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Celebrate good nutrition year round

Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

We are nearing the end of the month and I haven’t yet mentioned that March is National Nutrition Month. I did that purposefully. Often when we hear about a monthly theme, it is brought to our attention at the beginning of the month, we think about it for a few weeks and then it is quickly forgotten. Understand that March is designated as National Nutrition Month, but I want you to celebrate nutrition every month.

The theme for this year’s National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day”. This theme emphasizes the advantages of developing a healthful eating plan that incorporates individual food choices and preferences. Many people believe that eating healthy means having to give up your favorite foods. “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” is telling us to follow a healthy eating plan that works for you. If your favorite foods are not healthy, they can still fit into your meal plan if consumed in moderation with appropriate portion size and combined with physical activity.

As well as aiming for a healthy balanced eating plan, you also want variety in your meals. Many people eat the same foods, especially the same fruits and vegetables, daily. Try the following ideas and bring some life back into your fruit and vegetable dishes.

Bake

n Sweet potato fries by cutting up a sweet potato into slices and seasoning with olive oil, cayenne pepper and a dash of salt.

n Peaches sliced in half, then drizzled with a little honey and a sprinkle of ginger and pecans.

n A potato for lunch. Melt a Laughing Cow cheese wedge on top and finish it with broccoli.

Steam

n Add citrus juice such as lemon, orange or grapefruit, to the water and steam your favorite vegetables.

n Cabbage and season with caraway seed, salt and pepper.

n Green beans with chopped onion. Add a garlic clove to the cooking water.

Stir-fry

n Zucchini, yellow squash, diced tomatoes and mushrooms. Add herbs and some diced jalapeno for an extra kick. Add red or black beans and serve over brown rice.

n Frozen mixed veggies. Add a dash of low-sodium soy sauce, or flavor with spices.

Roast

Whole red potatoes in the oven after tossing them in a mixture of olive oil, garlic and rosemary until tender for a mouthwatering side to any meal.

Brussels sprouts drizzled lightly with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt or Mrs. Dash.

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