Today’s world is very tuned into food. With cooking shows on TV at all hours of day and night, restaurants serving just about any kind of food you can think of, recipes for every taste easily found online and an increasingly connected world helping us all learn more about international cuisines, is it any surprise that food plays such a big role in our lives?
For this reason, it’s more important than ever that we eat with our health in mind.
As a partner of the Together Counts™ program, we believe in the importance of making the best food choices to fuel a healthy, active and energized lifestyle, and we aren’t alone! This month, we join with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and dietitians, health professionals and organizations nationwide to celebrate National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” a reminder that making “small shifts in our food choices can add up over time.”
Join us in making small changes like these that can translate into big health benefits over time:
- Substitute herbs, spices and even lemon juice for salt to help reduce sodium in your family’s diet. Your taste buds will adjust over time to crave less salt!
- Grab a small handful of nuts for a snack. Keep healthy snacks like these on hand for your family to grab.
- There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself with a nice dessert every now and then, but be smart about how often you choose to do it.
- Order healthier menu choices at restaurants. Treat yourself well with lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Adding just one healthier ingredient to your meal can make it more nutritious.
- Be aware of portion sizes to help manage calories, saturated fat and sodium while still enjoying your favorite foods.
- Mix some spinach or similar dark, leafy green in with your iceberg lettuce to create a more nutritious salad.
- Aim to make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Not only are they packed with nutrients, but they are generally lower in calories and higher in fiber.
- Keep drinks flavored with a fruit juice in your fridge for hydration and great taste.
- Choose a side of fruit or green salad next time you eat out.
- Add an extra serving of fish to your menu this week for a boost of healthy fats and lean protein.
- Swap in whole grain options whenever possible to add fiber, vitamins and minerals to any meal.
- Boost your family’s diet with an extra serving of beans or legumes during the week. They can even make a smart addition to some desserts!
- Plan a meatless meal one night a week to add fiber and extra nutrition to your weekly meal plan.
- Make healthier versions of family favorites when you add extra veggies or sneak in a whole grain ingredient.
- Try new foods! Forget focusing on what you should give up. Instead, focus on tasty new foods that you can add to your family’s meals: a new fruit or vegetable, a new grain, a healthy new recipe, a dietitian-recommended menu choice at your favorite restaurant. Your family may be surprised at just how good “healthy” can taste.
Start putting your best fork forward with nourishing foods and great flavors every day.
What small changes is your family making for big health benefits?
Healthy Dining Finder was born out of a passion to find menu choices with vibrant fruits and vegetables, hearty whole grains and flavorful lean proteins at every restaurant. Healthy Dining Finder believes that now is the time for every American to rediscover how to truly treat themselves well with all the best food, finding the health and vitality that comes from enjoying tantalizing culinary creations found at Healthy Dining restaurants nationwide.
For more healthy ideas for the whole family, check out these other articles from Together Counts!