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Feature Articles: Food, Fitness and Eating Well


March is National Nutrition Month


On the 40th anniversary of National Nutrition Month, the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics wants to make sure people understand that healthful eating doesn’t mean giving up your favorite foods. It means tailoring your healthful eating plan to match your lifestyle, preferences and tastes.


With food prices rising and food packages getting smaller, eating “your way” may include eating well on a budget. “You really can eat a well-balanced diet and stay within your budget but it takes a little diligence and a lot of planning,” said Tammy Roberts, nutrition and health education specialist from University of Missouri Extension.


Roberts says that one way to improve your health and save money is to drink more water. Paying for soda, energy drinks and other beverages can be expensive and the body really does prefer to just have water. Water helps regulate body temperature, transport nutrients and oxygen to cells and carry away waste products.


Cooking at home is not only healthy, it can help save your food dollars. Roberts adds, “Family meals promote healthier eating. Children are more likely to eat healthful food when they have been involved in planning and preparation.” Involving children in the planning and preparation teaches them valuable cooking skills as well.


An important part of eating right means making sure to eat breakfast every day. Breakfast eaters are more likely to get all of the important nutrients they need on a daily basis. They are also less likely to be overweight. Don’t have time? Skip the drive-thru or coffee shop because the foods offered are costly and lacking in nutrition and will not keep you full for long. Instead, try a quick breakfast of peanut butter in a whole wheat pita pocket with a banana or granola in yogurt with an apple. These foods give your body the energy boost it needs to start the day.


“One more way to eat healthfully and save money is to plan and carry your snacks with you,” said Roberts. She recommends that you try to include at least two food groups in each snack. Some things you might try include peanut butter and apples, whole wheat crackers with low-fat cheese or walnuts with raisins.


We eat to sustain our bodies but it is also important to enjoy our food. With planning, it is possible to eat your favorite foods, stay within a budget and get all of the important nutrients you need each day.


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Last update: Monday, March 09, 2015