By Cathy Zeltner
Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? Here are some tips to make sure that you and your family are eating healthy, nutritious meals.
- Everybody is different. Find out how many calories YOUR body needs by visiting www.ChooseMyPlate.gov. Be physically active to help balance calories as well.
- Sit down and enjoy your food. More calories are consumed by eating too fast or when attention is elsewhere.
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, fat-free or 1% dairy products and whole grains. Make them the basics for meals and snacks to ensure healthy nutrition consumption.
- Switching to fat-free or 1% milk will reduce the calories and saturated fat while giving the same amount of calcium and essential nutrients as whole milk.
- Half of a plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables. Dark-green, orange and red vegetables like broccoli, sweet potatoes and tomatoes contain a lot of vitamins. Fruit can be added to a meal as part of a side dish or desert.
- Cut back on foods high in sugars, salt and solid fats. Food such as ribs, sausage, bacon, hotdogs, pizza, cookies, cakes and ice cream should not be eaten only as an occasional treat.
- Drink water instead of sugary beverages. Energy drinks, soda pop, and even sports drinks have a lot of extra calories and added sugar.
- Half of your grain intake should be whole grains. Substituting whole-grain wheat bread for white bread, whole-grain pasta for regular pasta, or brown rice instead of white rice are easy ways to eat what you love while eating healthier.
- Portion control is important. Using a smaller plate, bowl or glass can help visually control portions. When eating out, eat half the plate of food and take half home in a to-go container.
- Compare sodium. Select canned foods, breads and sauces labeled “reduced sodium,” “low sodium,” or “no salt added.”
For more information on how to eat healthier, visit www.ChooseMyPlate.gov, and watch for more articles in the Owens Outlook throughout the month.