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March is National Nutrition Month
3/6/2017 11:00:00 AM - Wellness Program

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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

hardboiled egg.


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

start out.

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