This column has been addressing healthy eating for senior citizens. Below is information on reading the labels.

Reading labels can help you make good food choices. Processed and packaged foods and drinks have a lot of nutrition and food safety information on their labels or packaging. Look for:

* Product dates. You might see one of three types of product dates on some foods you buy: "Sell by" tells how long the store can sell foods like meat, poultry, eggs or milk products, buy it before this date. "Use by" tells how long the food will be at peak quality; if you buy or use it after that date, some foods might not be safe any longer. "Best if used by" tells how long the food has the best flavor or quality, it is not a purchase or safety date.

* Ingredients list. This tells you everything that a processed food contains, listed from largest to smallest ingredient.

* Nutrition Facts label. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires a Nutrition Facts label on all processed food. The Nutrition Facts label is all white with black letters. At the top, you will find the FDA definition of a serving of that food or drink and the number of servings in the container. The rest of the nutrition information on the label is for one serving, not for the whole package or bottle. If a can or package holds two servings and you eat the whole thing, you have eaten double all the numbers on the Nutrition Facts label twice the calories, twice the fat, twice the protein, twice the percentage of Daily Value and so on.

* Daily Value is how much of each nutrient most people need each day. The %DV says what part (as a percent) of the total daily recommendation for a nutrient is in a serving. The Daily Value is based on eating 2,000 calories each day, so if you are eating fewer calories and eat a serving of this food, your %DV will be higher than you see on the label.

Thanks for help

Many thanks to the volunteers from St. Dominic's Altar Society, Jamie Hitchcock and Duane Riley who delivered Meals on Wheels last week.

Are you interested in helping with Meals on Wheels? Substitute drivers are always needed. If you would like to help, call Patti at 272-3620 or 260-6282.

Transit news

It is time to renew your eligibility to ride the Mini Bus in 2013. Be sure to ask the next time you schedule the bus. Don't delay so you don't lose your service!

Never ridden the Mini Bus? Get an application now before the weather turns bad. Let us do the driving.

Scheduled activities

Thursday, the TOPS Club will meet at 9 a.m., followed by art class at 10 a.m. Gentle exercises start at 11 a.m. The Ambassador Singers practice at 1 p.m. Life Writing group meets at 1 p.m. Skip-Bo begins at 1 p.m. Once again we are offering pinochle lessons. Lessons start at 1 p.m. and run for four weeks. No need to sign up, just come. Yoga begins at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, the day begins with line dancing at 8:30 a.m. Craft Shop check-in/out is from 10 a.m. to noon. A nurse from St. Catherine Hospital will be here from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bridge starts at 12:45 p.m.

Saturday, the pool room is open from 1 to 4 p.m.

Sunday has duplicate bridge at 2 p.m.

Monday begins with walking at 8:30 a.m. Check with Hope for the location this week. The Humdingers Band practices at 12:30 p.m. Double pinochle begins at 12:30 p.m. Zumba classes begin again at 5:30 p.m. Join Kathy White for exercise to a Latin beat. Duplicate bridge starts at 7 p.m.

Tuesday has gentle exercises at 11 a.m. Pitch starts at 12:30 p.m. Bridge begins at 1:15 p.m. The Finney County Committee on Aging meets at 2 p.m.

Jan. 16 has line dancing at 8:30 a.m. Legal aid is by appointment beginning at 10 a.m. Call 272-3620 to schedule an appointment with the attorney. Library outreach is at 11 a.m. Pinochle meets at 12:40 p.m. The regular Wednesday night dance featuring Craig Stevens begins at 7:30 p.m. The recommended donation is $5.

Lunch menus

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Meat loaf, potatoes and gravy, marinated tomatoes, wheat bread, gelatin salad.

Friday: Chicken and stuffing, broccoli, fruit muffin, peaches.

Monday: Chicken noodle casserole, peas, oriental vegetables, wheat bread, apricots.

Tuesday: Roast beef, potatoes and gravy, Harvard beets, wheat roll, angel cake with strawberries.

Jan. 16: Chicken and rice, green beans, California vegetables, wheat bread, fruit cocktail.

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