When somebody mentions nutrition do you inwardly cringe? You know that it is important but why does it have to be so dry and stale? Even the American Dietetic Association recently changed their names to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in hopes of spicing up the subject and making it sound more glamorous. Did you know that nutrition has its own month? And there is an actual day where Registered Dietitians are acknowledged? (March is National Nutrition Month, and March 14th is National Registered Dietitians day!) .
This year the theme for National Nutrition Month is “Get Your Plate in Shape” in honor of the USDA changing the food guide pyramid to the My Plate theme last summer.
My Plate focuses on:
· Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables: Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange varieties. Add fresh, dried, frozen or canned fruits to meals and snacks.
· Make at least half your grains whole: Choose 100 percent whole-grain breads, cereals, crackers, pasta and brown rice. Check the ingredients list on food packages to find whole-grain foods.
· Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk: Fat-free and low-fat milk have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less fat and calories. For those who are lactose intolerant, try lactose-free milk or calcium-fortified soy beverage.
· Vary your protein choices: Eat a variety of foods from the protein food group each week, such as seafood, nuts and beans, as well as lean meat, poultry and eggs. Keep meat and poultry portions small and lean. And be sure to choose seafood as the protein at least twice a week.
· Cut back on sodium and empty calories from solid fats and added sugars: Compare sodium in foods and choose those with lower numbers, and season your foods with herbs and spices instead of salt. Switch from solid fats to healthy oils like olive and canola oil. Replace sugary drinks with water and choose fruit for dessert.
· Enjoy your foods but eat less: Avoid over sized portions. Use a smaller plate, bowl and glass. Cook more often at home where you are in control of what’s in your food. When eating out, choose lower calorie menu options.
· Be physically active your way: Adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of physical activity every week. Choose activities that you enjoy, and start by doing as much as you can.
Just remember, Registered Dietitians are there for you. They know nutrition in and out (like me, most Registered Dietitian’s are the geeky biology/chemistry majors that thrive on information that surrounds the body and the environment). If you have nutrition related question don’t feel like you are alone, seek out a Registered Dietitian in your area and let them help you and your child lead a healthier balanced lifestyle! To find a Registered Dietitian in your area visit: www.eatright.org
You can also email me with questions: Brandi@ABCDEatRight.com . I also have a weekly free e-newsletter that will provide you with recipes, healthy tips and activity ideas for parents, teachers and kids. In honor of National Nutrition Month explore new foods! You might be surprised how delicious and exciting nutrition can be.
Launching March 1st, 2012- ABCD Eat Right’s – Take Out Recipes for Kids- Forget the take out bring home healthy nutrition with this meal planning system. What’s included? 8 breakfast, 10 lunch, and 25 dinner recipe cards. All recipes are displayed on 2x3 cards which can be inserted into 1 of the 3 decorated magnets. These magnets hang on the refrigerator and alert the entire family as to what to expect for their next meal. They can even help choose what they want and shop for groceries because the handy recipe cards are small enough to fit into a wallet and double as a recipe card and a shopping list! Check them out today! www.ABCDEatRight.com