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Take the Free Meals Matter Nutrition and Fitness Challenge Starting Jan. 12

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ — Many of us start the new year eager to make sweeping changes in our lives, only to find ourselves feeling run-down and worn-out by month’s end.

“It’s tempting to make New Year’s resolutions that try to change everything all at once and set goals that aren’t specific or realistic,” said Andrea Garen, M.A., R.D., Project Manager with Dairy Council of California. “Breaking down big goals like ‘eat better’ or ‘lose weight’ into smaller steps helps to keep you motivated because small steps are more realistic and achievable over time.”

The 2010 Meals Matter Nutrition and Fitness Challenge encourages small steps toward reaching healthier lifestyle goals in the new year. Over the course of the free four-week Challenge, participants will use proven online tools to assess current eating and activity habits, set personal goals, and identify the small steps that will lead to a healthier lifestyle.

Research shows that taking small steps to improve eating and activity habits can have significant impact over time. Some proven small steps include:

  • Using a pedometer to add 2,000 steps daily
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Eating cereal with low-fat milk for breakfast
  • Choosing nutrient-rich snacks like cheese or nuts instead of chips

Participants also have access to expert support and advice in articles and social media posts by registered dietitians and other participants via the Meals Matter Nutrition and Fitness Challenge Facebook page and Twitter profile.

“These free online tools and support are really what set the Meals Matter Nutrition and Fitness Challenge apart,” said Garen. “The individualized tools help you improve your eating and exercise habits while the social media support ensures you’re not alone on your journey to good health.”

To start taking small steps to a healthier lifestyle in the new year, visit and register for the Nutrition and Fitness Challenge today. Daily events run from Jan. 12 to Feb. 12. Complete all aspects of the Challenge by Feb. 19 to be eligible for a free grocery gift-card drawing.

Through a variety of nutrition education programs, Dairy Council of California promotes healthy choices from all the food groups and regular physical activity as the foundation for optimal health. Healthy Eating Made Easier