March is National Nutrition Month, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is reminding us to “Eat Right, Bite by Bite.”
Easier said than done, sometimes. But good nutrition doesn’t have to be time consuming, costly, or flavorless. You don’t have to throw out everything in your cupboards and refrigerator. Make healthy decisions one recipe at a time, one vegetable at a time, one bite at a time. You and your family will have nutritious meals before you know it. Try these tips to get your started:
VARY YOUR DIET
Eating healthy does not mean you have to have carrots and spinach every day. You will always need your daily vegetables, fruit, and fiber, plus protein two or three times a week, but you never have to be bored at mealtime. We are fortunate to have such an abundance of varied produce, grains, and proteins from all over the world that are grown or sold locally. Every week, try a few dishes you’ve never tasted before. Read labels, practice portion control, and drink plenty of water. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll savor a varied diet packed with the nutrition you need.
Planning your meals ahead of time will help you eat the nutritious foods you love at home, work, and school, while avoiding a last-minute rush through a fast food line. Pick some of your favorite healthy recipes, decide your menu for the week (including any leftovers), and stick to your grocery list. Don’t forget to pack lunches and snacks, and you can have the nutrition you like wherever you go. Eating out? Look at the menu online ahead of time, so you can take your time choosing something healthy and delicious.
COOK & PREP
Do you buy fresh foods only to throw them out because they sat too long? Try looking for recipes that will help you use up any leftovers, while making the dish new and tasty. There are free cooking lessons online, as well as plenty of tips for trying new and interesting herbs and spices. Enjoy a couple hours with a family member, chatting and prepping vegetables for the week, so your evening meals can be fresh and quick. Don’t forget to practice proper food safety in the kitchen. Cooking is less expensive than eating out and lets you control the amount of fats, salt, and sugars in each meal – not to mention, it personalizes meals for your taste buds!
VISIT AN RDN
Want nutrition personalized not only to your taste, but to your specific healthcare needs? Ask your doctor for a referral to a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Your RDN can recommend the foods that will help you thrive – addressing weight, skin, allergies, memory, bone health, medical concerns, and more. You are what you eat, and healthy eating is a powerful step toward a healthier you!
Talk to your primary care provider about a referral to a dietitian to learn more about the right nutrition for you. Our registered dietitians are certified by New York State, have extensive training, and are available to work with you, one on one, to develop a customized, personalized nutritional plan. Visit our website to learn more about our skilled Saratoga Hospital Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.