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Nutrition Made Simple

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Family Spice - Your source for recipes, fitness and meal planning

by Apameh Bashar RD, CNSD

Many families think following a healthy diet is difficult. In reality, with a little planning and awareness of diverse healthy food products, families would be able to follow a very balanced and healthy diet at home, enjoyable to all!

Tips to eating right:

1. Make half your grains whole. Choose whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, low fat popcorn. When baking, substitute half of the recipe’s white all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.

2. Vary your veggies. Choose dark green and orange vegetables. Eat spinach, broccoli, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Add colorful bell peppers to your salads and stir fry.

3. Get your calcium-rich foods. Eat low-fat and fat-free milk plus other milk products several times per day. Children 1-2 years of age need whole milk.

4. Go lean with protein. Eat lean or low fat meat, chicken, turkey, and fish. Include beans, peas and lentils in your diet; add them to soups, casseroles, stews, and salads. Add nuts, seeds or chick peas to your salads or include them in snacks.

5. Focus on fruits. Eat them at meals and snacks. Choose fresh, frozen, canned in its juice, or dried. Make fruit smoothies with fruit, low fat yogurt and 100% juice.

6. Change your oil. Fats are important for a healthy body. Keep in mind the amount and type of fat you use. Choose olive and canola oil. For margarine, choose soft margarine rather than stick margarine. There are spreads which contain added components to help with a healthier heart.

7. Don’t sugarcoat it. Choose foods and beverages without added sugar and caloric sweeteners as one of the first ingredients listed in the product information.

These are just a few points to consider. Gradually begin making some changes in meal/ snack planning. In no time you will notice great changes in your daily eating habits.