the book will enter its third printing--this time targeted at children--and grace bookstores across Alaska. Alaska Native cancer survivors receiving cancer care at the Alaska Native Medical Center get copies for free. "With the Prevent Cancer Foundation funding, we can now develop a traditional food guide and activity workbook for children to help them learn, in a fun way, about the importance of good nutrition and physical activity," said Christine DeCourtney, Cancer Program Manager for ANTHC.