Submitted by Kay Searfoss, MS, RD, CD, CDCES
Registered Dietitian/Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist
Lac Courte Oreilles Community Health Center
March is National Nutrition Month. This month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages all of us to “Eat Right, Bite by Bite”. Good nutrition doesn't have to be restrictive or overwhelming. Small goals and changes can add up, and every bite of nutrition is a step in the right direction!
Here are some tips for eating right, bite by bite:
Eat a variety of nutritious foods every day
◦ Include healthful food from all food groups, include protein, vegetables, fruit and whole grains or starchy vegetable with each meal
◦ Use real food, as close to nature as possible, instead of processed food
◦ Drink water as your main beverage
◦ Learn how to read Nutrition Facts labels on your favorite foods
◦ Practice portion control, use a 9 inch plate and fill it once per meal
◦ Take time to enjoy your food, put your fork down between bites and talk with your family
Plan your meals each week!
· Use a grocery list to shop for healthful foods, use weekly store ads to plan menus based on featured sale items and save money too
· Be smart when dining out, read menus carefully and ask your server questions
· Enjoy healthful eating at school and work, get an insulated lunch bag and fill it with colorful healthful foods.
· Plan healthful eating while traveling, carry a cooler stocked with sandwiches or salad, fruits, vegetables and water to limit convenience food stops
· The website www.choosemyplate.org offers many suggestions for healthy snacks, eating out, healthy lunch-bags and more
Learn skills to create tasty meals!
· Keep your cupboard stocked with healthful ingredients such as canned beans, brown or wild rice, whole pasta, barley, quinoa, canned tuna and salmon, low sodium canned vegetables and juice pack fruits
· Practice proper food safety, keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold and separate raw meat from cooked foods or produce
· Share meals together as a family when possible
· Reduce food waste, prepare only the amount needed for the meal or learn to enjoy leftovers
· Experiment and try new flavors and foods
For help in making your eating habits more healthful, ask your healthcare provider for a referral to a Registered Dietitian. Call the LCO Health Center at 715-638-5153 to make an appointment. Cooking classes are offered at the LCO College Extension farm on many Tuesday evenings. Check the extension calendar on the college website for more details.