Each month, we Take 5 with one of our partners who are on the journey with us for a healthier Idaho, healthier future. This month: Denise Dixon, Executive Director, Homedale Farmers’ Market
1. What is your go-to healthy snack or meal?
My go-to healthy meal is a large salad with lots of veggies, strawberries, raspberries and vinaigrette dressing. For a snack, I love a crisp apple.
2. What are your favorite forms of exercise?
I love to walk and walk and walk. I also enjoy camping and boating, all while enjoying our beautiful state with my family.
3. Where is your favorite place to be active in your community?
Farmers’ markets. It may sound weird, but do you know how many steps you can walk at a farmers’ market? Tons.
4. Can you tell us something about your organization that people don’t know but should?
Homedale Farmers’ Market: The market is going into its eighth season. I am most proud of our children’s programs. Cultivate is our summer children’s nutrition class to teach our youth how to choose, clean, prepare and especially eat healthy, fruits and vegetables. We also have a youth vendor program that is very successful. We are planting a community garden this spring that will serve as a hands-on gardening experience for our Cultivate students. They will be planting, maintaining and harvesting their own produce. Youth are our future, we need to nurture them.
Idaho Farmers Market Association: Through my program coordinator position, University of Idaho Extension, and a grant from the Department of Health and Welfare, I am expanding and promoting SNAP/DUFB (Double Up Food Bucks) statewide in our farmers’ markets. I am increasing incentives, such as a piece of fruit to every child who visits a farmers’ market in Idaho and physical activity challenges at markets that result in coupons for fresh fruits and vegetables. Both programs have been very successful in area markets.
5. What is on your wish list for promoting children to be active and healthy eaters?
My wish is for every child in Idaho to have access to healthy fruits and vegetables no matter their socioeconomic status. We should promote physical activity in our farmers markets that result in healthy generations to come, and provide additional income to our farmers so we may have more youth interested in becoming farmers.