Our National Nutrition Month celebration continues on the blog this week with our registered dietitian and Kitchen Council member, Sally Kuzemchak, sharing a day’s worth of healthy eating, complete with nourishing meals and snacks.
As a dietitian, my hope is that people eat the foods they love–and that those foods are healthy and satisfying. Healthy eating is something you should do because the food tastes great and your body feels good when you fuel it well.
But sometimes people say, “Just tell me what to eat!” And in that case, I have plenty of ideas.
Below is a whole day’s worth of meals and snacks that check the boxes on important guidelines, have an array of nutrients and flavors, and fit a busy lifestyle. What does this day have going for it?
Healthy sources of protein: Fish, quinoa, nuts, and dairy all supply protein, the nutrient that has been shown to be the most filling (so you’re not scrounging in the cupboards after meals!).
Bone-protecting calcium: Yogurt, milk, almonds, and kale all offer calcium to build growing bones in kids and keep adult bones strong and healthy.
Whole grains: Oats, brown rice, and whole grain crackers are loaded with fiber, vitamins, and staying power.
Healthy fats: Omega-3s in salmon and monounsaturated fats in olive oil and nuts are good for heart health and help make meals satisfying.
Sweets in moderation: There’s no need to deprive yourself. A couple of squares of dark chocolate contain beneficial plant compounds and satisfy a sweet tooth.
Note: This day provides roughly 1800 calories. If you tend to eat less than that, omit one of the snacks or downsize the meal portions. If you eat more than that, add another healthy snack into the mix or increase the meal portions.
A Day of Healthy Eating
Strawberry-Apple Smoothie (in a blender, combine ¼ cup low-fat vanilla yogurt, ¼ cup non-fat milk, 1 small cored, 1 small chopped apple such as Stemilt Fresh Blenders and ½ cup frozen strawberries) and Banana-Maple Oatmeal (½ cup oats cooked with 1 cup non-fat milk, topped with 2 teaspoons maple syrup and 1 medium banana sliced)
Quinoa & Squash Salad: Top 2 cups mixed greens with 1/2-cup cooked quinoa, ½ cup roasted butternut squash, ¼ cup walnuts, and ½ chopped Stemilt pear such as Bosc or Red D’Anjou. Toss well with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette dressing.
2 high-fiber, whole grain crackers (such as Wasa) with 1 ounce cheddar cheese and ½ pear (left from lunch).
3 ounces salmon, baked or grilled with one teaspoon each olive oil and lemon juice, served with 1 cup cooked brown rice prepared with vegetable broth and four asparagus spears sautéed in 1 teaspoon olive oil (salt to taste).
Two small squares dark chocolate and a cup of green or decaf black tea with 1 teaspoon honey.
Daily totals: 1812 calories, 69 g protein, 64 g fat, 36 g fiber, 1578 mg sodium, 267 g carbohydrate
What does a day of healthy eating look like for you? Tell us in the comment section below!