Healthy Heart, Healthy Family: A Community Health Worker's Manual for the Filipino Community

Manual Contents

Session 9 Eat in a Heart Healthy Way—Even When Time or Money Is Tight

Page Contents

Objectives

By the end of this session, group members will:

  • Quick and easy food preparation and mealtime tips
  • How to eat out in a heart healthy way
  • How to save money on food bills

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Materials and Supplies

To conduct this session, you will need:

  • “Healthy Heart, Healthy Family” manual and picture cards
  • Examples of advertisements from magazines
  • Blackboard and chalk or several large pieces of paper, markers, and tape
  • Pencils

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Handouts

Give each group member these handouts during this session:

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Introducing the Session

  1. Welcome
  2. Review of Last Week's Session
  3. About This Session
  1. Welcome
    • Welcome group members to the session.
  2. Review of Last Week’s Session
    • Say:
      Let’s review some of the lessons we learned last session.
    • Ask:
    • What is heart healthy about the traditional Filipino diet?
      • The traditional Filipino diet provides a variety of foods that are lower in fat and sodium, such as bread, noodles (pasta), steamed rice, vegetables, fruits, poultry, fish and seafood, low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products, and lactose-free products such as soy milk.
    • What are some foods that we should eat less often?
      • We should limit foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, sugar, and calories, including:
        • High-fat foods, such as longanisa (native sausage), fried lumpia (egg roll), sinangag (garlic fried rice), fried meat and vegetables, fatty meats, canned and processed meat, high-fat cheeses and creams, and banana chips
        • Salty foods and sauces, such as potato chips and bagoong
        • High-fat and high-sugar foods, such as bibingka (sweet rice cake) and other pastries, cookies, and chocolate
        • Sugary foods, such as candy and soft drinks
    • How can the heart healthy eating plan be used to choose heart healthy foods?
      • Use the heart healthy eating plan to choose foods that are lower in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar from each of the five major food groups. The eating plan also shows you the number of servings that you need from each group every day.
    • Why is it helpful to know how much you need to eat from each food group each day?
      When you know the correct amounts of food you need to eat every day, it can help you get the right amount of calories you need.
    • Ask:
      Would anyone like to share his or her pledge from last week? What went well? What did not work well?
      Note: Allow about 2 to 3 minutes for group members to respond.
  3. About This Session
    • Say:
      Today you will learn how to eat in a heart healthy way–even when you have very little time and are on a tight budget. During this session, you will learn:
      • Quick and easy ways to prepare heart healthy meals
      • How to eat right when eating out
      • How to make smart food-buying choices that meet your family’s needs and budget
      • How advertising can cause us to buy things that cost more or that we don’t need
    • Say:
      According to Lola Idad, “Ang taong matalino ay hindi tumitingin sa pagyapak ng paa niya sa lupa. Binabantayan niya ang kanyang kasunod na hakbang.” “A wise man does not see his foot on the ground; he watches his next step.”
    • Say:
      Lola encourages her family to make heart healthy eating a priority. Her family will share some tips on how to eat heart healthy meals on a budget later in this session.

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Conducting the Session

  1. Eat in a Heart Healthy Way Even When There Is Little Time
    1. Busy Times
    2. Quick and Easy Meal Tips
    3. Eating Out
  2. Save Money on Your Food Bill
    1. Money-saving Tips
    2. Food Advertising Activity
    3. Vegetable Kare-Kare (Peanut Stew) Recipe
  1. Eat in a Heart Healthy Way Even When There Is Little Time
    1. Busy Times
      • Say:
        Many people have little time to shop, prepare food, and clean up after meals. This session will help you eat in a heart healthy way, even when you are in a rush.
      • Say:
        Busy people may think they do not have time to eat in a heart healthy way. These people may:
        • Skip breakfast and lunch, and eat one big meal in the evening.
        • Eat out or order carryout food several times per week.
        • Buy boxed, instant, or already-prepared foods.
        • Buy food from vending machines.
      • Ask:
        What foods do you eat when you don’t have time to cook?
      • Note: Allow about 5 minutes for group members to respond. Write their answers on the blackboard or on a large piece of paper taped to the wall.
      • Say:
        Eating on the run often means that we are eating foods that are higher in fat, sodium, sugar, and calories. For example, we eat snacks and candy from vending machines or high-fat hotdogs and fried foods from fast food restaurants.
      • Say:
        People often eat these foods because they are easy to buy or quick to prepare. When people are in a hurry, they often do not think about what kinds of foods are heart healthy.
      • Say:
        They may also eat bigger portions of foods that are higher in fat and calories when there is no time to prepare healthy side dishes, such as salad, vegetables, or steamed rice.
    2. Quick and Easy Meal Tips
      • Note: This part of the session will help group members to think about ways to prepare meals in less time.
      • Say:
        People often find that they are too tired to prepare the kinds of meals they would like their families to eat. Today, we will learn some ways to save time and make meal preparation easier.
      • Give each group member the “Tips for Busy Families” handout.
        Note: Show picture cards when you review sections under “Tips for Busy Families.” Show picture card 9.1 when you review the “Plan Your Meals” and “Use a Shopping List” sections of the handout. Show picture card 9.2 when you review the “Cook in Advance” section.
      • Ask for volunteers to read the tips aloud, one at a time. Allow group members to comment as the tips are read.
      • Ask:
        Would you find any of these tips difficult to do?
        Note: Allow 3 to 5 minutes for group members to respond.

