Eat Right 5–2‑1–0 Style
With New Year’s now long behind us, it is not uncommon to have lost sight of that resolution that so many of us make. Don’t be discouraged! March is National Nutrition Month, which means it is the perfect time to reflect on your eating and activity habits and make an effort to make healthier choices. National Nutrition Month is an initiative set forth by the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) to highlight the importance of making informed food choices and developing wholesome eating and exercise habits.
The theme of National Nutrition Month for 2013 is “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day,” which aims to encourage personalized eating styles. This can be interpreted as “one diet does not fit all,” because many factors affect our daily food choices such as lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions, and health concerns. No matter what circumstances affect your food choices, it is always possible to make improvements.
Making healthier choices does not mean having to give up all of the foods you enjoy, nor does it mean eating bland, tasteless “health” foods. The message of “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” is to find what changes or foods work for you. These changes should be able to be maintained long term, rather than striving to attain a quick fix.
One simple tool that can be used to encourage healthy eating and activity habits is 5–2‑1–0.
Strive for 5 or more fruits and vegetables daily
- Try a bite rule. Offer new fruits and vegetables and encourage everyone in the family to try a few bites each time. It can take 7–10 tries to like a new food.
- Most people prefer crunchy foods over mushy ones. Enjoy them fresh or streamed.
- Buy fruits and vegetables in season. Frozen or canned fruits and vegetables with no added sugar or sauces can be convenient, healthy choices.
- Add veggies to foods you already make, like pasta, soups, rice, pizza, etc.
Have 2 hours or less recreational screen time.
- Know how many hours a day you and your children watch a screen.
- Make the bedroom a “screen-free” zone
- Set basic rules, such as no TV or computer before homework or chores are done.
- Find other activities such as going on a nature hike, put together a puzzle, go to the library, walk the dog, play charades.
Have 1 hour or more of physical activity daily
- Physical activity makes you feel good and keeps you more alert throughout the day
- It helps you maintain a healthy weight and makes you more flexible and less prone to injury.
- Make activity free and fun- take a walk with your family, turn on music and dance, take the stairs, play tag.
- Incorporate physical activity into your routine to encourage lifelong physical activity.
Drink 0 sugary dinks, have more water and low fat milk.
- Drink water when you are thirsty. It’s the #1 thirst quencher.
- Add fresh lemon, lime, or orange wedges to water for natural flavor.
- Juice products labeled “-ade,” “drink,” or “punch” often contain only 5% juice or less. The only difference between these “juices” and soda is that they’re fortified with Vitamin C.
Lebanon Family Health Services offers the WIC Supplemental Food program to ensure that moms and babies get off to a healthy start. For a 5210 program in your community group, call us at 273‑6741.