FOOD & HEALTH — New Year, new you: Nutrition tips to a healthier you

By Kayla Colgrove, MS, RDN, ACSM-CPT, Extension Educator, Lancaster County

Happy New Year! Do you usually make a New Year’s resolution? Millions of Americans make resolutions every January hoping to improve their health by losing weight, getting fit or eating healthy. Achieve your nutrition goals this year by making small changes to what you eat and drink.

FIND YOUR HEALTHY EATING STYLE
Everything you eat and drink over time matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future. It is important to start with small changes to make healthier choices you can enjoy and maintain for a lifetime. In order to get the nutrients and calories you need, eat a variety of foods regularly.

GET YOUR MYPLATE PLAN
Everybody requires a different amount of calories depending on their age, gender, height, weight and physical activity level. To determine what and how much to eat within your appropriate calorie target, enter your information into the MyPlate Plan by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) at https://go.unl.edu/myplateplan and receive a personalized plan.

Follow the MyPlate building blocks
• Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.
• Focus on whole fruits.
• Vary your veggies.
• Make half your grains whole grains.
• Move to low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt.
• Vary your protein routine.
• Drink and eat beverages and food with less sodium, saturated fat and added sugars.
• Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Find small changes that work for you throughout the day. Don’t forget to choose foods and beverages from each MyPlate food group (i.e. fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy) for a balanced meal. Above is an example on how to make your dinner healthier.

Source: USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion’s ChooseMyPlate.gov Website