Here’s to Your Health: A Healthy Eating and Living Television Show

By: Rachael Black, MICA Community Partners Coordinator

With the year’s involvement in CPHMC starting to come to an end, Mid-Iowa Community Action’s coalition started to look for new ways it could expand on its efforts to increase the promotion of healthy lifestyles. Having received support from the local radio station, it seemed like a reasonable step to reach out to the local educational television channel, Marshalltown Community Television (McTV). McTV’s Production and Programming Manager was thrilled with the idea. A task force was assembled to consider the feasibility and scope of the project.

The McTV Production and Programming Manager, along with WIC Dietitians and MICA staff, quickly realized that the task force wanted the show to be inspiring, but realistic. The show shifted from a healthy food and eating show, to a healthy eating and living show, which would consist of 3 main segments: a guest of the week who would talk about health related topics, a cooking segment, and a question and answer session with a dietitian. With the show’s format finalized, there was still work that needed to be done, including finding on screen talent, a location to film and—most importantly—funding.

McTV was able to cover the filming and editing expenses, and Hy-Vee agreed to supply food items for the cooking segment. When one task force member, a WIC dietitian, volunteered to be the host of the show, it looked like the funding issue was solved. Finding a location for the cooking segment was the real challenge, but the show eventually found a location to film and a volunteer willing to cook on camera. The first recipe was a mango chicken stir-fry over a bed of brown rice.

Mango chicken was selected as our first cooking segment a tie-in to our first guest of the week, Pick a Better Snack. The Pick a Better Snack program visits local elementary schools and offers education on fruits and vegetables that can be used as healthy snacks. Mango just happened to be the fruit the students were sampling that week, and the lesson was filmed for the show. The last step was to film the show’s intro and Q&A with a Dietitian.

While finalizing the video, staff decided on the name “Here’s to Your Health.” The first installment premiered on March 4th at 3pm, and is also available on YouTube. The next episode airs March 18th at 3pm. MICA, McTV, Hy-Vee, local WIC Dietitians, and chef Russ are all excited to continue in collaboration even after the CPHMC program at MICA comes to an end. The show plans to release an episode every other week, with topics including gardening, healthy food changes in the schools, importance of getting immunization, and more. We hope to showcase the PSE changes being made around our community and keep people more aware of what our community has to offer in regards to their health. We hope you tune in. Until then, Here’s to Your Health!