The foods you choose can make a difference in starting your day off right, fueling you for an athletic event, or keeping weight or a medical condition in check. March is National Nutrition Month, and it is worth taking stock of how you and your family eat. Many families have active and fast paced lives, making eating healthfully a challenge. Revamp your family’s eating habits by prioritizing good nutrition. Here are some tips from our Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Educator, Meg Whitbeck:
Start each morning with a healthy breakfast. This simple act provides a good start to the day, fueling you and your family for whatever lies ahead at work or in school. In between meals, enjoy snacks like fruits and vegetables with plant-based protein like hummus, nuts and seeds to help maintain energy levels until your next meal time. Plan regular family meals throughout the week. Family meals can be any time of the day! Breakfast is often a meal where everyone can be together, eating healthfully. Modeling healthy habits will set your kids up for success in both dietary and emotional health. A few meals a week where kids can be involved in meal planning and prep is a plus!
When planning meals, keep the following in mind: Half of your plate should consist of fruits and vegetables, which can be fresh or frozen. Fiber from fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains helps you feel full longer and can reduce the risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. If you’re working to maintain a healthy weight, be aware of portion size as well as food choices, and know when you’ve had enough to eat. Reduce your consumption of food and drinks containing added sugars, which provide little or no nutritive value. Even when dining out, make smart food choices. Look for healthier options that are grilled, baked, broiled or steamed instead of fried, buttered, creamed or breaded. In general, try to eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and drink more water. If you need guidance in creating a healthy meal plan or diet for your situation, RVNA’s Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Educator, Meg Whitbeck, can help. Call her at 203.438.5555 for more information. Meg also runs classes and workshops on a variety of topics which you can learn about by checking the RVNA website, ridgefieldvna.org.
Founded in 1914, RVNA provides home and community health care services, supports public health and safety and promotes the highest quality of life in Western Connecticut 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. RVNA has developed a patient-centered model of services in which individuals and communities are educated in health and wellness practices, patients with acute and chronic conditions are provided vital care in their homes and community outreach programs are in place to help individuals remain healthy over the long term. Services include home health care, senior care solutions, disease management, an “aging-in-place” program called “Quality Living at Home”, maternal and child health care, immunization and vaccination clinics as well as educational and wellness programs.