Healthy eating

Access to affordable, fresh food and consumption of non-sugary drinks are critical ingredients of a healthy community.

Healthy eating contributes to good health

Healthy eating is key to decreasing chronic, nutrition-related diseases like obesity, heart disease and diabetes that affect our most marginalized populations. According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, a healthy eating plan includes:

  • A variety of vegetables: dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other vegetables
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified soy beverages
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, nuts and seeds
  • Oils, including those from plants (canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean, and sunflower) and oils that are naturally present in
    foods (nuts, seeds, seafood, olives, and avocados) 

Current initiatives

The Healthy Living Initiative team  partners with worksites, schools, childcare settings, clinics to provide food access to our most vulnerable communities.

Increasing healthy food options at licensed grocery stores, including corner stores, gas stations, dollar stores, and pharmacies, to sell a certain amount of basic food items including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, eggs, and low-fat dairy. 

This campaign is a partnership between the Health Department and community organizations to educate the public about the health impacts of sugary drinks, create healthier beverage environments by improving the availability of healthier options, and encourage people and places to rethink their drink choices and choose healthier beverages over sugary drinks. 

  • Public housing healthy eating engagement

Engaging with residents and Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) leaders/partners in defining new healthy eating goals, objectives, and activities that will inform future work. 

Past initiatives

  • Healthy Vending in Parks

Worked with Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) to to provide healthier foods and beverages in parks.

  • EBT at Farmers Markets

Worked to allow thirteen farmers markets in Minneapolis to accept EBT and offer a Market Bucks coupon to help low-income residents purchase more healthy, fresh food at affordable prices.

We teamed up with corner store owners in Minneapolis to improve access to fresh produce and healthier foods such as low-fat dairy and whole grains. Store owners learned important skills for buying and handling produce, and colorful signs helped customers choose healthier food options.

  • Healthy Food Shelves

Formed the Minneapolis Healthy Food Shelf Network, a collective of more than a dozen food shelves, food banks, and other hunger relief organizations, committed to increasing the amount of healthy food options available for individuals and families in need.

  • Healthy Restaurant program

Designed to assist independently owned restaurants in creating and promoting healthy meal options that are nutritious, tasty, satisfying, and at a good value

  • Healthy Meals Coalition

Formed the Minneapolis Healthy Meals Coalition designed to support local emergency meal programs' staff and volunteers in their efforts to increase healthy food options and ensure that whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, and other nutritious foods are regularly served to clients. 

  • Community Gardens

Giving residents the opportunity to grow their own fruits and vegetables and working with the Minneapolis Highrise Representative Council and other landlords to allow gardening on Minneapolis Public Housing Authority land and rental property.

Healthy eating tips and resources

Request accessible format

If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Contact us

Healthy Living

Health Department




Public Service Building
505 S Fourth Ave, Room 520
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Office hours
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday