5 Tips: Eat a Variety of Foods Every Day

Cent$ible Nutrition News • March 2021 • Volume 25 | Number 6

March is National Nutrition Month. With all of us leading different and busy lives, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to health. This month is all about Personalizing Your Plate to fit your needs. To help you create healthier eating habits that stay around for a lifetime, here are five tips for making healthy food choices your way. Eating healthy starts with simple solutions, bite by bite.

Follow MyPlate

Your tastes may be unique to you, but a balanced diet includes foods from all five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. Try to eat foods from around MyPlate every day. CNP Pro Tip: aim to eat 2-3 different food groups at each meal and for snacks.

Change up the routine

Getting in a food rut is easy to do because it can make meals easier, but changing up your routine doesn’t have to interrupt your flow. Instead, think about ways to switch up the ingredients you are using to create your meals. Making a salad? Try using spinach instead of or in addition to lettuce, and change out the other vegetables you use. Add beans to your tacos instead of using all meat. Try a different breakfast cereal that has more whole grains in it. Simple switches are a good way to personalize your own plate and find new dishes you and your family enjoy. CNP Pro Tip: start with one meal a week that is outside your normal routine or try one new food a week.

Make every bite count

Everything we eat and drink impacts our health over time. Make every bite count by making sure the foods you enjoy for meals and snacks are full of the nutrients your body needs, and low in things like added sugars, sodium, and saturated fat. CNP Pro Tip: start with your snack foods. Enjoy a fruit, vegetable, or whole grain for a snack rather than pre-packaged snacks, like chips and cookies. 

Rethink your Drinks

It is easy to forget that drinks can be full of nutrients and calories, and that they are an important part of our diets. Drinks like water, low-fat milk, and 100% juice are healthy drink choices. While a soda or sweetened beverage is fine once in a while, aim to make most of your drinks healthy choices. CNP Pro Tip: try carrying a water bottle with you and drinking from it often. Add a little chopped fruit to your water to give it flavor.

Flex your shopping smarts

Nutrition facts labels and ingredients lists are your best source of information at the grocery store. When choosing a packaged food and comparing brands, check the nutrition facts labels and ingredients lists to see which options give you the best nutrition for your budget. CNP Pro Tip: check the nutrition facts label for things like sodium and added sugars and pick options lower in these ingredients. Use the ingredient lists to see if grain products are whole grains.

Download this newsletter as a PDF.

March's Feature Recipe

Bean and corn salsa in a glass bowl with yellow corn chips beside it

Black Bean & Corn Salsa

A few inexpensive ingredients is all you need to pull together this tasty salsa. Serve with corn chips or whole-grain crackers for a protein-packed snack or appetizer! 

In the Kitchen with CNP

Every month on Facebook, CNP focuses on a different food. This month, CNP is sharing cereal facts, recipes, and more. Check out In the Kitchen with CNP to learn more!

* The Cent$ible Nutrition Program is funded by USDA SNAP-Ed and EFNEP. SNAP-Ed assists individuals and families who receive, or are eligible to receive, benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). EFNEP assists families and youth with limited resources  in acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and changed behaviors necessary for nutritionally sound diets and contributes to their personal development and the improvement of total family diet and nutritional welfare. Visit our income-qualification page to learn more. 

This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This material was funded by USDA’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program-EFNEP. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Issued in furtherance of extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kelly Crane, Director, University of Wyoming Extension, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Wyoming Extension, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071.

The University of Wyoming is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

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