Personalize Your Plate
Read Time: 2 minutes 45 seconds
Happy National Nutrition Month®! Each year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics creates a campaign to engage the public in learning how to make more informed food choices. This year’s theme, “Personalize Your Plate,” emphasizes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.
By personalizing your plate, you get to create the type of food adventure you want to have. Outside of adding more veggies or increasing healthy protein, try using new spices, a new fruit or vegetable, baking instead of frying, different whole grains, or even healthier fats – the options are endless!
How to make it happen
Start with a plan. Meal planning is a great way to organize you and your family’s food preferences for the week. When we meal plan, we can ensure getting a variety of foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Planning our meals can help us lead a healthier lifestyle by making more informed choices.
Starting with a plan allows you to:
- Create balanced meals: Setting time aside each week to meal plan, will allow you to create a more balanced meal instead of grabbing more convenience items when you’re in a hurry during the week.
- Save time and money: Purchasing convenience foods and meal ideas at the last second can be costly and less nutritious. Taking some time to plan each week, by using your local ads and buying in-season could save you time and money.
- Have less food waste: When we are not sure what to eat during the week, we often buy things that we do not need or will have time to cook – leading to more food waste and more money spent each week.
- Vary your diet: Getting to see what you are eating throughout the week also lets you know where you may need to include more veggies or add in more protein throughout your day. By having your weekly plan laid out, you get to see how you eat and maybe where you can step up your game!
- Eat healthy while traveling: Traveling a lot this week for work? That is no problem. Try to include healthier snack options and meals you can take on the go so you will not have to rely on convenience items or finding somewhere to eat when you get there.
- Eat healthy at work: Lunch happens every day. Why not be prepared for it and bring something that you can look forward to and feel energized from?
Create an enjoyable environment
It is not only important to personalize your plate, but your environment as well. After planning, prepping, and cooking your meal, it’s important to take the time to enjoy your food away from distractions (TV, computer).
We may find ourselves working remotely these days, which means our kitchen tables and dining areas have transitioned into workspaces. Aim to eat meals around the same time each day in your kitchen or dining area without work or school distractions. Make sure to close laptops and put work away so you can enjoy your food and connect with yourself and others during mealtime!
Other ways to personalize your plate
- Share meals with family and friends (even virtually) – these days it can be hard to get together with family and friends but try using a virtual platform to connect and socialize over a meal.
- Speak with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist – not sure how to personalize your plate? Looking for some suggestions? A Registered Dietitian can provide you with healthy ways to get started!
- Connect with local food organizations (Community Supported Agriculture) – connecting with local farmers and farmers markets is a great way to support your community, eat local in-season produce, and learn more about the agriculture in your area.
- Have a themed food night– try spicing up one of your weeknights with Italian on Fridays or Meatless Mondays.
Reach out to your local Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) to find out more ways to create a healthy eating plan. And do not forget to celebrate Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day on March 10th!
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