        Group Activity

        Note: This activity will help group members think about creative ways that families can enjoy heart healthy meals even when time is limited.

        • Divide participants into groups of three or four people. Give group members the “Rose’s Busy Schedule” handout.
        • Say:
          I am going to read a real-life situation. You can follow the story on the handout. Think about how Rose can solve her problem.

          Rose’s Busy Schedule

          Rose has a busy life. She has three young children, and she and her husband work Monday through Friday. Rose’s husband, Jose, leaves for work at 5:30 a.m. and gets home at 7:30 p.m. Rose usually leaves for the office at 9 a.m. and gets home around 6 p.m.

          Every night, after she comes home from work, Rose gets the family’s dinner ready. She wants the family to be heart healthy, but she never seems to have the time to cook. Often, she is running late or is too tired to cook, so she picks up pizza, Chinese food, or fried chicken on her way home.

          Since his stroke, Jose wants her to make healthier, traditional Filipino dinners. Rose tries to get her husband to help her with dinner, but he is always tired. Besides, Jose does not like cooking. They also have to help the children with their homework. This leaves them little time to prepare heart healthy meals.

        • Ask each small group to discuss ways that Rose can make sure that her family eats in a heart healthy way.
          Note: Allow about 5 minutes for the groups to come up with suggestions.
        • Ask one person from each group to present his or her group’s suggestions to the entire group.
        • Add these ideas if they are not mentioned:
          • Rose could cook two or three meals over the weekend and store them in the freezer.
          • She could make meals in a slow cooker (Crock-Pot®), which saves time during the evenings. Meals cook during the day and are ready when the family gets home.
          • Rose’s family could help her by putting casseroles (from the freezer or made the night before) into the oven before she gets home.
          • Several families could get together and share meals.
          • Rose’s family could help her by setting the table and doing the dishes.
          • Rose could buy roasted chicken instead of fried.
          • Rose could buy steamed fish or vegetable dishes (instead of fried) from the Chinese restaurant.
    3. Eating Out
      • Note: This activity will teach group members how to make heart healthy choices at fast food restaurants.
      • Ask:
        Where do you eat when you eat out?
        Note: Allow about 3 minutes for group members to respond. Write their answers on the blackboard or on a large piece of paper taped to the wall.
      • Say:
        Many people eat at fast food restaurants because:
        • The food is served quickly.
        • The food tastes good.
        • The food is less expensive than food at sitdown restaurants.
        • Special food and toys appeal to children.
        • There may be a playground for children.
      • Say:
        Many fast foods can be higher in saturated fat, sodium, and calories, but you can choose healthier foods from the menu.
      • Show picture card 9.3. Keep it on display while you review the handout.
      • Give each group member the “Lola’s Tips for Heart Healthy Chinese Food” handout and “Tips for Eating Out the Heart Healthy Way” handout.
      • Ask for volunteers to read the suggestions on the handout aloud.
      • Say:
        Do you have other ideas for making heart healthy choices at restaurants?
        Note: Allow 2 or 3 minutes for group members to respond. Write their answers on the blackboard or on a large piece of paper taped to the wall.
      • Say:
        Let’s talk briefly about buffet-style and “all-you-can-eat” restaurants. They may seem like money-saving restaurant choices that allow you to enjoy your favorite dishes at one time. But you may be tempted to overeat at these restaurants in order to get “the most” for your money. Try choosing buffet and “all-you-can-eat” restaurants less often.
      • Say:
        If you do go to a buffet-style restaurant, make heart healthy choices, such as baked, steamed, broiled, and grilled lean meats and fish, and steamed or sauteed vegetables without sauces. Many of the sauces are high in sodium and calories. Also, watch your portions. It isn’t a good deal to overeat because, eventually, you may pay a price with your health.
      • Say:
        Let’s talk about how the de la Cruz family handles eating out at their favorite Chinese buffet restaurant.
      • (Optional) Give each group member the “Eating Out With the de la Cruz Family Role Play” handout. Ask for three volunteers to be actors for the role play.
        Note: Allow 5 minutes for open discussion.
      • Ask the following questions:
        • What are some of the lessons we learned from this role play?
        • Is there any part of the play that you can use in your own life?
  2. Save Money on Your Food Bill
    1. Money-Saving Tips
      • Ask:
        What do you do to save money on food?
        Note: Allow about 5 minutes for group members to respond. Write their answers on the blackboard or on a large piece of paper taped to the wall.
      • Say:
        There are things you can do to save money on your food bill. Let’s go over a list of ideas.
      • Give each group member the “Money-Saving Tips” handout. Ask for volunteers to read the tips aloud.
      • Give each group member the “Shopping List” handout.
