Authored by Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics staff registered dietitian nutritionists originally published: Eatright.org/national-nutrition-month-2023/resources
Fuel for the Future No matter your age or activity level, making healthful food and drink choices will provide your body with energy now and fuel for the future. Plus, the benefits of eating healthfully can add up over time.
Ways we can Fuel for the Future:
Eat with the environment in mind. Buying foods in season and shopping locally, when possible, not only benefits the planet, but it also may help you keep food costs down.
Enjoying more plant-based meals and snacks is another option.
Try more meatless meals or substituting some or all of the meat in recipes with plant-based proteins.
See a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), like the ones you work with at Livea Weight Control Centers. Good nutrition can positively influence our health, and there are many ways to eat healthfully. Plus, no single food or food group provides all the nutrients we need for good health. It’s important to learn what choices work best for you so that a healthy eating routine becomes a way of life. Schedult a complimentary consultation with one of the RDNs at Livea today – Livea.com/get-started
Stay nourished and save money. When prices of food and other goods go up, buying healthful foods may not feel like a priority. Yet, many healthful foods are filling, cost less overall and help to manage or reduce your chances of developing certain chronic diseases A little planning before you shop can go a long way in choosing foods that are affordable, satisfying and have a higher amount of nutrition.
Eat a variety of foods from all food groups. Fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods and dairy all play a role in fueling our bodies. Choosing a variety of healthful foods is important, since foods can differ in the nutrients they provide. Follow MyPlate’s Daily Recommendations for each food group to get the nutrients you need at each life stage. Eat foods in various forms including fresh, frozen, canned and dried.
Make tasty foods at home. To increase variety in your eating routine, try new flavors and foods from around the world. Another way to eat healthier and save money is to learn cooking and meal preparation skills. This can help you find creative ways to use leftovers rather than tossing them.
Putting it all together Finding ways to include the foods you enjoy while getting the nutrients you need is important at any age. The foods and drinks we choose can be influenced by a variety of things, such as taste, cost, culture, convenience and cooking skills.
For help in reaching your health goals, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist. RDNs, like the Lifestyle Consultants at Livea, are the nutrition experts and can provide individualized nutrition advice to help you Fuel for the Future.
Celebrate a World of Flavors
Emily B, Lifestyle Consultant, Livea Weight Control Centers
During National Nutrition Month, It’s the Perfect Time to Try a New Dish!
It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from, everyone must eat. The foods we eat are often influenced by our family’s history and culture. We can habitually get in a routine of eating the same types of food that we know we like and not think about trying something different. Enjoying different flavors of the world is a chance to learn more about food cultures that may be new to you. New flavors may also be a fun way to present familiar ingredients you already know and love. Many diverse cuisines offer dishes that increase the variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups. Have some fun with your food dishes and embrace global cultures and cuisines! Here are a few ways how you can personalize your plate:
Vary your breakfast (or first meal of the day)
Unique options are available, even if time is limited! Try besan cheela which is an Asian Indian dish that consists of savory pancakes made with chickpea flour and vegetables along with tomatoes, spinach, and a cooked egg on the side. Another dish to try originates from Middle Eastern cuisine which is zaatar mixed with a little olive oil and spread on whole wheat pita bread topped with tomato slices, olives, cucumber and mint.1 If time is of the essence try a smoothie with low-fat yogurt and tropical fruits like papaya or mango.1 If you are already set on what you like for breakfast maybe try something different for a snack or dinner time!
Choose snacks that include foods from different cuisines
You may have already tried hummus, but there is a different take on hummus called baba ganouj. This is a creamy dip made from roasted and pureed eggplant rather than chickpeas.1 Raw veggies with tzatziki which is a creamy yogurt-based dressing made with cucumbers, garlic and dill is another option!1
Choose healthful recipes to make for dinner based on other cultures
A Filipino dinner dish called Pinkabet is a vegetable stew with long beans, bitter melon, eggplant, squash, and okra served with whole grain noodles.1 This dish might sound familiar but have a couple of ingredients you normally wouldn’t use. Ropa vieja is a Latin dish consisting of shredded beef in a spicy tomato sauce with rice, black beans, collard greens and avocado.1 There are so many exciting dishes to try as a family or with your partner!
Research new foods and cook recipes as a family
New cuisines come with different ingredients and appearances which may make your children or partner a little nervous to try them. Pick an area of the world and sit down together to search online for recipes from that region. When you all agree upon a recipe or two, make it a plan that you will cook that meal together. Typically, those that are involved in the cooking process will have more of an open mind when trying the meal.
Host an “Around the World” dinner with family and friends
New cultures and cuisines can often be found right around the corner. If you have friends or neighbors from a different culture, give them a call and ask for a recipe to one of their favorite dishes.2 Even better, invite people over to enjoy the dishes together! That way you can all learn from one another and form another connection.
Trying foods from different cultures is beneficial in several ways. You can learn about cultures and food traditions that you didn’t know before. You can also create a sense of community and foster deeper connections with people. Not to mention you might find a new cuisine you really enjoy! During National Nutrition Month this month make it a goal to try a new recipe from a culture other than your own!
“Using Food to Introduce Children to New Cultures – San-j.” San, 16 Jan. 2021, https://san-j.com/blog/using-food-to-introduce-children-to-new-cultures/
U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020. Available at DietaryGuidelines.gov. and MyPlate.gov