March is Nutrition Month! Dietitians in Alberta Health Services across the province are inspiring Albertans to Make a Change: One Meal at a Time. Are you ready to improve your health? Now is the time to make small changes at mealtimes that can have big results. To help make these changes easier, dietitians have put together Nutrition Month tips and ideas. You can find these at www.ahs.ca/NutritionMonth.
To get started, try these one or more of these small changes:
Boost your Breakfast with Fibre and Protein. A nutrient-packed breakfast will help you get through the morning.
How can you boost the fibre and protein in your breakfast?
- Choose whole grain cereals, breads and tortillas.
- Look for cereals and breads that have two grams or more of fibre per serving.
- Include foods from the Meat and Alternatives or Milk and Alternatives group on Canada’s Food Guide. Try items such as yogurt, cheese, meat, eggs, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, or cooked beans or lentils.
Great breakfast ideas that have both fibre and protein are:
- Whole grain toast with peanut butter.
- Breakfast burrito made with a whole wheat tortilla, vegetables, cheese and scrambled eggs.
- Cooked oatmeal with apples and nuts.
- Smoothie with yogurt, frozen fruit, milk and raw bran.
- Homemade blueberry bran muffin and cheese.
Make healthy lunch a habit. A healthy lunch provides much needed fuel and nutrients to help you focus during your work day.
Some easy time-saving tips for lunches are:
- Pack up supper leftovers for ready-to-go lunches.
- Wash and cut up vegetables and fruit the night before. Put into small plastic containers or bags.
- Change it up. Sandwiches, wraps and pitas are quick and healthy lunch options.
- Need lunch ideas? See What’s for Lunch? found at www.healthyeatingstartshere.ca.
If you choose to eat out at lunch, make healthier choices:
- Choose lower-fat lunch choices such as baked, grilled, and roasted menu items.
- Choose vegetables and salads instead of fries. Limit the amount of dressings and sauces.
- Downsize portions. Pack half of your entrée in a to-go container for another meal.
- For more tips see Eating out the Healthy Way found at www.healthyeatingstartshere.ca.
Dish up a Healthy Dinner Plate. When deciding what to have for dinner, use Health Canada’s Eat Well Plate.
The Eat Well Plate recommends:
- Fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruit.
- Include different whole grains such as whole grain rice, barley, couscous, quinoa at each meal.
- Choose lean meats or meat alternatives.
- Drink skim, 1%, or 2% milk, or fortified soy beverage to round out your meal.
- Include a small amount of healthy fat such as olive oil, canola oil or nuts.
- Use different herbs and spices to flavour meals instead of adding salt. Buy low sodium varieties of condiments and use small amounts.
- Quick and Easy Meals found on www.healthyeatingstartshere.ca will give you some great dinner ideas.
Enjoy your Meal Experience. How you eat can be just as important as what you eat. Focus on your meal and the people you are eating with.
- Slow down to make time for meals. No matter how busy life gets, make meals a priority.
- Turn off all devices! Make meal times a screen-free zone (no television, phones, computers, tablets or toys at the table). Eat together. People eat better when they eat together. Sharing meals helps people connect with each other.
By taking some small steps, you can Make a Change: One Meal at a Time to improve your eating, nutrition and health. Make your healthy habits last a lifetime. Happy Nutrition Month!
For more tips and ideas, see www.healthyeatingstartshere.ca.