March is National Nutrition Month, a campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year’s theme is Eat Right, Bite by Bite.
The first “bite” is knowing portion sizes. Use common items to help guide your portion sizes:
- Baseball or fist = 1 cup salad greens or cereal
- Deck of cards = 3 ounces of meat, fish, or poultry
- Four stacked dice = 1 1/2 ounces of cheese
- One die = 1 teaspoon of margarine or spread
- Ping pong ball = 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
Do you like to bake breads, muffins, or cookies? Another “bite” to consider is increasing your whole grain intake. Simply substitute whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour. Start by substituting one-fourth of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, then one-half, three-fourths, and possibly all!
Another “bite” to consider? Replace some or all of the oil in breads, muffins, or cookies with fruit canned in 100% juice. This will help limit fat intake. Pureed fruit, like applesauce, works best. Use the same approach as the whole wheat flour—start by substituting one-fourth of the oil with fruit and work up to one-half or three-fourths.
Small changes do have a positive effect on your health, and every little “bite” is a step in the right direction!
Eat Right (www.eatright.org)
National Health, Lung, and Blood Institute (www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/downloads/servingcard7.pdf)