Healthy Moment: National Nutrition Month: Go Further With Food

Healthy Moment: National Nutrition Month: Go Further With Food


Shopping and preparing healthful meals can
seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Having a plan, using proper safety practices,
and properly storing foods not only helps reduce stress, but also helps to reduce food
waste and promote food sustainability. To prepare your grocery list, pre-plan the
week’s meals and take into consideration the foods you already have in-stock at home. To stretch your dollar as well as reduce waste,
plan meals that use similar food products, such as purchasing a whole chicken, using
the meat for meals, and making stock with bone. You can also plan to use a food in multiple
dishes, such as using leftover asparagus spears from dinner in a breakfast casserole. When shopping for produce, look for seasonal
options. Choose individual items rather than pre-packaged
to give you more control over what and how much you select. This allows you to avoid produce with mold,
bruises or cuts, saving money and reducing waste. Look for leaner cuts of meat, such as round
or loin, as well as skinless, unseasoned poultry and fish, and low-fat dairy products. Be sure to check your eggs to prevent purchasing
ones with cracks. If it is not possible to go straight home
after shopping, bring a cooler with ice packs to keep refrigerated food cold until it can be properly stored. If shopping at a farmer’s market, try to
go earlier in the day to ensure your produce has not been sitting out in the sun for a
long period of time. Once home, promptly store produce and other
foods that need to be refrigerated to prevent them from spoiling. Before cutting or preparing foods, always
wash all fruits and vegetables in cool tap water, regardless if it does or does not have edible
peels. Washing produce before it is peeled or cut
will prevent dirt and bacteria from coming in contact with the edible portion of the product. After it’s been washed, dry the produce
with a clean cloth or paper towel to further remove any bacteria present. Do not wash raw meat or fish as they can spread
harmful bacteria. Washing eggs can also increase your risk for
coming in contact with harmful bacteria, as washing eggs can remove the protective
coating that is applied during processing. Proper food storage is important to maintain
both the taste and freshness of the food product. Refrigerate foods you plan to eat as leftovers
or that you plan to use in another dish later in the week. If you won’t use the food within the week,
freeze it in an air tight bag or container, and never freeze raw meats with raw produce. In recognition of National Nutrition Month®, Strive for Wellness® encourages you to use
these tips to “Go Further with Food”. Individualized nutrition evaluation and counseling
is covered for the management of any medical condition for which appropriate diet and eating
habits are essential to the overall treatment program. Visit www.mchcp.org for more information.