Lori Koors, DTR, Nature's One®
March is National Nutrition Month! It’s an opportunity to be reminded of the need to focus on what we purchase at the grocery store. Since nutrition is the main reason for eating healthy, you need to consider focusing on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats and dairy products. Your meals should include a variety of foods from all food groups.
Try to choose fresh foods when possible instead of processed foods, as goes along with this year’s theme. You can find most of these foods on the out skirts of the grocery, while most of the processed foods are located within the center of the store, on shelves and end caps.
Consider adding protein by choosing more fish and poultry to lower the fats in your diet and to control cholesterol. A serving of meat is typically measured by the size of your fist. Five to six ounces per day is sufficient for a healthy adult.
It is suggested to consume 2-3 dairy products a day, whether that be by eating 8 oz of yogurt or milk, 1 ½ oz low fat cheese or ½ cup low fat ice cream as a treat.
At least three to six servings of whole grain cereal, bread, rice or pasta should be consumed each day. A serving size is ½ cup cooked, 1 cup uncooked grains, ½ muffin or small bagel.
The goal is to have 2 to 3 servings of vegetables and 1 ½ to 2 servings of fruit per day as well. A serving of these foods constitutes ½ cup cooked, 1 cup raw or 2 cups of leaf lettuce.
These serving sizes and recommendations are general in nature. For more information on specific serving sizes and to be able to customize your own meal plan, see a registered dietitian in your area or check out mypyramid.gov. Get your kids involved on this site as well. They can have fun seeing what nutrients and calories their favorite foods contain!