Happy National Nutrition Month!
As a certified clinical nutritionist, health and nutrition is my ‘thing.’ But as mom, I know that getting your family (and yourself) eating healthier can be a challenge. I have good news – eating healthier doesn’t have to be overwhelming or feel like a sacrifice, and luckily, simple and small tweaks can result in big changes. Here are a few of my favorite tips for overall healthier eating:
Create Goals That Are Specific and Achievable
Start small by setting achievable goals – like eating one more vegetable at dinner every night, replacing a sugary snack with fresh fruit, and drinking just a little more water throughout the day. Once you’ve achieved those goals, you can build on them by adding in new ones over time.
Be Mindful of Your Portions
Portion control is essential to healthier eating habits. Pay attention to portion sizes and be sure to listen to your body – eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Craving chocolate? Indulge! It is perfectly fine to occasionally treat yourself, just in moderation. 🙂 (I’ve shared this before, but one of my favorite evening treats is a sliced prune stuffed with a single square of dark chocolate, indulgent yet satiates your sweet tooth as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.)
Focus on Adding Nutrients Rather Than Removing Them
Rather than focusing on what foods are “off-limits”, focus instead on adding nutrient-dense foods into your diet. For example, snacking on dried fruit instead of processed snacks is a great way to add more nutrients into your diet without sacrificing flavor or satisfaction.
Cook at Home More Often
Cooking at home makes avoiding processed foods and hidden, unnecessary calories a whole lot easier. It can also be a fun activity to share with your family, while also allowing you to add delicious, nutrient-dense foods to the dish. (Hint – check our recipe section for some great dinner ideas!)
Plan Healthy Snacks
Stock your pantry, work desk, purse and backpacks with flavorful and healthy snacks that will satisfy the inevitable ‘itch’ for a mid-day snack. It’ll also help you avoid empty calories found in snacks such as potato chips. A quick batch of homemade trail mix with dried apricots, cherries, raisins, and dates coupled with raw nuts will help give you the power you need to fuel your day. It’s also a lunchbox favorite!
Healthy eating doesn't have to be stressful or complicated and remember - small changes add up over time! Live well!
From our family to yours,
Natalie Mariani Kling, CCN