By Liz Erker, Registered Dietitian at Signature Medical Group
Each March, the Academy of Nutrition focuses nationwide attention on healthful eating through National Nutrition Month. Whether it’s starting the day off right with a healthy breakfast or fueling before an athletic event, the foods you choose can make a real difference. Preparing your foods to go further by planning meals and snacks in advance can also help reduce food loss and waste. For National Nutrition Month® 2018, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics urges everyone to “Go Further with Food.”
While millions of Americans worry about how to feed their families, the amount of food wasted in the United States is on the rise. By making small changes to the way we think about eating, we can help reduce food waste.
I prefer to communicate healthful eating messages that emphasize balancing food and beverages within an individual’s energy needs rather than focusing on any one specific food or meal. Improving overall well-being requires a lifelong commitment to healthful lifestyle behaviors, emphasizing lasting and enjoyable eating practices and regular physical activity.
You too, can go further with food by:
- Preparing meals in advance to enjoy throughout the week. Making several meals on the weekends can provide balanced meals that can easily be reheated Monday through Friday. It’s also a great way to eat healthfully, save time during the week and reduce food waste.
- After you choose a day to prepare meals, decide which recipes you want to use and create a grocery list. When possible, choose meals made with ingredients you already have at home to get the most out of your food.
- Cooking in bulk saves money and allows you to portion and freeze meals for later. Instead of reheating an entire dish, only reheat a single meal. After reheating food in the microwave or the oven, use a thermometer to ensure leftovers reach a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Create a meal prep plan that includes a variety of your favorite, healthful foods.
For more information on how to make the most of your nutrition, visit the Nutrition Edge.