If you have had healthy eating habits as a New Years resolution and things have fallen by the wayside, don’t worry!
March is the national food month and a great time to reset your goals and start again by discovering new ways to incorporate healthy food options into your diet.
“There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to eating right, and the best solution is to find something that works for you,” says Sara Fausett, a registered nutritionist with Intermountain Healthcare.
“Everyone is different, with different tastes, bodies, and goals. We encourage people to try a variety of techniques and foods to find out how best to develop their own healthy eating habits,” says Fausett.
Eat a variety of nutritious foods every day
1. Eat more products to add flavor and color to your meal, and get more vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
You can do this by:
- Eat the rainbow. Try fruits and vegetables of different colors.
- Try a new fruit or vegetable every week. Start a grocery store challenge – a fun way to involve kids – where you’ll buy products you’ve never tried before.
- Use a food service or cooperative that selects products and delivers them to you.
2. Try the My Plate method. Fill half of the plate with fruits and vegetables and divide the remaining half between a carbohydrate and a protein. This is an easy way to eat nutritious food while you eat or at home.
3. Add a bag of frozen fruits or vegetables to your favorite meal. This can also be an inexpensive way to stretch the meal.
Schedule meals every week
1. Keep it simple. Identify some of your favorite simple recipes and build or customize them for variety. Make a list and buy the ingredients you will need.
2. Try a meal planning app. Apps like Mealime contain recipes that can be tailored to your preferences or needs (e.g. gluten-free). Users select the recipe they want to try and the ingredients are automatically transferred to a shopping cart for easy online shopping.
3. Have some staples handy (beans, rice, and frozen vegetables) to round off a meal. Do you have some chicken in the fridge? Add rice and frozen vegetables to make a rice bowl.
Learn skills to prepare delicious meals
1. Take a cooking class. There are a number of online options to choose from.
2. Watch free how-to videos, including how to make vinaigrette, slice pineapple, or roast vegetables, used in the Intermountain Weigh to Health Nutrition Program.
3. Try healthy swaps. Use applesauce in place of canola oil or Greek yogurt in place of oil or sour cream with potatoes or in banana bread. Try adding boiled cauliflower to boiled potatoes before mashing them.
Remember, nobody is perfect. The key to creating healthy habits is to keep trying until you find what you like. “Be vulnerable in your endeavors,” said Fausett. “You don’t have to prepare a perfect dish to post on Instagram or serve in a five-star restaurant. It won’t be perfect – but it will be good.”
For more tips from the Academy’s National Nutrition Month, visit eatright.org
More information is available at intermountainhealthcare.org.