March is National Nutrition Month. It’s one of my favorite months. For 31 days The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics shares a plethora of nutrition information. And every year the Academy chooses a different theme. For 2018, the theme is “Go Further with Food.” I am incredibly excited about this theme. I am all about getting the most nutrients out of my meals as well as avoiding any type of waste.
What does going further with food mean? To me, it means being aware of how far the food we choose can truly go. It all starts with your shopping list. Are you planning your meals for the week? What about your nutritional needs for your adventures? What happens to the food that you do not eat?
Let’s start with the first meal of the day, breakfast. Breakfast is incredibly important to get your day started especially for kids. Sometimes our busy schedules can lead us to skip this important meal or maybe we end up grabbing something easy like a high calorie coffee beverage and/or pastry. Instead, throw a banana or apple and a bag of nuts in your bag. Keep instant oatmeal packets in your desk drawer. Is there a refrigerator at work? Keep yogurt and granola in a corner for your morning meal. All of these meals provide important nutrients to fuel your body.
Make weekly meal planning a part of your weekend. For example, taking a little time on Sunday evening to make meals for the week can make for a successful week of healthy eating. Choose one of your favorite meals and make a lot of it! Enough to put into five tupperware dishes.
Are your evenings hectic with activities? Do you have picky eaters? Pre-making dinners can make a huge difference. Often when we are tired from the day and in a hurry, we are more vulnerable to overeating or eating something unhealthy. The best way to combat this is to have something appetizing, healthy, and easy prepared. For example, my family loves tacos. I make the meat ahead of time. This way I can warm up the tortillas, add a little lettuce, cheese, salsa and everyone is happy. We never have leftovers on taco night.
Speaking of leftovers, they make great a great lunch option for the next day. If you find that you have a lot of leftover food there are a lot of options better than the trash can! Lunch or dinner the following day are preferred. Freezing is another option. Composting is a last resort.
Keep a bowl of apples, oranges, and bananas on your counter for healthy snacking. Keep unhealthy snacks in hard to reach places or better yet, don’t buy them.
Make it your goal to stop mindless snacking as well as create waste free lunches! Make a grocery list and stick to it! Meal planning can save a lot of unnecessary calories, money, time, and waste!
For more ideas check out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website: eatright.org
Corey Flynn NDTR, CDM, CFPP
Here is what they mean: Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, Registered; Certified Dietary Manager; and Certified Food Protection Professional. She is also an ACE certified personal trainer.
Corey has degrees in nutrition, photography, and journalism. She enjoys adventure triathlons and hiking. She is currently working on a master’s degree in public policy and management with a concentration in environment and sustainability at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs while working full time and caring for her husband, three children, three cats, a beagle, two geckos, and one goldfish