Build a Healthy Meal:
Map out your meals for the week to support a healthy eating style. Include all the food groups throughout the day. The right mix of foods your meals and snacks can fuel your healthy lifestyle.
1. Make half your plate vegetables and fruits. Choose a variety of vegetables that are red, orange and dark-green like tomatoes, sweet potatoes and broccoli. Make it kid friendly with smoothie creations, veggie dippers, fruit kabobs and homemade trail mixes.
2. Include whole grains. Your goal is to make at least half your grains whole grains. Whole grains provide more nutrients such as fiber. Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain is a grain products. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, and tortillas are examples. Daily recommendations vary from three ounces for a child to eight ounces for a teenage boy.
3. Dairy is important. Dairy is the key to the calcium your body needs as well as other key nutrients. Add milk, cheese and yogurt to your list.
4. Add lean protein. Recipes abound for protein foods including lean beef, pork, turkey and eggs. Try adding seafood a couple times each week. Most people, ages nine and older, should eat five to seven ounces of protein each day (1 ounce of meat, 1 egg, 1/4 cup beans, 1 tablespoon peanut butter or 1/2 ounce nuts.)
5. Avoid extra fat. Skip the gravy on your meat and potatoes. Oils are not a food group but they do provide essential nutrients, however, only small amounts are recommended.
6. Involve dessert. No need to give up dessert after the meal. Focus on naturally sweet dishes like a fresh fruit salad, yogurt parfait, baked apples with cinnamon or a small scoop of low-fat vanilla ice cream.