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.
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.
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