Live Well Omaha Kids recognizes National Nutrition Month, held every March, as we know that kids and families need healthful foods to fuel them to do well in school, at work, and beyond. We reached out to Stephanie Edson, a registered dietitian and nutritionist with Family Fare Supermarkets, to tell us how to “Go Further with Food.”

Food is often the main part of culture and celebrations; however, we must not forget that food also nourishes the body, mind, and soul. Without good nutrition, our bodies do not work as well as they should which impacts how we think and feel. Since what we eat can have a direct impact on health and how we feel, each March celebrates National Nutrition Month and draws attention to the importance of good nutrition for all ages, genders, and backgrounds. National Nutrition Month is sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the theme of National Nutrition Month 2018 is “Go Further with Food.”

Follow these tips to Go Further with Food…

  1. Eat Breakfast – Start the morning with a healthy breakfast that includes lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables. Breakfast presents the opportunity to fuel your body with energy to make the most of your day.
  2. Make Half of Plates Fruits and Vegetables – Fruits and veggies add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber to your plate. Additionally, fruits and veggies contain phytonutrients which promote health. Each day, aim to eat 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables. By filling half of the plates with fruits and veggies, you will easily reach this goal.
  3. Watch Portion Sizes – Get out the measuring cups and see how close your portions are to the recommended serving size. Here are examples of the serving sizes of common foods:

Fruits – 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup/one whole, about the size of a fist, fresh
Veggies – 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup fresh
Pasta – 1/2 cup cooked
Rice – 1/3 to 1/2 cup cooked
Meat – 3 ounces, about the size of the palm
Cheese – one ounce, about the size of a domino
Milk – 8 ounces or one standard measuring cup
Yogurt – 6 ounces or 3/4 cup

You can always check packaged food for the serving size and know there can be multiple servings in smaller packages.

These portions may seem small on larger plates. A plate that measures 9 inches in diameter (across the center) is recommended. When using smaller plates, your plate will seem more full and can have the safe effect for the food you are eating.

To keep it simple: when serving up meals and snacks, remember to use half of your plate for fruits and vegetables and the other half for grains, lean protein foods, and dairy as milk, yogurt, or cheese.

  1. Mealing Planning – Plan meals based on the foods you have on hand and get creative with leftovers by transforming meals into soups, salads or sandwiches by cutting up leftover meats and veggies. Food is only nutritious if eaten! Check out our recipe database at com/recipes for new ideas that your family is sure to love.
  2. Donate – Give extra foods that are still safe to eat to a local food pantry or shelter. Help others go further with food by donating foods when opportunities present.

Going further is possible when you eat a variety of foods that give you and your family’s bodies the nutrition it needs to perform at their best. Be sure to shop Family Fare Supermarkets for the best selection of foods to nourish and fuel you and your family this year and beyond.