      • Say:
        You can use this shopping list when you go to the store. Just check off or write on the blank lines what you want to buy.
      • Give group members the “What $10 Can Buy” handout.
      • Say:
        Healthy food and snacks do not have to be expensive. Look at the two shopping lists on the “What $10 Can Buy” handout. Which list has more affordable and healthier food choices? Which list is the better buy?
      • Say:
        The items on the second list are lower in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium. These foods also make easy, healthy snacks and can be added to bag lunches or used as ingredients for main dishes.
      • Say:
        These lists show us that eating heart healthy on a tight budget is possible. Remember to plan ahead and make smart, heart healthy choices when you are at the grocery store. This will help you stay within your budget.
    2. Food Advertising Activity
      • Note: This section will help group members become more aware of how advertising plays into their food-buying decisions.
      • Say:
        Food advertising is big business.
        • Advertisements try to get adults and children to buy a certain product.
        • Advertising costs money. Billions of dollars are spent on food advertising. The people buying the food–the consumers–pay for this.
        • Nationally advertised items usually cost more than store brands and brands that are not nationally advertised.
        • Most people are more likely to buy items with fancy, eye-catching packaging.
        • People can be very loyal to certain brands. They will often buy these products even if they cost more.
      • Ask group members to describe advertisements that have persuaded them to buy certain products.
        Note: Allow about 3 minutes for group members to respond.
      • Review different advertising themes that are used to get people to buy food products. (Show or describe an example of the following advertising themes. Prepare these examples before the session.)
        Note: As you discuss the six themes, write them on the blackboard or on a large piece of paper taped to the wall. You will need these themes for the group activities.
      • Say:
        Popular advertising themes often focus on family, health, sex appeal, humor, appearance, or famous people.
        • Family
          Advertisers try to get you to use their products based on your love for your family. This works well because the family plays an important role in the Filipino community. Ads with a family theme often target women because of their role as family caregivers.
        • Health
          Some advertisements focus on the positive health effects of using certain products. This works because people care about their health.
        • Sex appeal
          Sex appeal sells products. Many people want to believe that they also will be beautiful and sexy if they use the advertised product.
        • Humor
          A funny advertisement often helps people remember a product.
        • Appearance
          Food advertisers show food that may look better than the real thing. This makes people want to try the product.
        • Famous people
          Famous people are used to sell products. Advertisers can also have a celebrity use a product in a television show or movie.

          Group Activity

          • Note: This activity will help group members think about how advertising affects how we buy food.
          • Divide the group members into smaller groups of three or four people. Give each group two to three advertisements that you have collected.
          • Say:
            I have given you real advertisements. Discuss with your group which themes are used in the advertisements.
            Note: Allow about 5 minutes for the group to come up with their ideas.
          • Ask one person from each group to present his or her group’s ideas to the others.
          • Say:
            Advertising can be helpful, because it tells people about different products they can buy. But ads can also get people to buy products that they do not need or cannot afford, or products that appear better than they really are.
          • Ask:
            What can you ask yourself when you are trying to decide what brand to buy?
            Note: Allow 4 to 5 minutes for group members to respond.
          • Add the following questions if they are not mentioned.
            • Do I really need it?
            • Is there a less expensive product that serves the same purpose?
            • Have I compared the product’s Nutrition Facts label with an item that costs less?
            • Am I buying the product because it comes in a nice package?
            • Am I buying the product because the advertisement says it will make me look better or help me lose weight?
            • Am I buying it because I have a coupon or because it’s on sale?
            • Can I afford it, even with a coupon?
            • Can I wait until it goes on sale?
          • Say:
            Even if you want to buy name brands, you can save money by buying the products when they are on sale.
    3. Vegetable Kare-Kare (Peanut Stew) Recipe
      • Give group members the “Vegetable Kare-Kare (Peanut Stew) Recipe” handout. Ask them to try this dish sometime this week.
      • Ask:
        How can this dish help us eat in a heart healthy way when we have little time?
      • Add these answers if they are not mentioned:
        • The dish can be prepared in advance and frozen, so that you can save time.
        • It includes a lot of vegetables.

