By Megan Roosevelt, RDN & Founder of HealthyGroceryGirl.com
Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? This campaign was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to “help people learn about making informed food choices as well as developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.” (1)
Proper nutrition is not only important for feeling your best in the short term; it can also help reduce your risk of chronic diseases over time. I’ve put together 25 healthy eating tips for inspiration to celebrate National Nutrition Month. The tips below are all about creating realistic, long-term healthy habits!
25 Healthy Eating Tips
Meal Plan- Meal planning is a great way to make eating healthy easier during a busy week! Whether using an APP, a notebook, or a calendar in your kitchen - planning out what you’re going to cook in the upcoming week, is a helpful way to stay on track with healthy eating.
Grocery List - Once you’ve created your meal plan, then create a grocery list! A grocery list with items specifically for your meal plan can help reduce food waste. Shopping with a grocery list is also a great way to save money and reduce impulse buys.
Swap For A Better Sweetener - Swap traditional sugar with Purecane - Purecane is a zero-calorie, all-natural, zero-glycemic sugar that tastes amazing and works excellent in dessert, drinks, and in your favorite baked goods!
4. Eat Slowly - It can take up to 20 minutes for our stomach to communicate with our brain that we are full. By slowing chewing our food, we can improve digestion and be more intune with our hunger and satiety, which is important to help avoid overeating.
5. Stay Hydrated - Being dehydrated can lead to poor digestion, anxiety, mild headaches, and muscle cramps, just to name a few. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day and more if you’re exercising and in hot weather. To liven up water, add a squeeze of lemon juice or lemon juice with a sprinkle of Purecane for a delicious lemonade!
7. Try New Recipes - Tired of the same ol’ dinners? The Healthy Grocery Girl blog is an excellent resource for free healthy recipes that are also dairy-free and gluten-free! Try one or two new recipes a week to keep it simple and fun!
8. Bake Instead of Fry - Compared to fried foods, baking is one way to help you use less oil in recipes! For example, if you love french fries, try baked sweet potato fries!
10. Batch Cook - Batch cooking items such as beans, rice and roasted vegetables can help you put together an easy lunch or dinner in minutes! This is a great way to ensure you have healthy options quickly when you need them. I love making a big batch of soup for easy and healthy weekday lunches! This Kale and White Bean soup is one of my favorites!
11. Try New Flavors - Explore and cook new recipes from your heritage or favorite places you’ve visited! This is a great way to get in new flavors and keep healthy eating interesting.
12. Read Food Labels - Reading nutrition facts and ingredient lists is a helpful way to select products with quality ingredients.
13. Make Your Own Sauces & Salad Dressings - Store-bought dressings and sauces can be made with lots of sugar, unnecessary oils, and unrecognizable ingredients. Making your own at home can be done with just a few simple ingredients! Here is one of my favorite dressing recipes!
14. Use All Your Senses While Eating - Visually looking at your meal and taking in all the smells is one way to signal to your brain that it is time to eat. This is a great first step in prepping your body for digestion. This can also help you slow down and thoroughly enjoy your meal.
15. Limit Highly Processed Foods - Processed foods can be high in added sugar, sodium, and processed oils. Aim to eat predominately natural, whole, plant-based foods, and use processed foods such as bread or crackers as compliments to a meal or snack versus the main focus.
16. Keep A Food Diary - If you’re struggling with a potential food intolerance or want to improve your eating habits, keeping a food diary is so insightful! Working with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can help review your food journal and provide dietary guidance and feedback.
17. Eat More Plants! - All plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes, contain prebiotic fiber, which feeds your good gut microbes! This is important for healthy digestion, lowering inflammation, strengthening immunity, and reducing your risk of chronic disease.
18. Limit Alcohol Intake - Excessive alcohol consumption can interfere with making healthier choices such as water, herbal teas, or a balanced meal or snack. Long term, alcohol use may increase health risks such as high blood pressure and cancer.
19. Avoid Eating While Distracted - Have you ever eaten your lunch while at your desk working or snacked on your kid’s half-eaten lunch while cleaning up from lunch? We’ve all been there! However, eating while distracted can make it difficult to fully be conscious of what we are eating, leading to overeating. Try eating your next meal or snack without technology and while sitting down.
20. Create Balanced Meals & Snacks - If eating healthy leaves you feeling hungry, you may need to create more balanced meals and snacks! Having balanced meals will not only help you feel full for longer, it will also help you maintain blood sugar levels. At each meal or snack aim to include a protein or fat, a fruit or veggies and a source of energizing carbohydrates such as sweet potato or brown rice.
21. Cook with Kids! Have picky eaters? Involving your family in the grocery shopping and cooking process can make mealtime more exciting! Eating fruits and vegetables together can also help improve the intake of those foods!
22. Buy In Bulk To Save Money - Buying items in bulk, such as nuts, seeds, rice, flours, beans, oats, etc., can help you save money in the long run.
23. Listen To Your Body- Your body truly knows best! Eat when you feel hungry with a nourishing snack and stop when your body lets you know you’re full.
24. Goodbye Guilt! - Healthy eating is all about progress over perfection! Aim to eat mostly natural, whole foods and also make sure to cook and enjoy meals you really love. Don’t forget to treat yourself once in a while too!
25. Cook With Spices! - Spices are a wonderful way to add flavor and nutrition to meals for minimal calories, sugar, or sodium. Explore the wonderful world of spices to boost the nutrition and flavor of your meals!