National Healthy Eating Day – How the Experts Make Healthy Eating Happen
Making healthy food choices is one of Dr. Cooper’s 8 steps to Get Cooperized™. It can be tough to integrate enough servings of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and other healthy food into a daily routine, especially if you live with a picky eater or have children who are more interested in snacking on tasty junk food.
The Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services team is made up of people who face similar challenges, and they have developed some simple and effective ways to make sure healthy eating becomes a habit in their households, at school and at the office. Check out their great tips, and try implementing a few of them into your daily routine!
Elana Paddock, RDN:
“I pack lunch for the week on Sundays, including things such as bags of grapes and raw veggies. I grab the pre-made components of my lunch each day and it’s so easy because everything is ready to go!”
Sara McHenry, Diet Technician:
“I try to make dinner at home most nights out of the week and when I do, I make enough for lunch, too. I pack it up that night before so it is ready to go in the morning and I’m not tempted to go out and buy junk food.”
Meridan Zerner, RDN:
“I drag out the crockpot weekly this time of year – and toss in everything but the kitchen sink (especially frozen veggies!). Also, any time I am in a drive-thru or at a restaurant I get an additional salad “to go” for me or my husband to have as lunch the next day.”
Molly Wangsgaard, RDN:
“I cut raw veggies in advance and make individual bags to take to work for lunch each day, and I roast a big pan of veggies a couple nights of week—one pan gives me veggies for two or three dinners.
Another thing I do is keep individually-wrapped sweets in my office drawer and pantry to help curb my sweet tooth. Two pieces of dark chocolate or a piece of sugar-free gum usually satisfies the desire to end the meal with something sweet!”
Patty Kirk, RDN:
“At the beginning of the week, I bring enough food to work for healthy snacks and lunches so I don’t have to think about it every day. Examples include tuna, Amy’s Bean Burritos, whole wheat or sprouted bread, tomatoes, dark green salad greens pre-washed, fresh fruit, light Babybel or 2% cheese, wheat thins and Boom Chicka Pop popcorn.
One other idea that works for me for a quick dinner is picking up Wendy’s chili (a great source of protein and fiber), taking it home and adding a quick dark green leafy salad that has been pre-washed. Dinner is ready in less than 5 minutes, and is great for a cool night!”
Gillian Gatewood, RDN:
“On Sundays I pre-cut veggies for the week, and pre-portion snacks in plastic bags. Examples include bell peppers, carrots, zucchini and nuts with whole grain cereal like Kashi.”
Kathy Duran-Thal, RDN:
“I keep eggs, egg beaters, low fat yogurt, low fat milk, Babybel Light Cheese, and Parmesan Reggiano cheese, grape tomatoes, bananas, orange marmalade, and lemons in my fridge at all times.
I keep Muir Glen Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Marcona almonds, fresh garlic,Triscuits, peanut butter, Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice, oatmeal and whole wheat pasta in my pantry.
From these ingredients I can make really wonderful meals in minutes!
(I know you are thinking ‘of course you do’ …. But I also go through KFC drive-thru and pick up a grilled chicken breast, corn on the cob and green beans at least once a week.)”
Cynthanne Duryea, RDN:
“My personal strategy is to prepare lean meat about two times per week. If I want the Crock Pot meal to be low sodium, I add chopped onion, or 1 pound of sliced mushrooms, maybe garlic cloves, or a variety of vegetables like celery, carrots and onions diced. The flavors of the vegetables mingle into the meat, and keep the meat low sodium yet flavorful. A reduced sodium soup can always be used also.
By using the crock pot, the hardest part of the meal (the lean meat) is already complete by the time I get home from work, and my house smells amazing!”
Colleen Loveland, RDN:
“Once a week I pick up a rotisserie chicken from Kroger, throw in a Birdseye steamer or two for a quick healthy dinner before leaving for a practice or a game. I also spend Sundays washing grapes and carrots to put in bowls that are placed on the middle shelf in fridge and I pre-prep a salad that will last a couple of days so I can pull those out when I get home from work. I always pack my lunch for work.”
Do you have a favorite healthy eating tip? Share with us in the comments below!