Try the Nutrition Month challenge

March is National Nutrition Month, celebrate by trying these healthy lifestyle changes.

March is National Nutrition Month! A great way to celebrate is to challenge ourselves to follow one healthy eating tip per week. By doing so, we can see how well that one healthy change you choose to make works in your lifestyle. Michigan State University Extension provides the following tips and online resources to help you complete your healthy nutrition month challenge:

Week 1: Eat more fruit and vegetables. Add fruit and vegetables to all of your meals. For breakfast, you could have a spinach omelet. Fruit for lunch and dinner, you could have a strawberry salad or a smoothie with your meal. Fruit and vegetables are important in your diet because they can provide your body with fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Week 2: Make half of your grains whole grains. Try substituting a whole-grain product for a refined-grain product. For example, eat 100 percent whole-wheat bread or tortillas instead of white bread or tortillas, or brown rice instead of white rice. Whole grain products are healthier because they provide more fiber than refined grains and help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. 

Week 3: Change to low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Dairy products have calcium, vitamin D, potassium, protein and other nutrients needed for a good health. These nutrient contents remain the same in both low-fat or fat-free dairy products. For one week, switch your dairy products to low-fat or fat-free. By adopting this change, you will be consuming all the necessary vitamins and minerals minus the extra fat and calories.

Week 4: Move more!!! For this week, the challenge is to be more active. Try to limit the amount of time you spend watching TV, using the computer or playing video games. Use this time to be physically active. The goal is to engage in physical activity each day, a total of 60 minutes for children, 30 minutes for adults. Do jumping jacks during commercial breaks, take a walk after lunch, do a Zumba video, play an obstacles rally with the kids, etc.

Following the above tips are healthy steps you can make towards a balanced diet. If you would like to learn more about healthy lifestyles, visit USDA’s My Plate page. Michigan State University Extension offers various educational programs for adults, families, and children that focus on lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating. For more health and nutrition tips, visit Michigan State University Extension.

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