By Bailee Kolden, Student Dietitian
Every March, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics highlights nutrition within the country by constructing a creative theme along with tips and tricks to encourage healthy eating. This year, the academy came up with the theme “Personalize Your Plate.” Each of us has individualized bodies, tastes, and backgrounds, and “Personalize Your Plate” makes sure that our nutrition goals are also individualized. No matter where you begin your health journey, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has tips to get you started or take you to the next level with your nutrition goals.
Eating Nutritious Foods
Make a small change to start and eat as many nutritious foods as possible each day! Make it a mission to include at least one food from each food group with every meal. Just a reminder that the five food groups are dairy, protein, grains, vegetables, and fruits. This is a good goal to start with when trying to make a step in the right direction with your nutrition. Hydrating healthfully is another way to up your nutrition. There may be a few unhealthful ingredients hiding in your beverages that you drink every day. Next time you grab a drink, make sure to look closely at the food label to know exactly what you are drinking. Taking the time to look at any food label can also be healthful. You may be surprised at the nutrient content – whether it’s good or bad – and you may even realize that you have never heard of some of the ingredients added to your food or beverage options. Another key reminder is to be mindful when eating. That is, avoid distractions and try to focus on what is right in front of you. Try to remember to take the time you need to fully enjoy your food.
Take the Time to Plan Ahead
Take the time out of your busy schedule to sit down and create a grocery list. Base this grocery list off some new recipes that you’ve always wanted to try. If you are feeling adventurous, try including more healthful options that you wouldn’t have included the week before. By sticking to this list, you will tend to not buy as much of the less nutritious temptations that call your name. Try to stick to healthful recipes and bring the leftovers to work or school. Just because you are away from your home doesn’t mean you have to stop being healthy. Keep it up so it becomes a routine and not a chore!
Learn the Skills to Cook Tastefully
It can be a challenge to cook tasty meals that are also nutritious. Always keep healthful ingredients on hand so you have that option. By having a stockpile of nutritious ingredients in the house, you will tend to want to use them up and find recipes to incorporate those ingredients. If you are stuck on not having good recipes to try, offer to exchange a few recipes with your friends or co-workers. Odds are you aren’t the only one looking for new recipes you and your family will enjoy!
Consult a Registered Dietitian
Dietitians cover a very wide range of topics. By meeting with one face-to-face, you can set personalized nutrition goals and receive advice to help you get on the right track. There is a wide variety of dietitians in the area so no matter what you want to accomplish, someone will be able to help you. Dietitians will assist you at getting started or continuing your journey by providing recommendations that will help you thrive through the changes being made with your nutrition and food choices.