People of all ages need to be mindful of their diets
March 21, 2023
Especially those with conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. While maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important, there are several components to healthy nutritional intake. In honor of National Nutrition Month, here are some great guidelines and tips on making healthy and tasty food choices.
- Establish a meal pattern of three same-size meals to help stabilize your appetite and prevent overeating.
- Include a variety of foods and food groups at each meal.
- Rethink your portions and learn appropriate servings sizes. The size of a deck of cards, one handful or one-half cup of cooked food is often one serving.
- Teach children to be aware of their hunger and to stop eating when they first feel full. Create awareness by removing electronics while eating and having a designated table for meals.
- Encourage kids to eat a variety of foods by repeating simple messages at meals and snacks. For instance, low-fat milk helps your teeth and bones. Fish has healthy fats that help your brain grow.
- Provide healthy snacks to curb hunger between meals but not feel full, and remind children that their bodies need fewer snacks as they grow.
Healthier Ways to Snack
To avoid giving in to temptation, it helps to be prepared. When you keep fruit and/or veggies cleaned and cut in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator, they’re handy and you’ll grab those first.
Other suggestions include:
• Cook healthy meals and put them in canning jars, ready to heat and serve.
• Put salad with Romaine, tomatoes and carrots in a jar. Add dressing and shake.
• Make your own thin crust pizza. Substitute Canadian bacon for pepperoni.
Keeping the Crunch
The body needs carbohydrates, but just not in excess. Here are some smart ways to prepare them if you like crunchy foods:
• Bake your own kale chips. Omit the salt.
• Make light popcorn and add various seasonings.
• Cut pita bread in quarters and bake into chips. (1/2 pita is only 15 grams of carbs.)
Protein Satisfies Longer
Because it slows absorption of sugar, you feel fuller after snacking with protein. Try these options:
• Apple slices with peanut butter
• Low-fat cottage cheese with fruit or vegetables
• Greek yogurt - It has twice the protein of regular yogurt
Northwest Texas Healthcare System offers medical nutrition therapy (MNT) – also known as outpatient nutrition counseling – from a registered and licensed dietitian. We can help treat conditions such as malnutrition, kidney disease, diabetes, and many others. These services can be covered by insurance with a physician order and are also available for patients out-of-pocket without a physician order.