March is National Nutrition Month!
Lots of nutrition advice tells you to avoid certain foods, and sometimes that can be hard. Instead of focusing on what to avoid, eating healthy can consist of adding more nutritious foods to your diet.
The key to healthy eating is to eat a variety of foods in a balanced diet. A balanced diet means eating adequate amounts of all food groups: grains, proteins, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Adding more nutritious foods, rather than cutting out the “bad” foods, can be an easy way to eat healthier.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
Eat fruits and vegetables with breakfast. Mornings are very busy, but it can be helpful to add dried fruit with cereal or cut-up vegetables to the eggs.
Include fruits and vegetables in your lunch. When you are preparing your lunch, add some vegetables like carrots or cucumbers, or make ham and cheese sandwiches with lettuce and tomatoes. Vegetable dips like salsa or hummus count too!
Try whole grains. Whole grains like whole wheat bread, whole wheat, corn tortillas, oatmeal, and brown rice are more nutritious than more processed alternatives. You can start by adding whole grains to your meals.
Vary protein foods. Many foods like chicken, eggs, fish, cheese, beans, and nuts are great types of protein in addition to red meat. Enjoy different proteins to get a variety of nutrients your body needs.
Enjoy a variety of fortified dairy or soy products. Especially the ones that are low in sodium like low-fat yogurt, and low-sodium cheese.
A balanced meal in the morning can be something like yogurt with whole grain granola and fruit, this covers four of the five food groups! Do you need help getting started? Check out https://www.myplate.gov/ for more information.