Eat your way to happier, healthier and better you

The UT Extension crew - bottom row (l-r) Jenny Biggs, Gwen Groves, Marcie Riis, Patricia Crandall, Bob Ary, Miguel Mendieta; second row, Clint Parker, Bridget Garrison, Kate Tippitt; third row Whitney Whittaker, Jeffrey Hester. SUBMITTED

In addition to exercising more and getting in shape, the majority of people list eating healthier as one of their top New Year’s Resolutions.

The proper nutrition is all about portion size, balance and making healthier choices. The Sumner County Health Committee has a few suggestions for you and your family so that you can eat your way to a healthier, happier, and better you. Following a healthy eating pattern across your lifespan does not meant falling victim to a “fad diet.” It means making those healthier eating decisions a lifestyle for you and your loved ones.

Try to focus on nutrient-dense foods in order to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended by the USDA. By focusing on nutrient-dense foods, you can limit your intake of extra sodium, sugar, and fats while increasing your fiber and protein intake. Take the time to educate yourself on what foods are healthier than others and which options you should choose while going out to a restaurant.

Children’s biggest influence on their health is what they view at home; make your children healthy snacks instead of pizza or burgers and fries. Plan a time in which the family can sit down and eat dinner together and prepare the correct portion of food to avoid overeating. Try to keep healthier snack foods at home; children have a tendency to eat what is in front of them. Make snack time fun with cute and playful snack, such as ants on a log or banana with peanut butter rollups.

Not only will you and your family save calories from eating more nutritious meals, your energy will increase along with your mental alertness, you will sleep better, your risk of chronic disease will decrease, and you will teach your children healthier habits that they can instill in their lifestyles. The Sumner County Health Committee wants you and your family healthy for our April 6 Super Hero 5k.

For more resources, this week’s Super Hero spotlight is on our local UT Extension chapter which provides free nutrition classes through various programs, including the series, “Eat Smart and Move More.”  Through this series, one learns to cook, save money on food, plan meals, eat well, keep food safe, and be more active.  UT Extension also has a new website where one can learn tips on eating healthier and creating delicious recipes at www.UThealthyfamilies.org

Healthy Snack Ideas of the Week:

 Ant Attack

-Spread ¼ cup low-fat cream cheese on a whole wheat tortilla. Top with 2 Tbsp of salsa. Then top with shredded lettuce (grass for the ants) and black beans (ants).

Banana “Sushi” Roll Up

-Spread 2 Tbsp. peanut butter on a whole wheat tortilla. Place a banana in the tortilla and roll it up, slice into pieces to form pinwheels shaped like sushi rolls. Sliced strawberries on top are optional.

Visit healthysumner.com for more information.

Submitted by the Sumner County Health Committee.

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