Monday, March 1, 2010

Get in the Groove with National Nutrition Month

I'm a member of the American Dietetic Association and this month we are celebrating National Nutrition Month ( It's the ADA's way of bringing awareness to their continuing mission: to help people make the best food decisions and live a healthy lifestyle.

Join the celebration by shaking your food routines up a bit. Try one, some or all of my ideas below during the month of March. And if you like an idea, make it stick by incorporating it into your lifestyle all year long:

Try one new fruit, vegetable or whole grain each week

I just taught a class of 6-to-9 year-olds and we played a game of "what's in the bag". They had a blast discovering new fruits and veggies like starfruit, blood oranges, radishes, kiwis and fingerling potatoes. Next time you're at the store, check out Pink Lady apples (my favorite), heirloom tomatoes (not your usual red tomato) or a wonderful, nutty whole grain like quinoa (the only grain that is a complete protein).

Take your child grocery shopping
Let her help make out the list and choose the foods. Read labels with her. Or, have fun with a scavenger hunt game: check out for fun activity pages. Or create your own from your grocery list: choose 5 to 10 items and create clues or questions for each one (takes about 5 minutes to prepare; I still do it with my 6-year-old!).

Cook at home one extra meal per week

Try a new recipe for lunch, breakfast or dinner (or pull out an old favorite you haven't had time to cook in awhile). Here are two good, healthy sites to try: and

Throw in a new herb or spice

Pep up an old recipe in a new way with a crazy spice you haven't had a reason to use yet. Or use a fresh herb instead of dried this time. If you're apprehensive about investing $$ in a brand new bottle, seek out bulk spices to buy just a little to try (Sprouts, Central Market in Texas have good ones).

Visit a Farmers' Market

THE best way to buy food close to where you live; you'll be supporting your local community, contributing to environmental sustainability and eating wonderfully fresh food to boot. Locally, Coppell has a winter market through March 20 and Dallas' market lasts all year long.

Let me know what you try out or if you have additional ideas. And have a Happy Nutrition Month!

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