Are you ready to jumpstart your eating? Have your New Year’s resolutions gone by the wayside? Well, now is the time to rejuvenate your food choices. Every year the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics presents National Nutrition Month®, a time to learn more about nutrition, using fun strategies to choose healthy foods. This year’s theme “Personalize Your Plate” gives you the tools to make nutritious meals to honor your food tastes and culture.
- Honor your culture with the cuisine and food choices you prefer. Healthy eating is not one size fits all. In fact, there are many types of dishes and meals include nutritious foods.
- Go for flavorful choices that are easy to prepare. You don’t have to be a chef to enjoy healthy foods. Think steamed veggies with sautéed lean proteins; a healthy sandwich with whole grain bread, wrap or tortilla with salsa; a smoothie made with yogurt and colorful fruits; a garden salad with chickpeas and low-fat cheese; or a bowl of whole grain rice, beans, and tofu.
- Try adding new foods in a favorite dish or as a side to a favorite meal to add different flavors and nutrients. Cook new foods with the spices you already enjoy. Pairing a new food along with old favorites can help you enjoy it more.
- Use the MyPlate strategy for meal planning. Fill ½ of your plate with vegetables and fruits, ¼ of your plate with whole grains, and ¼ of your plate with lean proteins like fish, poultry, tofu, or legumes.
- Use healthy cooking techniques such as steaming, sautéing, roasting, baking, broiling, or slow cooking, instead of frying foods. Choose a cooking oil, such as vegetable oil, that’s low in saturated fat.
- Watch online videos to help improve your cooking skills. The internet offers many free videos with professional chefs and experienced home cooks who can walk you step-by-step through delicious recipes. You can search for a specific recipe or visit these websites:
- Choose whole foods or lightly processed foods like whole grain breads and cereals, fresh cuts of lean protein, and whole fruits and vegetables. These foods may be fresh, frozen, canned, or cooked. Tip: You can rinse the liquid from canned vegetables and proteins like tuna to reduce the sodium in the food.
- Talk to a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) who can help you find ways to eat healthfully within your health restrictions, culture, and food preferences. Use the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Find an Expert locator to find registered dietitians based on your zip code or by expertise.
Learn more about National Nutrition Month® and find lots of information about healthy eating at EatRight.org.