Fruits & Vegetables
When going grocery shopping, buy and eat plenty of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. Deeply colored fruits and vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, peaches and berries tend to be higher in vitamins and minerals than others. Fruits and vegetables that are good sources of fiber include beans, peas, oranges, bananas, strawberries and apples.
Milk, Cheese, Butter & Eggs
Select fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk. Choose fat-free, low-fat or reduced-fat cheeses. Use egg whites or egg substitutes instead of egg yolks. Choose soft margarines that contain “0 grams trans fat” instead of buying butter.
Meat, Poultry, Fish & Nuts
Eat one serving of grilled or baked fish at least twice a week. Good examples include salmon, trout and herring. Choose lemon juice and spices to eat with fish – not cream sauces. Buy “choice” or “select” grades of beef rather than “prime”, and be sure to trim off the fat before cooking. Nuts and seeds are good sources of protein but eat them in moderation as they tend to be high in calories.
Bread & Baked Goods
Choose breads containing whole wheat, oats, oatmeal, whole rye, whole grain corn and buckwheat. Instead of bakery products, look for fat-free or low-fat and low-sodium crackers, snack chips, cookies and cakes.
Oils, Dressings & Shortenings
Buy and use fats and oils in limited amounts. Choose dressings and spreads with the lowest saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol including canola oil, corn oil, olive oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil. Buy a nonstick pan and use nonstick vegetable spray when cooking.
Cooking with Seasonings
Avoid prepackaged seasoning mixes as they contain high levels of salt. Use vinegar or citrus juice as flavor enhancers but add them at the last minute. Add some fresh hot peppers for a kick to your dishes.
Dealing with a Picky Eater
So you’re ready to start your family on a healthy meal plan … but you have a picky eater on your hands … here are some tips to help! Start by introducing healthier elements into foods that your child already likes. Include your kids in grocery shopping and food preparation – if they feel they have more ownership they’re more likely to eat it. Schedule snack time and stick to it – keep your children in a routine. Have healthy finger foods available. Encourage kids to “eat their colors” – brightly colored foods provide more nutrients in greater variety. Don’t cut out treats altogether – think moderation.