In case you haven’t heard, March is National Nutrition Month. That means it’s time to focus on being as healthy as we can be, especially when it comes to the foods we choose to put in our mouths to nourish our bodies. That also means the foods we choose to put on our kids plates. We’ve had quite a few struggles when it comes to feeding our toddler, but the one thing we don’t negotiate on is the type of foods that end up on his plate.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to choosing healthy foods, the resources provided by National Nutrition Month are a great place to start. This year’s theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right,” meaning you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for health. Read more about how dietitians are doing this with their own families here.
Nutrition can certainly be confusing, so if you need a little extra help, turn to a dietitian (someone who specializes in nutrition). Registered dietitians are your go-to experts for all things food and nutrition.While a bachelor’s degree and specific academic achievements must be met, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that 50% of RDs hold advanced degrees. Some also hold specializations in areas such as sports nutrition, pediatrics, renal disease, and weight management. Registered dietitians can help you meet your weight goals, improve your sports performance, and prevent or manage chronic disease.
Here are six easy tips to get started with a healthy eating lifestyle:
1. Establish family meal time
Sit down to a meal together as a family several times a week. Turn off the TV, put down the phone, and catch up on your kid’s day.
2. Drink up
Ditch the sugary sodas and juices for water or other low-calorie, low-sugar options. The calories in liquids don’t tell our brains we’ve eaten, and those calories add up quickly. Try adding citrus or herbs like mint or basil to a glass of sparkling water to mix things up a bit.
3. Eat breakfast
Start your day off right with a protein-packed breakfast. Kick-start your metabolism and begin your day with a healthy habit so you’ll be more likely to make good choices throughout the day.
4. Be smart when dining out
Look at the menu before you go out to eat. You’re more likely to make healthy choices when you’re not starving. Choose foods that say “baked,” “steamed,” or “broiled.” Avoid fried foods and dishes with heavy cream-based sauces.
5. Keep portion sizes in check
Learn what makes a healthy portion size. That might mean pulling out a measuring cup to see how big your favorite plate or bowl is. Wait a few minutes after you’ve finished your serving to let your brain register that you’re full. If you’re still hungry, you can always go back for more.
6. Be active
No amount of healthy eating can beat a couch potato lifestyle. Get up and get moving — walk, run, play basketball — anything that gets you physically active and having fun.
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