Spring cleaning your eating habits

Use the new spring season to assess your eating habits and make small steps to improve your health.

Spring often gives us a sense of a new beginning with the weather turning mild, warm sunshine with budding trees and flowers peeking through. As we think about the new season of spring, it can be a great time to make a shift in our thinking about our eating habits and nutrition. We can break out of winter ruts and embrace small changes to move forward toward good health.

Looking for a place to start when refreshing your nutrition? Michigan State University Extension suggests you start by looking at your plate. MyPlate continues to guide Americans to build healthy lifestyles to meet individual needs and achieve personalized health goals. Using the MyPlate theme to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables is a great area to begin when reinventing your plate as well as your meals and snacks.

Simple tips to increase your fruit and vegetable intake include:

Focus on whole fruits
  • Eat whole fruits more often than drinking 100 percent juice
  • Add fruit to your salad
  • Utilize frozen or canned fruit until Michigan fresh produce is available
  • Snack on fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruits instead of high calorie treats
  • Prepare whole fruits without added sugars as dessert
  • Enjoy dried fruits for snacks
Vary your veggies
  • Vary your veggies to include all the colors of the rainbow-green, red and orange choices
  • Add fresh, frozen or canned vegetables to salads, side dishes and recipes
  • Prepare your vegetables without sauces, gravies or glazes to lower the amount of sodium, saturated fat and added sugars
  • Add vegetables to every meal

Try this recipe for grilled vegetables from the UDSA website

Grilled Vegetables

Servings: 6

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 3 sweet potatoes (cut into 1-inch slices)
  • 3 corn cobs (cut into 2-inch sections)
  • 1 eggplant (cut into 1/2-inch slices)
  • 12 green onion (trimmed)

1. Mix oil and garlic in a large bowl. Add vegetables and toss.

2. Place vegetable on broiler pan or grill. Cook 10 minutes, turning twice until vegetables are tender.

3. Place vegetables on platter. Serve.

A new season of the year and a time for new beginnings, take some time this spring to focus on your good nutrition and health.

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