At UGA SNAP-Ed, we believe small changes can lead to big results. However, sometimes it can be hard to know where to start.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans help people make healthier choices. This year, our Nutrition Education Team decided to draw inspiration from these guidelines for our 2021 health goals. We believe that this is something you can do, too!
Let’s look at how to make better choices for our health in the coming year.
Melanie: My resolution is to add a serving of fruits or vegetables to my plate each week until I am consuming 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
- I know that I won’t meet this goal overnight or even in one week. I am choosing to start by adding 1 serving per week. When that becomes comfortable, I can move to 2 additional servings per week. I will keep up this pattern until I reach my goal of 5-7 servings per day.
- Snacks are an easy place to start. Adding a serving of fruits or vegetables to snacks will also keep me fuller for longer.
- Breakfast is a meal that does not always include vegetables for me. However, it would be easy for me to add bell peppers, spinach, and other veggies to eggs. I think our Apple and Veggie Omelet will be a go-to recipe for me this year!
- Because I can count canned, fresh, and frozen fruits and vegetables, I have many options for adding in an extra serving each day.
Darci: My resolution is simple. I am going to drink more water and fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Part of my resolution will be to start my day by drinking one cup of coffee and 2 cups of water. By pairing my coffee and water with a balanced breakfast, I will ensure that I start each day feeling hydrated and energized!
- I plan to swap out one sugary beverage each week with a glass of water. To motivate myself, I will put this goal at the top of each weekly checklist.
- Another way that I plan to increase my water intake is by flavoring my water with fresh fruits and herbs. My favorite combination is blueberries, lemon, and mint. To add variety, I like these flavored water recipes.
- Finally, using this chart to track my hydration status will be a great way to ensure that I am drinking enough water each day.
Leslie: My resolution is to track my food and drink intake daily to ensure I am eating proper portions and eating a balanced diet.
- My first step will be to plan out my meals and snacks each week.
- I will record everything I eat and drink on a free food tracker app on my phone (but recording on paper works too!) This will allow me to see if I am sticking to my food plan for the day.
- Keeping a food record will also help me pay attention to the portion sizes of my foods and drinks to promote a healthy weight for me.
- I want to make sure that I am eating foods from all five food groups each day. To do this, I plan to use MyPlate recommendations found at choosemyplate.gov.This will help me eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods.
- Somedays I may forget to track food intake for the day. That is okay because I can pick up recording what I eat and drink the next day!
If there was ever a year for a fresh start, 2021 is it! By making small goals that we can work towards slowly, Melanie, Leslie, and I can create healthy eating patterns that will last.
Written by Darci Bell, RDN, LD, Leslie Davis, RDN, LD, CDCES, and Melanie Ng, Ph.D. StudentBe Creative Drink Water Focus on Health How to Cook Better Invite Your Kids Plan Ahead Save Money Shop Smarter Store Food Uncategorized