March is National Nutrition Month (R) … “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right”!

7 03 2014

Here at the Weight Management Program, I am always trying to find ways to inspire people to make good nutrition a priority in their lives.

Cathy Shaw

Cathy Shaw

Whether you are watching your weight, trying to reduce your cholesterol, or just making some healthy changes to what you eat, taste is probably the number one reason you choose the foods you do. Many people seem to think that “healthy” foods can’t possibly taste as good as their usual fare (does triple decker cheeseburger mean anything to you?) This month I challenge you to look at food in a whole new way.
Preparing healthy foods can be fun and delicious. It can be as easy as taking your favorite foods and making them healthier by adding simple, wholesome ingredients that enhance flavor and boost nutrition. Healthy foods don’t have to be boring! They can be colorful, flavorful and satisfying.

When I think about our National Nutrition Month ® theme for 2014, “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right”, this is what it means to me:
1. It means starting the day with a healthy and tasty breakfast, every day. Our bodies need energy first thing in the morning! Enjoying whole grain cereal and fruit, yogurt and granola, or a veggie and egg scramble, helps me start off on the right foot. Get some great breakfast ideas here:
2. It means snacks are important to my day. Need to tackle that growling stomach at 10am, or that mid afternoon slump? I pack healthy and energizing snacks that help power me through. Things like whole grain granola bars, bananas with peanut butter (my personal favorite) or cheddar cheese with whole grain crackers help curb my hunger and keep me focused until my next meal. Get some great snack ideas for adults and teens here:
3. It means taking pride in the foods I prepare. Food needs to be good fuel for our bodies, but it also needs to taste amazing! Using whole, real ingredients that add color, texture and great flavor is important to me. Lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains abound in my kitchen, as do lots of spices, herbs and healthy oils. Click here for some great ideas from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on cooking tips and trends:
4. It means having some fun in the kitchen! And make sure to include the whole family. Trying new recipes and ingredients can help keep variety and interest in the foods we eat. Taking a few minutes to flip through recipes with the kids and having them help choose and prepare them makes it  more likely that they will really enjoy them. Get some tips for family meal time here:
5. It means convenience is important too. Realize that not everything needs to be made from scratch. It is possible to pull a healthy and delicious meal together in less than 30 minutes! Use the My Plate tool as your guide, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, low fat dairy and heart healthy oils. This can be as easy as microwaving your favorite frozen vegetables, dicing up some sweet strawberries, broiling your favorite lean protein (marinated chicken, pork loin chops, lemon pepper salmon), and adding a piece of whole grain artisan bread. Throw in a little seasoned olive oil for bread dipping and you have yourself a meal! Check out “Eat Right with My Plate” at


So tell us what “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” means to you! Share your ideas here, and help inspire others to do the same!






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