RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — Firefighters are bringing the heat at Ridgewood's HealthBarn USA.
The Village of Ridgewood Fire Department partnered with HealthBarn USA to boost nutrition literacy and to cook heart-healthy variations of some firehouse favorites.
Registered dietitian and HealthBarn USA founder Stacey Antine is educating the local heroes on how to prepare simple, healthy and delicious meals from her book, "Appetite for Life."
The 35 firefighters gathered in the HealthBarn kitchen three times already, and will join Antine again on Feb. 16, 28 and March 3.
“We are excited about the opportunity to share our nutrition and culinary expertise to support the firefighters who do so much for the community,” Antine said.
“Through the cooking workshops, the firefighters will be able to meal plan for weekly shifts, as well as be able to easily prepare nutritious and hearty recipes for their long-term health.”
The workshops are funded through a FEMA Wellness & Fitness Grant awarded to the Ridgewood Fire Department.
According to a systemic review published in Cardiology Review, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of on-duty death among firefighters — 45% of on-duty fatalities — and a major cause of morbidity.
These findings suggest that preventive measures with proven benefits be applied aggressively to firefighters.
“Getting our team eating better and living healthier overall is a priority,” Chief of Ridgewood Fire Department James Van Goor said.
“Through the FEMA grant we have increased the Department’s level of physical fitness, and now we are focusing on nutrition through a special heart healthy cooking program designed by Stacey and the team at HealthBarn USA.”
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