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Posts Tagged ‘Eating Right’

picture of fruits, vegetables, and meat and poultry foods.

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were just released! While much of the information they contain has been carried over from previous guidelines, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) continue to review research and present evidence-based recommendations for a healthy life. Below are the main themes and takeaways from the 2020 guidelines.

“Follow a healthy dietary pattern at every life stage.”  This guideline emphasizes the importance of healthy eating at every stage of life to promote health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. For infants to 6 months of life, the guidelines recommend the exclusive consumption of human milk. If human milk is not an option, it is important to choose an iron-fortified infant formula. Regardless of human milk or formula, infants should also be given a vitamin D supplement. At 6 months, infants can begin to eat nutrient-dense foods. When introducing new foods, do so one at a time in case there is an allergic reaction. From 12 months on, the guidelines recommend eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods and establishing a healthy dietary pattern that can span one’s lifetime. This will help meet nutrient needs, maintain a healthy weight, and ultimately reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and obesity.

“Customize and enjoy nutrient-dense food and beverage choices to reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions, and budgetary considerations.” The current American population is vastly diverse and culture extends to the plate. The current document welcomes this diversity and looks to customize the guidelines to fit an individual’s cultural background.

“Focus on meeting food group needs with nutrient-dense foods and beverages and stay within calorie limits.” Throughout the document, the phrase nutrient-dense comes up quite a few times. What is the difference between nutrient-dense and calorie-dense? Simply put, nutrient-dense food contains many nutrients with minimal added sugars, saturated fat, or sodium. Calorie-dense foods, on the other hand, tend to be high in added sugar, fat and sodium with limited vitamins and minerals. Filling your plate with nutrient-dense foods to meet your caloric needs will result in a healthier life.

“Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium, and limit alcoholic beverages.” The guidelines recommend individuals age two and older limit added sugars and saturated fat to less than 10% of calories per day. Sodium intake should be less than 2,300mg per day. Men should limit their alcohol intake to two beverages a day and women to one drink per day.

two hands holding a beverage in glass

Modifying one’s diet can be daunting, but there are tools to make it easier to eat better. MyPlate can help you visualize your plate, and the new MyPlate planning tool can help you customize it! Eating better for one’s health does not have to be a difficult endeavor, or one you embark upon alone.

Written by: Emily Beasecker, BGSU Graduate Student interning with Ohio State University Extension, Wood County Extension, and Susan Zies, Extension Educator , Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County, Zies.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by Jenny Lobb, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension Franklin County, Lobb.3@osu.edu

Sources:

Home | Dietary Guidelines for Americans [Internet]. Dietaryguidelines.gov. 2021 Available from: https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/

MyPlate | U.S. Department of Agriculture [Internet]. Myplate.gov. 2021 Available from: https://www.myplate.gov/

American Heart Association (2018). How can I eat more nutrient-dense foods? https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/how-can-i-eat-more-nutrient-dense-foods

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Salad, Kiwi, Eyes, Play, Vegetables

Summer is full of fresh fruits and vegetables. They are on sale at the store, coming from our gardens, and filling the farmers markets.  This season is a great time to evaluate food choices in our lives and set goals for improvement. Evaluating what we are serving to our children is a worthwhile place to start.  As parents we want our children to eat a variety of healthy foods, but are often met with resistance when offering a food that is unfamiliar. Getting our kids to try new foods can be difficult and frustrating!   Here are some simple tips that can help you find success when offering new foods to your growing child:

Make sure you are offering a variety of foods on a regular basis.  This helps children become familiar with a variety of flavors and textures.

Try pairing a new food with one that is familiar.  For example, try scrambling a diced vegetable into eggs or offering a new fruit choice at breakfast as a pancake topping.

Involve your kids in planning new food choices.  Invite them to learn about the food, how it grows or how it is made.  Help them find a recipe and shop for it, then join them in the kitchen preparing the food.

Model a variety of good food choices yourself. You don’t have to be an adventurous eater, but you can display a positive attitude about trying new foods to your child.

When trying new foods ask your kids to describe the color, smell or texture instead of asking only if they like it.  This helps your child to pay more attention to just how it tastes, and focus on all aspects of the new food.

Let your children know they aren’t wrong if they don’t like it. There is no wrong or right answer when trying something new.  Be positive and reward their willingness to try new foods with words of encouragement.

Think about the appearance when offering new foods.  A fun shape or presentation can be enticing.  For example, make a small kebob out of a new fruit, or cut vegetables into exciting shapes. Kids love to dip.  Try offering a dip alongside a vegetable to make eating it fun.  Hummus is a great suggestion and tastes great with a variety of raw vegetables while adding some protein to your snack.

Most importantly, be patient! It often takes repeated exposure to a new food for children to embrace it.  Continue to be encouraging and try, try again.

 

Written by: Alisha Barton,Ohio State University, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Miami County

Reviewed By: Misty Harmon, Ohio State University, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Perry County

Resources:

https://www.choosemyplate.gov/preschoolers-picky-eating

Click to access KitchenHelperActivities.pdf

Click to access HealthyTipsforPickyEaters.pdf

https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2016/08/22/new-myplate-resources-families

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“Raising Kids, Eating Right, Spending Smart, Living Well” is the theme of a national Living Well campaign being promoted by Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Educators, both at the national level and here in Ohio. The goal of the Living Well Campaign is to provide people with the education and information they need in order to “Live Well.”

In Ohio Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Educators work through Ohio State University Extension to offer all kinds of information that will help families achieve a positive, healthy lifestyle. Whether you are working to improve your health through eating heart healthy meals, saving money for a vacation or nest egg, or looking for a babysitter class for your teen – Extension can likely help you. March is National Extension Living Well Month and 2014 is the 100th Year of Extension – so it’s a great time to get better acquainted with Ohio State University Extension. Visit OSU Extension online at http://extension.osu.edu/ or National Extension information is gathered at http://www.extension.org/. This site is an interactive home for research based information from Universities across the nation.

100 yr logoCooperative Extension is the partnership that began in 1914 with the United States Congress passing of The Smith Lever Act. County, state and federal governments agreed that by joining together they could provide citizens with access to the wealth of knowledge generated by public universities. Many outstanding Universities across the country house Extension including: Rutgers, Clemson, Purdue, Nebraska, our beloved Ohio State University, and many more. If you enjoy Facebook, the Extension 100 Years page has interesting information about the history of Extension and programming offered today as well https://www.facebook.com/Extension100Years.

In recognition of the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS), the Ohio Live Healthy Live Well team is sponsoring a “blog” contest.  Please share your “personal story” as to how you have benefited from the Cooperative Extension Service.  By sharing your story, you will be entered into a drawing to win your own personal copy of our NEAFCS Living Well™ More Than a Cookbook.  Please send your personal story to barlage.7@osu.edu by March 24, 2014.  The entrant of the winning entry will be notified via email.

The NEAFCS Living Well™ More Than a Cookbook answers your questions with research-based information for Living Well with practical tips.

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewer: Cindy Shuster, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County.

Source: Live Healthy Live Well Blog, C. Shuster, March 8, 2012, http://wp.me/p1cmn2-nM.

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