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Heart Month 2010 Ideas

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hearts.jpgThe fact that February is American Heart Month (thanks American Heart Association) is no coincidence. Of course, it’s linked to Valentine’s Day. These are two events worthy of driving some in-store events with a health theme. Anything promoting Heart Month is a no-brainer and the resources and volunteers from your local AHA affiliate make it easier.

The first Friday in February has been declared Wear Red Day, and it’s a great boost for some in-aisle activities, sampling demos and media events. But putting a healthy spin on Valentine’s Day may take a bit more thinking. So put on your thinking caps and add to this starter list for February is Heart Month!

• Plan some demonstrations and samplings of heart-healthy recipe tweaking. Try adding ground flax seed, oat bran or whole oats to foods; substituting some whole grains; or baking and cooking with heart-healthy fats and oils (in reasonable amounts of course). Substituting applesauce or fruit purees for some of the fat in baking mixes remind people that you can make some small changes that still leave you with flavor.

• Plan some heart-healthy Valentine-worthy meals ideas. A glazed salmon, roasted vegetables and garlic with a spinach, strawberry and walnut salad looks and tastes special but provides your loved ones with the benefits of omega-3s and phytonutrients.

• Place an emphasis on some healthy “red” foods for Wear Red Day. There’s red cabbage, beets, pomegranate juice, red Swiss chard, blood oranges, red tea and even red carrots… Wow the list is getting longer when you add in the old favorites like red wine vinegar, onions and potatoes and, of course, wine.

With all of these suggestions, be sure to highlight nutrition content, the great-tasting ingredients and preparation guidelines. To get more information on phytonutrients, check out the More Matters website.

So put your heart into the planning and make eating Red a theme for the entire month!

(Photo credit: Hamid Najafi)

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