Did you know? March is National Nutrition Month. With Spring’s arrival we’re all looking forward to green sprouts on the horizon. In fact, Spring may have inspired The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to initiate “National Nutrition Month” in March – a time to anticipate new growth and new thoughts about what we eat. The culinary experts in our Vista Prairie Communities observe the principles that reducing salt and increasing our intake of proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables is a healthier choice. How can you put this into practice with the meals that you prepare? Think about dividing your plate in half; put one of the food groups in each segment. That way, you will be sure to get a balanced meal without feeling overwhelmed. Small Changes = Big Impact According to The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics here are some small changes you can incorporate over time: - Mix it up:
- Eat a variety of proteins each week, like, nuts, and beans, as well as lean meat, fish, poultry and eggs.
- Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange vegetables plus beans and peas. Fresh, frozen and reduced sodium canned vegetables all count.
- Add fruit to meals and snacks. Buy fruits that are dried, frozen or canned in water or 100% juice, as well as fresh fruits.
- Up your grain game:
- Choose 100% whole-grain breads, cereals, crackers, pasta and brown rice.
- Also, look for fiber-rich cereals to help stay regular.
- The big D is a big deal:
- Older adults need more calcium and vitamin D to help keep bones healthy. Include three servings of fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt or cheese each day.
- If you are lactose intolerant, try lactose-free milk or a calcium-fortified soy beverage.
Ask Questions Your doctor may recommend a visit to a nutritionist or adding a dietary supplement to make sure you stay as healthy as you can so you can get and enjoy everything Spring has to offer!