This student-produced video was brought to you by CSHealthyHabits. It was their entry in the ChooseMyPlate.gov video contest.
March is National Nutrition Month, and Go Folic! will be celebrating with a month of blog posts dedicated to nutrition and healthful eating. This year’s theme is “Get Your Plate in Shape!” It encourages all of us to include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and calcium rich foods on our plates every day.
The Go Folic! staff comes in a variety of sizes and we know that health is not a function of weight. We can all be healthy, regardless of whether we’re fat, thin or any size in between. So we will be writing about the benefits of “nutritionally dense food” that tastes good! We will support the idea that eating should be pleasurable. We promise not to talk about BMI, make a big deal about portion size, or encourage you to view foods as “good” and “bad”.
Turn your plate into a nutritional powerhouse with some basic tips, all of which we’ll discuss in greater depth (with recipes) as the month continues:
- Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables. Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange vegetables plus beans and peas. Fresh, frozen and canned vegetables all count. Add fruit to meals and snacks. Buy fruits that are dried, frozen or canned in water or 100% juice, as well as fresh fruits.
- Make at least half your grains whole. Choose 100% whole-grain breads, cereals, crackers, pasta and brown rice. At Go Folic! most of us, even those of us who were raised on steamed white rice, have learned to like whole grains more since they have a lot more taste.
- Include foods with high amounts of calcium. While many of us get the majority of our calcium from dairy products, dairy is not a major component in more than a few traditional cuisines and many of us are lactose intolerant. The recommended amount of calcium for adult women is 1000 mg daily. Non-dairy food sources include tofu, sesame seeds/tahini, cooked dark leafy greens like kale, beans and peas, and canned fish with bones, like salmon or sardines.
- Vary your protein choices. Eat a variety of foods from the protein food group each week, such as seafood, nuts and beans, as well as lean meat, poultry and eggs. Try to choose seafood as your protein at least twice a week.
- Cut back on sodium and trans fats; treat your sweet tooth with fruits. Choose processed foods with lower sodium and less trans fat. Season your foods with herbs and spices instead of salt. For cooking, consider using oils that are high in monounsaturated fats like olive and canola oil. Incorporate fruit into your desserts. Drink less soda and more water and tea (all forms – black, green and white – have antioxidants).
In addition, move your body everyday, if possible! Adults should aim for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of physical activity every week. Choose activities that you enjoy, and start by doing as much as you can.
To learn more, visit the following websites: