Nutrition Month – Quality Counts

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When it comes to food choices, quality counts. Nourishing foods promote health and can help you feel your best. Take small steps to bump up the quality of your meals and snacks: get clever with cooking, swap in nutrient-rich choices and enjoy deliciously healthy foods. Here are some tips to get you started.

READY-TO-USE TIPS

> Jump-start your day! Power through your morning by eating a good breakfast.
A nourishing breakfast gives you a fuel boost plus protein and fibre to help you stay alert and avoid mid-morning munchies.
In a hurry?
 Blend frozen berries, yogurt and milk for a super smoothie. Make it even better with baby spinach and ground flax.
 Wrap peanut butter, a banana and trail mix in a whole-grain tortilla for a portable, crunchy breakfast.
Got time?
 Make a burrito with scrambled egg, lentils or soft tofu, sautéed red pepper, avocado and salsa wrapped in a warm tortilla.
 Top French toast with yogurt, sunflower seeds and warm sautéed apple slices.

For more breakfast inspiration, visit: http://www.cookspiration.com/genre.aspx?g=4

> Forget the food court! Pack good food fast with “planned extra” leftovers for lunch.
Packing lunch is a healthy, budget-friendly habit. Keep it simple: reinvent “planned extra” leftovers for a lunch that’s way better than the food court. Try these tasty ideas:
 Cook extra chicken for dinner. For lunch, wrap chicken in soft tacos, with crunchy cabbage and shredded carrots, a sprinkle of feta and big squeeze of juicy lime.
 Roast extra root veggies. Layer them on crusty whole grain bread with hummus and baby spinach for a scrumptious sandwich.
 Toss extra cooked whole-wheat pasta, couscous or barley with pesto, cherry tomatoes, lentils and small cheese chunks for a protein-packed salad.

> Swap your sip! Sugary and creamy drinks pack a calorie punch.
Your best choice for quenching thirst? Water! Add zing with mint, berries or citrus wedges. Carry a water bottle and keep it fresh all day. Swap your sip with these tips:
 Choose fizzy water with a tangy citrus twist instead of sugary pop.
 Like a latte? Filled with nutrient-rich, hydrating milk, lattes can be a good choice. Go plain, without sugary syrups or whipped cream. Try decaf to cut caffeine.
 Tea lover? Try hot or iced black, green or herbal teas without added white sugar or honey. Enjoy the taste of the tea itself.

For the scoop on sugary drinks, visit:
http://www.dietitians.ca/Nutrition-Resources-A-Z/Factsheets/Sugary-Drinks/Sugary-Drink-Sense-Factsheets.aspx

> Trade your treat! Pack nutrient-rich snacks so you can steer clear of the vending machine.
Nourishing snacks satisfy hunger between meals. To stay energized and satisfied, snack smart with small, portions of nutrient-rich foods. Treat your tastebuds with these good-for-you snacks:
 Fresh veggies + garlicky black bean dip
 A crisp apple + a couple pieces of tangy old cheddar cheese
 Crunchy roasted chickpeas + a sprinkle of dark chocolate chips
 A couple of naturally sweet dates filled with almond butter

For more good snacking ideas, visit:
http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Weight-Management/Healthy-snack-ideas-for-adults.aspx#

> Clever cooking! Flavour food with tangy citrus, fresh herbs and fragrant spices.
There are lots of simple ways to cook healthy without sacrificing taste. Try these tips to add flavour to meals:
 Add pizzazz to plain grains and pulses by cooking barley, brown rice or lentils in low-sodium broth.
 Stir ½ to 1 cup of canned pumpkin or mashed sweet potato into muffin batter for a veggie boost.
 Make a luscious mashed potato with roasted garlic, a little olive oil and warm milk.
 Purée vegetable soups, such as potato, sweet potato or broccoli, with low-sodium broth for deliciously creamy texture and taste.

For delicious recipes with a healthy twist, visit: http://www.cookspiration.com

BONUS: DIETITIAN PRO TIPS
Dietitians are food and nutrition experts who can help you boost the quality of your food choices. Here are a few of their real-life tips:
 Add cooked lentils to your ground meat mixtures for more fibre. Bonus: your meat will go farther and that saves money, too!
 Purée cooked white beans or soft tofu into potato or cauliflower soup to pack it with protein.
 Cook with cast iron or non-stick enamel pans so you use less oil when sautéing.
 Substitute lower-fat plain yogurt for mayonnaise to make a creamy salad dressing.
 Sweeten whole-grain hot cereal with defrosted frozen fruit instead of sugar.
 Replace half of the fat in muffins, quick breads and cookies with mashed fruit or vegetables, such as unsweetened applesauce or puréed sweet potato.
 Add evaporated milk when cooking creamy pasta sauces. It has the same great taste as cream, without the fat.
 Replace at least half of the enriched white flour with whole grain flour in baked goods.
 Replace a quarter of the sugar in baking recipes with skim milk powder.

Source: Dietitians of Canada

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