You can enjoy your meals while making small adjustments to the amounts of food on your plate. Healthy meals start with more vegetables and fruits and smaller portions of protein and grains. And don’t forget dairy; include fat-free or low-fat dairy products on your plate, or drink milk with your meals. The first thing we need to do is get to know the foods you eat. Use the Super Tracker at www.choosemyplate.gov then click Super Tracker to find out what kinds of foods and how much to eat and get tips and support for making better food choices.
Take your time, be mindful to eat slowly, enjoy the taste and texture, and pay attention to how you feel. Use hunger and fullness cues to recognize when you’ve had enough. Use a smaller plate to help with your portions. That way you can finish your entire plate. This is what I have been doing for the past 15 years. Believe me it works. If you eat out choose healthier options and check and compare nutrition information about the foods you are eating.
Choose to eat some foods more or less often, and cut back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars and salt. Then find out what you need to personalize your plan by comparing the foods you eat to the foods you need to eat. Sip smarter and drink water, skim milk or other calorie-free drinks when you are thirsty. Compare foods to see what foods are higher in calories and saturated fats and choose the ones that can be left out. Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way. Indulge in naturally sweet deserts such as fruits. Choose a fruit cocktail or baked apples and top with cinnamon. Treats are not an every day food, but are great once in a while. Just don’t make treats an everyday choice. Limit sweet treats to special occasions. Try these tips and you will be well on your way to a healthier you in 2013.
For more information contact Lethia Lee, EFNEP Assistant with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at 910-592-7161.