While researching our food and nutrition tools and content, we here at ShopWell spend a lot of time on government websites. In addition to providing well-researched health and nutrition information, these sites also have some awesome hidden elements, from e-cards to zombie comics.
In honor of Election Day and Veteran's Day, we've gathered a few of our favorite fun government websites for you to check out. Just like ShopWell itself, they make food, nutrition, and health more fun and accessible.
- CDC e-cards: Want to wish someone a happy and healthy day? The CDC offers a collection of over 100 e-cards, including cards that suggest quitting smoking, urge men to go to the doctor, and encourage getting screening tests and vaccinations. (If that seems too preachy, you can also just send a hug.)
- USDA Flickr account: Old health propaganda posters, archival photos of farms, and shots of '40s and '50s-era farmers at work are some of the fun items you'll find on the USDA's Flickr page.
- The FDA is also on Flickr, with photos of recalled food and short articles on food and health topics. Also featured are pictures of FDA consumer safety officers working hard to keep us safe.
- MyPlate Fruits and Veggies Video Challenge: Got a good tip on how to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, even when you're on the go? Enter the USDA's video contest, and you could win $1,500. (You'll have to do it fast– the contest ends on November 15.) Even if you don't want to make a video, you can check out other popular submissions, pick up a few tips, and vote for your favorite.
- CDC's Zombie Preparedness comic (PDF): From The Walking Dead to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the brain-hungry hordes have never been more popular. So the CDC commissioned a fun zombie comic to teach readers about emergency preparedness, how the CDC creates vaccines for viruses, and other best practices in the event of an emergency.
- The CDC's CSI-themed guide to illnesses: If you enjoyed the zombie comic, this "detective" video introduces another key facet of the CDC's work: identifying and controlling illnesses. They've also got a police-themed video on best practices for healthy swimming.
- Resources for kids: Younger kids should enjoy the kids.gov health page, which has kid-friendly info on everything from why they need to brush their teeth to how to prevent the flu (with Elmo!). And if you're hoping to send your child to an afterschool program, this site is a great clearinghouse that also offers tips on fun activities you can do together.
- Health for teenage girls: GirlsHealth.gov is a clearinghouse for any information a tween or teenage girl could want, from nutrition to relationships to bullying. Check out BestBonesForever.gov for fun ways to encourage strong bones by getting enough calcium, vitamin D, and physical activity every day!
- Ask Karen: Not sure if you should eat those leftovers? What temperature does your steak need to be cooked to? Karen, the FDA's virtual representative, has the answers. This time of year, her advice can be handy after winter power outages or when making and taking food to holiday gatherings.
- Getting ready for Thanksgiving air travel: With so many restrictions and changes, infrequent flyers might not be sure what they can and can't bring on the plane– including food and drink. The TSA's website has the answers. Check out the blue "Can I bring… through the security checkpoint" box on the right side of the page. We've been okayed for everything from wine glasses to sandwiches to a crockpot! What are you thinking of bringing?