COVID-19 vaccine: Get the latest updates on children’s doses, booster shots and more. Learn More

Celebrate National Nutrition Month with Tomah Health's Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator

Celebrate National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward.”  The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics chose this slogan to remind us of that “by holding a fork, you hold a tool that can help you make healthier food choices.”

We do control what and how much we put on our fork. We too often get caught up in eating food that is convenient or out of habit, and we forget that it is first and foremost fuel for our

body. So many people are surprised at how much better they feel

or how much better their blood sugars are after they have changed their eating habits stating, “I guess what I eat does make a difference.”

So what does “putting your best fork forward” mean? It means trying to make healthy food choices most of the time – 85/15 rule – eat healthy 85% of the time and splurge 15% of the time; focus on making 1-2 small changes at a time;

►Trying to include three or more food groups at each meal and 1-2 food groups for snacks (just in case…dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, proteins and fats).

►Fill half your plate with vegetables at lunch and dinner or eat at least two cups daily. Eat about two cups of fruit daily – preferably fresh or canned without added sugars. Limit/avoid fruit juices.  Try the great recipe below for a fun and healthy treat.

►Include heart healthy fats such as olive, peanut or canola oils; nuts (1/3 cup daily), and avocadoes to name a few.  Limit saturated fats like butter, coconut oil, and some salad dressings; avoid trans fats like stick margarines and shortening.  Food labels will help. Limit use of all fats to control your weight since all fats are higher in calories.

►Avoid sugar sweetened beverages, sugary dessert foods, and added sugars.  Women and children are recommended to limit sugar intake to six or less teaspoons daily; men should limit sugar intake to nine or less teaspoons daily.

Five-Fruit Salsa

2 cups chopped fresh cantaloupe 6 green onion, chopped

3 kiwi fruit, peeled and finely chopped 1 medium navel orange, peeled & finely chopped

1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped

1 can (8 oz) crushed unsweetened pineapple, drained 1 cup finely chopped strawberries

Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

10 whole wheat flour tortillas (8 inches) Canola Oil

1/3 cup sugar 2 tsp. cinnamon

In a bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight – drain if desired. Add strawberries just before serving. For chips, brush tortillas with canola oil, cut each into eight wedges – pizza cutter works well. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the tortillas. Place on ungreased baking sheets; bake at 350 F for 10-14 minutes or just until crisp. Serve with fruit salsa.  Yield: 8 cups salsa and 80 chips.

Nutrition Analysis: one serving = ½ cup salsa with 8 chips:

½ cup salsa: 36 kcal, 0 fat, 4 mg sodium, 9 gm carbs, 1.3 gm fiber, .7 gm protein

8 chips: 136 calories, 4 gm fat, 230 mg sodium, 24 gm carbohydrate, 3 gm fiber, 4 gm protein

Check out past editions of Nutrition Notes CLICK HERE

Tomah Health