It is that time of year when registered dietitians eagerly communicate and educate their communities about the National Nutrition Month © (NNM) theme from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. You see, this annual campaign not only promotes our profession but also promotes nutrition for healthy living. Pretty good for a campaign that continues for beyond 40 years!
What is this year’s theme? “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” Not only is healthy eating being promoted, we want to emphasize enjoying it so it becomes a part of your lifestyle. When you choose food, don’t you choose what tastes good?
How do I start choosing healthy foods? Focus on fresh and whole foods. Sway away from the processed foods – ones that may come in a box! Choose seasonal produce – these nutritious fruits and vegetables have much better flavor. Focus on whole grains and lean meats, including fish.
How do I enjoy the taste of eating right? This is where creativity and fun in the kitchen with your kids and family can begin.
- Add extra virgin olive oil and/or vinegar (I like balsamic) to salads, fruits, vegetables, grain dishes and even to meat dishes! Experiment with flavored oils and vinegars.
- Grill fruit while you grill vegetables for meals. This may be something different – but, a fun science experiment for your family’s taste buds.
- Herbs…add fresh to whatever you are eating. Herbs add flavor while not adding sodium. Growing herbs indoors gives you year-round access. Also, look in your produce section for fresh herbs and baking section for dried options
- Enjoy mixing and matching different flavors together – maybe add citrus to your leaf salad, add an avocado to a grain dish. Your family can enjoy trying new flavors in the kitchen and at meal time.
If you happen to mask the flavor of your favorite dishes in cheese sauce, gravy or even breading, my challenge to you: try the food whole, prepare it a different way skipping the heavy coating, and add some herbs or mixture of veggies. Eating is a journey – enjoy your travels!