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March 18, 2014

10 Easy Ways to Boost Nutrition

The Hood Answer Mom, Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D.

Taste rules when it comes to food choices. No matter how nutritious, if food isn't enjoyable, you won't eat it.  March is National Nutrition Month and the theme is "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right." Here are 10 ways to get more nutrients for the calories - without sacrificing taste. 

• Rethink the take-out stuffed crust pepperoni pizza you typically order in favor of our Nacho Pizza which is overflowing with whole grains, vegetables, and great taste.  

• Use half as much ground beef in your favorite chili recipe and replace it with an equal amount of sautéed chopped mushrooms. Mushrooms are the only item in the produce aisle with bone-building vitamin D. Brands that have been exposed to ultraviolet light have the most vitamin D; check the label.

• Save on calories, fat, and cholesterol when you swap half the feta cheese for low-fat cottage cheese in dishes such as this Greek Pasta Salad .

• Forgo store-bought trail mix for a more wholesome version. Mix whole grain cereal, dried fruit, sunflower seeds or nuts, and, if you like, a few dark chocolate morsels.

• For less sugar and more protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals than most fruited yogurt, mix plain, fat-free Greek yogurt with a teaspoon of honey, molasses, or sugar, and fruit. 

• This delicious and easy Ravioli with Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce  is a good example of how to pump up  pasta with the protective plant compounds, vitamins, minerals, and fiber found in vegetables. 

• Swap whole wheat flour for up to half the white flour in your favorite quick bread recipes such as pancakes, waffles, and muffins. Add dried fruit for additional vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

• Tired of brown rice? Try quinoa; it's delicious and in cooks up in minutes. Prepare quinoa with low-sodium chicken broth instead of water. When cooked, stir in dried cranberries. Top with slivered almonds and enjoy!

• Buy eggs fortified with extra vitamins, such as vitamin D, minerals, and omega-3 fats. You'll get more nutrition for the calories.

• Munch on popcorn instead of pretzels or chips. Popcorn is a whole grain and counts toward the suggested minimum daily requirement of three servings.

 

 

 


Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D., is a writer, nutrition consultant, and mother of three. She is the author of several books, including MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better and Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy . Ward is also a contributing writer for Muscle & Fitness Hers and Men's Fitness magazines.

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