Nutrition 101

National Nutrition Month – Put Your Best Fork Forward!

We need to remember that each bite counts and small shifts in our food choices can make positive differences in our overall intake and ultimately, our health. Take a moment to think about what you eat each day. Consider some dietary habits that might need tweaking. Reflect on some food and behavior changes that might be beneficial to your health.

The following tips may be helpful so you can “put your best fork forward!”

  1. Bite into a Healthy Breakfast: Start the day with a balanced breakfast. Enjoy a whole wheat tortilla stuffed with scrambled eggs and spinach, low-fat cheese and salsa. Try a breakfast parfait with low-fat plain yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal.
  2. Make “My Plate” Your Plate: Check out www.myplate.gov for loads of nutrition resources. This site will allow you to design a personalized meal plan to meet your needs based on your age, sex, activity levels and dietary goals.
  3. Eat the Colors of the Rainbow: The key to “my plate” is to make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and fiber to your plate. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables your daily goal. Experiment with different types of fruits and vegetables, including fresh, frozen and canned. Check out the beautiful produce department at your McCaffrey’s Food Markets!
  4. Size Matters: Read labels, get out the measuring cups and see how close your portions are to the recommended serving sizes. You may be surprised as to how much or how little you are eating compared to actual serving sizes.
  5. Snacking Counts: Plan healthy snacks during the day to sustain your energy levels and prevent overeating at meals. Try to include a combination of foods from different food groups for balance and satiety. Some snack examples include: raw vegetables with low fat cheese, a tablespoon of nut butter with a piece of fruit, or a low fat yogurt with some high fiber.
  6. Use Your Kitchen: Preparing foods at home can be healthy, rewarding and cost-effective. Visit www.eatright.org/howdoi to tune up on some cooking skills and kitchen basics. If time is at a premium, stop by the prepared foods department at McCaffrey’s for a quick, healthful meal option.
  7. Liven up Lunch: Whether you pack a lunch or eat at home every day, make lunch something to look forward to. Recycle last night’s dinner into something fun and different. Use those extra grains, leftover vegetables and extra grilled chicken and enjoy a salad, roll into a wrap or create a hearty soup.
  8. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Quench your thirst by drinking water instead of sugary drinks. Add some sliced fruit or a splash of juice to give your water some jazz.
  9. Explore New Foods and Flavors: Add more nutrition and eating pleasure by expanding your range of food choices. When shopping, make a point of selecting a fruit, vegetable or whole grain that’s new to you or your family. Enjoy different versions of familiar foods like Purple Asparagus, Honeycrisp Apples, Broccoflower or Quinoa.
  10. Eat Seafood Twice a Week: Fish and shellfish contain a range of nutrients including healthy omega-3 fats. Stop by our McCaffrey’s Fish Department for weekly specials and preparation ideas.
  11. Lose the Sugar: Foods and drinks with added sugars can contribute empty calories with little or no nutrition. Reviewing ingredients on the food label can help you identify sources of added sugar, including sucrose, fructose, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 9 teaspoons (38 grams) of added sugar per day for men, and 6 teaspoons (25 grams) per day for women. The AHA limits for children vary depending on their age and caloric needs, but range between 3-6 teaspoons (12 - 25 grams) per day.
  12. Experiment with More Plant-Based Meals: Expand the variety in your menus with budget-friendly meatless meals. Vegetables, beans, and lentils are all great plant proteins. Try including one meatless meal per week to start out.
  13. Visit www.mccaffreys.com: Find out about upcoming nutrition programs, featured foods and products, specials and recipes. See how McCaffrey’s Markets can help you “put your best fork forward!”

According to our Experts, prebiotics and probiotics play an important role in our overall health read how.