Have you fallen off track from your New Year’s resolutions and need a kick start back in the right direction? Since it's National Nutrition Month® it is the perfect time to regain focus on healthy eating behaviors! Getting back into a healthy routine does not mean seeking out the next fad diet, but learning to enjoy healthy and nutritious food. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ team of top nutrition and food professionals develop a once a year campaign to promote healthy eating behaviors with many different resources, games, and reading lists. This year the Academy is focusing on ways to help you create healthy, enjoyable meals following the Dietary Guidelines!
First, start by replacing empty snacks with nutrient dense foods such as these, under 200-calorie, snacks:
- Small baked potato topped with salsa and 1 ounce low-fat cheese.
- Toaster waffle topped with ½ cup blueberries and 2 tablespoons low-fat yogurt.
- Six whole-wheat crackers and one slice low-fat Colby cheese.
- Fruit smoothie: Blend 1 cup fat-free milk, ½ cup frozen strawberries and ½ banana.
- One 6-inch flour tortilla with ¼ cup black beans and 2 tablespoons fresh salsa.
- Quick-to-fix salad: 2 cups mixed greens with ½ cup mandarin oranges, 1 tablespoon sliced almonds and 2 tablespoons reduced-fat dressing.
Next, make a few small lifestyle changes to your day from the following tips below:
- Never skip breakfast - A cup of coffee should not be the only thing you consume for breakfast! Instead, your breakfast should include some lean protein such as turkey or chicken as well as whole grains and fruit. These small changes will help increase your morning energy level!
- Control your portion sizes - Measure out a cup of your favorite food to see how much you are eating compared to the recommended serving size. This will help you understand how much you are eating in one sitting!
- Be more active throughout the day - This does not mean you need to go to the gym, or set an hour of your time aside to work out in order to increase your physical activity. It is as simple as parking in the back of the parking lot, always taking the stairs, or taking a walk with your family after dinner. Increasing your steps per day can result in an increase in positive health benefits-aim for 10,000 steps a day!
Finally, consider making other small modifications to your eating behavior. In order to begin creating healthy meals following the Dietary Guidelines! Click here for healthy recipes provided by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Interested in speaking with a NIFS Registered Dietitian, contact Angie Scheetz at NIFS.