The first annual Food Day (created by Center for Science in the Public Interest) was celebrated this past Monday, encouraging Americans to eat more “real” food, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains. In the spirit of Food Day, consider following these five tips throughout the year:
1. Avoid food packaged in boxes and plastic. Eating “real” food means consuming more fresh foods (fruits and veggies) and less processed products. While not everything packaged in cardboard or plastic is unhealthy, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of avoiding heavily processed items.
2. Make fruits and veggies your main dish. Fill your plate with fresh fruits and veggies at every meal. You’ll get more nutrients and likely end up eating less of everything else.
3. Just say “no” to soda. Not only is soda void of nutrients and packed with sugar, it often takes the place of other healthy drinks in the diet. Skip soda altogether and opt for water, green tea, 100% fruit/veggie juice, reduced-fat milk or a suitable milk alternative.
4. Get kids on board with healthy eating. When children are involved in selecting foods, planning meals and cooking, they’re more likely to enjoy eating healthy for life. Reinforce the importance of eating “real” food by explaining how nutrients help them grow and develop into healthy adults!
5. Vote for high-quality food with your wallet. Whenever possible, choose locally grown fruits and veggies (buy organic when necessary), free-range poultry, grass-fed beef and cage-free eggs. By doing so, you’ll be casting a vote for high-quality food and humanely raised meat.