Did you know that research confirms that taste is more important than nutrition as the main reason why we choose one food over another? Even though hereditary, social, emotional and health factors play a role, the foods people enjoy most are usually the ones they eat. So setting healthy standards are important to family health and lifestyles along with physical activity.
The key message National Nutrition Month promotes in March is how to mix good taste and nutrition with healthy meals that follow the Dietary Guidelines to “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” Preview a food chart of recommended school snacks.
As part of the 2014 National Nutrition Month® theme, Elliott Orthodontics encourages everyone to choose the most nutritionally-packed foods you can from each of the five My Plate food groups every day. We support all efforts in getting the word out about nutrient-rich foods and drinks which provide vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and other essential nutrients with fewer calories.
Dr. Douglas Elliott recommends your family diet include healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, fat-free or low-fat dairy, beans, nuts and seeds in the right amounts to maintain a healthy body weight along with a healthy exercise routine.
Tasty Tips to add nutrient-rich foods and drinks to your daily diet:
- Use almond or low-fat milk instead of water to make oatmeal and hot cereals creamier. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, dates, raisins, dried cranberries, cherries or blueberries.
- Serve sandwiches on whole-grain bread instead of white. Add lettuce, slices of avocado, tomato, cucumber, or baby spinach to lean roast beef, ham, turkey or chicken.
- When eating out, order entrée salads with grilled seafood, chicken, or lean beef. Top with low-calorie dressings instead of high-calorie creamy dressings. Order baked potatoes topped with salsa rather than sour cream and butter, grilled vegetables rather than fried or mixed with cheese or sauces.
- Drink nutrient-rich, low-sugar beverages such as almond milk, low-fat or fat-free milk or 100-percent fruit juice. Not only is the more nutritious, it helps prevent tooth decay along with regular brushing. Avoid soda, chocolate flavored drinks, and sugar added fruit drinks and flavored water.
- Top foods with chopped nuts, fresh fruit, reduced-fat sharp cheddar, or salsa to get crunch or improve flavor and nutrients from the first bite, depending on the recipe.
- Purchase already prepared and bagged fresh vegetables or cut up and bag yourself so they are in easy reach as snacks for every family member. Consider red, green or yellow peppers, broccoli or cauliflower flowerets, carrots, celery sticks, cucumbers, or snap peas. (When wearing braces, steamed vs raw vegetable is recommended to for hard vegetables to prevent damage to brackets and wires.)
- Serve hearty nutrient rich single meals the entire family will enjoy like stews, casseroles or soups that include vegetables, beans and lean meat. Add low-fat yogurt, sour cream, or grated cheese to the top of chili. Serve with whole-grain breads or rolls instead of white.
- For dessert, serve fresh fruit and yogurt, low-calorie fruit popsicles or consider making your own Popsicle or ice cream with fresh low-calorie ingredients and reduced sugar.