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Review of Today's Key Points

  • Say:
    Let’s review what we learned today.
  • What can you do to save time in meal preparation?
    • Get help from your spouse.
    • Cook several dishes at one time, and freeze part of them.
    • Make larger quantities and use the leftovers for lunch.
    • Pack lunches the night before.
    • Learn simple, fast recipes.
    • Use a slow cooker.
  • What can you do to eat healthier when eating out?
    • Try choosing buffet and “all-you-can-eat” restaurants less often.
    • Order sandwiches without mayonnaise or sauces (or with low-fat mayonnaise or sauces).
    • Order small, plain hamburgers or lean roast or chicken sandwiches instead of deluxe sandwiches.
    • Ask for low-fat salad dressing or bring your own.
    • Choose water, 100% fruit juice, or fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk instead of a soft drink or a milkshake.
    • Order smaller portions.
    • Choose baked, broiled, steamed, or grilled foods instead of fried foods.
    • Order steamed rice instead of fried rice at Asian restaurants.
    • Remove the skin from chicken, and do not eat it.
    • Choose vegetarian pizza, and ask for less cheese.
    • Order a green vegetable or salad instead of two or more starches (such as potatoes, rice, noodles, bread, and corn).
    • Make sure the restaurant does not use monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the dishes.
    • Use less soy sauce or use light soy sauce. Try other low-sodium sauces or herbs to flavor foods.
  • What can you do to save money when shopping?
    • Plan weekly meals, and make a shopping list of what you need to buy for the week.
    • Use a shopping list, and don’t go to the store too often.
    • Check the food sale ads.
    • Choose prepared foods less often.
    • Buy only the amount of food that your family needs.
    • Try not to shop when you are hungry.
    • Check your receipt for errors at the register.
    • Try not to shop at convenience stores.
    • Try store brands, and use them as often as possible.

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Lola's Life Lessons: A Time To Reflect

  • Say:
    Last week, Lola Idad reminded us of the important role our families play in our journey to heart health. This week, Lola shows us how planning ahead can keep our budgets balanced and our lives heart healthy.
  • Give each group member the “Lola’s Life Lessons: Session 9” handout. Ask a volunteer to read the handout.
  • Say:
    Please take a few moments to reflect on Lola’s advice and how this applies to your life. At the bottom of the handout, there is a space called “A Time To Reflect.” Use this section to record your feelings about this week’s session. Please write down your thoughts. Remember, this is for you and no one else.
  • Give each group member 2 to 3 minutes to write down some thoughts.

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Pledge for Life!

  • Give each group member the “Pledge for Life! Session 9” handout.
  • Say:
    Take the pledge for life with Lola and her family. Pledge to do one heart healthy activity on the list to save time and money. Now, let’s start by sharing our goals with each other.
  • Give each group member 2 to 3 minutes to share.
  • Say:
    Remember to continue using the skills you learned in other sessions, and keep working on your pledges to:
    • Be physically active.
    • Cut back on saturated fat, cholesterol, salt and sodium, and calories in your diet.
    • Keep a healthy weight.

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Closing

  • Say:
    Thank you for coming today. What did you think of today’s session?
    Note: Allow a moment for group members to respond.
  • Say:
    I am looking forward to seeing you at the next session. The next session will be on living smoke free.
  • Note for Educator: Think about today’s session. What worked and what didn’t work? Have you made any changes in your own life that were covered in today’s session?

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Go to Session 10


Information on this page is taken from the English print version of “Healthy Heart, Healthy Family: A Community Health Worker's Manual.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NIH Publication No. 08-3674, Originally Printed 1999, Revised May 2008.




Last Updated March 2012




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