March is National Nutrition Month
3/6/2017 11:00:00 AM
Dedicate yourself to a healthy lifestyle in 2017 with these 17 food, nutrition, and physical activity tips:
1. Eat Breakfast. Start your morning with a healthy breakfast that
includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Try
making a breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, low-fat cheese,
salsa and a whole wheat tortilla or a parfait with low-fat plain
yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal.
2. Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables. Fruits and
veggies add color, flavor, and texture plus vitamins, minerals,
and fiber to your plate. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of
vegetables your daily goal. Experiment with different types,
including fresh, frozen and canned.
3. Watch Portion Sizes. Get out the measuring cups and see how
close your portions are to the recommended serving size. Use half
your plate for fruits and vegetable sand the other half for grains
and lean protein foods. To complete the meal, add a serving of
fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt.
4. Be Active. Regular physical activity has so many health benefits.
Start by doing what exercise you can for at least 10 minutes at
a time. Children and teens should get 60 or more minutes of
physical activity per day, and adults should get two hours and 30
minutes per week. You don’t have to hit the gym—take a walk
after dinner or play a game of catch or basketball.
5. Fix Healthy Snacks. Healthy snacks can sustain your energy
levels between meals, especially when they include a combination
of foods. Choose from two or more of the MyPlate food groups:
grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and protein. Try raw veggies with
low-fat cottage cheese, or a tablespoon of peanut butter with an
apple or banana.
6. Get to Know Food Labels. Reading the Nutrition Facts panel
can help you shop and eat or drink smarter.
7. Consult an RDN. Whether you want to eat better to lose weight
or lower your risk or manage a chronic disease, consult the
experts! Registered dietitian nutritionists can help you by providing
sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice.
8. Follow Food Safety Guidelines. Reduce your chances of
getting sick by practicing proper food safety. This includes: regular
hand washing, separating raw protein foods from ready-to-eat
foods, cooking foods to the appropriate temperature by using
a food thermometer and refrigerating food quickly at a proper
temperature to slow bacteria growth.
9. Get Cooking. Preparing foods at home can be healthy, rewarding
and cost-effective. Resolve to learn some cooking and kitchen
basics, like how to dice an onion or cook dried beans.
10. Dine Out without Ditching Your Goals. You can eat out
and stick to your healthy eating plan! The key is to plan ahead,
ask questions and choose foods carefully. Compare nutrition
information, if available, and look for healthier options that are
grilled, baked, broiled or steamed.
11. Enact Family Meal Time. Plan to eat as a family at least a few
times each week. Set a regular mealtime. Turn off the TV, phones
and other electronic devices to encourage mealtime talk. Get kids
involved in meal planning and cooking and use this time to teach
them about good nutrition.
12. Banish Brown Bag Boredom. Whether it’s a lunch for work
or school, prevent brown bag boredom with easy-to-fix, healthy
lunch ideas. Try a whole-wheat pita pocket with veggies and
hummus or a low sodium vegetable soup with whole grain
crackers or a salad of mixed greens with low-fat dressing and a
13. Drink More Water. Quench your thirst by drinking water instead
of sugary drinks. Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water if
you are active, live or work in hot conditions, or are an older adult.
14. Explore New Foods and Flavors. Add more nutrition and
eating pleasure by expanding your range of food choices. When
shopping, make a point of selecting a fruit, vegetable or whole
grain that’s new to you or your family. Try different versions
of familiar foods like purple asparagus, Honeycrisp apples,
broccoflower or quinoa.
15. Eat Seafood Twice a Week. Seafood—fish and shellfish—
contains a range of nutrients including healthy omega-3 fats.
Salmon, trout, oysters and sardines are higher inomega-3s and
lower in mercury.
16. Cut Back on Added Sugars. Foods and drinks with added
sugars can contribute empty calories and little or no nutrition.
Reviewing ingredients on the food label can help you identify
sources of added sugar.
17. Experiment with More Plant-Based Meals. Expand the
variety in your menus with budget-friendly meatless meals. Many
recipes that use meat and poultry can be made without. Eating a
variety of plant foods can help. Vegetables, beans, and lentils are
all great substitutes. Try including one meatless meal per week to