March is National Nutrition Month and this year the theme – Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right – focuses on combining taste and nutrition to create healthy meals in accordance with the Dietary Guidelines recommendations. Before you think you need to completely overhaul your diet, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends aiming for a goal of eating 2 cups of fruit and 2 and a half cups of vegetables every day. Here are some easy ways to added valuable nutrition to every meal.
1. Try broccoli, spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini as toppings on pizza.
2. Make your own breakfast smoothie at home with low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana.
3. Pack a quick lunch with a veggie wrap with bell peppers, shredded carrots, humus and feta cheese on a whole-wheat tortilla.
4. Keep crunchy vegetables on-hand and ready for a healthy snack with humus or your favorite dip instead of chips.
5. Add color to a salad with carrots, cherry tomatoes or cucumber slices.
6. Make colorful fruit the center of attention at home placed in a large bowl in the kitchen where everyone can see and easily grab for a morning or afternoon snack.
7. Add your favorite fruit to your morning breakfast routine like topping oatmeal or cereal with strawberries or blueberries.
8. Add zest to a baked potato with salsa or broccoli and low-fat cheese.
9. Look for already shredded vegetables in the grocery store like zucchini, carrots or broccoli to easily add to dishes like mashed potatoes, pasta or meat loaf.
10. Make one night a week a dark-leafy salad as the main entrée. Top with black beans, bell peppers, edamame, sliced almonds and your favorite low-fat dressing.
Take a look at your plate this month and make sure you have a serving of fruit or vegetable at every meal. Notice how they are adding to the flavor of your meal, without added salt or fats. Do you have a fun way of including fruits and vegetables? Share with us on Facebook.