By Marcie Amerstein, registered dietitian, Grand View Health Weight Management Program
March is National Nutrition Month® and this year’s theme is “Eat Right, Bite by Bite.” Good nutrition should incorporate foods you like and enjoy. Choosing a variety of nutritious foods each day makes meal planning fun exciting. Small daily changes can lead to big results.
Here are seven easy ways for you to add more nutritious foods to your diet:
- Don’t make too many changes at once.
Pick one or two things to work on each week and build from there. Consider swapping out whole milk for skim milk, regular soda for diet soda, or adding extra fruit or vegetables to your meal.
- Choose a variety of foods each day.
Include foods from each food group with a focus on lean protein, beans, nuts, whole grains, fruit and vegetables and low-fat dairy products.
- Try a new recipe.
It’s always fun to try something new. Gather your family and make something together. Choose a recipe using one of your favorite ingredients or cook something you’ve never tried before.
- Increase your fruit and vegetable intake.
Swap out one meal a day with a large salad and top it with high-fiber vegetables and fruit. Try adding broccoli, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, carrots, beets, berries or apples.
- Choose high fiber.
Fiber provides bulk to your meal and can keep you feeling full. Choose whole-grain bread, pasta, lentils, chick peas, quinoa, oats or sweet potato.
- Drink more water.
Water not only hydrates our bodies, but it’s much healthier to drink than carbonated or sugary beverages. Try adding a squirt of lemon or cucumber and fresh mint for added flavor.
- Get up and move.
Start by doing whatever exercise you can a build from there. Take the stairs instead of elevator, park farther away, take a brisk walk on your lunch break. Anything is better than nothing.