National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign celebrated every March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The purpose of the campaign is to place attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This year’s theme focuses on combining taste and nutrition to create healthy meals that follow the recommendations of that publication.
2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans include these: Build a healthy plate. Cut back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars and salt. Eat the right amount of calories for you. Be physically active your way.
Taste is the No. 1 top driver when people are making choices about which foods they are going to eat. After all, if it doesn’t taste good, why eat it. But healthy food can be tasty too.
Ideas to enhance the taste and flavor of food include the following: Intensify meat, poultry and fish with high-heat cooking methods such as pan searing, grilling and broiling. Experiment with herbs and spices. Sharpen up the flavor with cheese. Add parmesan, sharp cheddar, feta, asiago, or blue cheese to vegetables, rice or pasta. Add dried ingredients such as sun-dried tomatoes, dried mushrooms, dried cranberries, dried apricots and dried plums. Pep it up with peppers. Try different kinds of peppers or use hot pepper sauce.
Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities it serves. For more information, please visit www.beebehealthcare.org.
Kim Westcott has been a registered dietitian at Beebe Healthcare since September 1993, working in a variety of positions supporting the nutritional needs of customers in school-based wellness centers, outpatient facilities, inpatients and those attending community events.