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Get Your Plate in Shape

IDPH reminds Iowans that March is National Nutrition Month – a good opportunity to brush up on proven, healthy ways to achieve wellness.

On January 1, 2012, many Iowans dedicated themselves to a year of better health; two months later, some are well on their way to achieving their goals. Others have fallen back into their old habits or need a motivational boost to continue their journey toward improved nutrition and fitness. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reminds Iowans that March is National Nutrition Month – a good opportunity to brush up on proven, healthy ways to achieve wellness.

The theme of this year’s National Nutrition Month is ‘Get Your Plate in Shape.’ One simple way to improve your overall nutrition is by filling half of your plate at each meal with fruits or vegetables. Eating more fruits and vegetables helps you add more fiber, nutrients and vitamins to your daily diet, and reduces your risk of many diseases, including heart disease and certain types of cancer.

There are easy ways to help you eat more fruits and vegetables each day:

  • Clean and cut your fruits and veggies as soon as you get home from the store or buy pre-cut packages.
  • Post big, bright reminders on your fridge or cupboards of what fruits and veggies you have.
  • Substitute applesauce or pureed pumpkin for oil or butter in baked goods.
  • ‘Sneak’ pureed zucchini, spinach or sweet potatoes into your pizza dough.
  • Use spaghetti squash in place of pasta noodles.
  • Add diced onions to ground meat when sautéing.
  • Use romaine lettuce or cabbage leaves as taco shells or wraps.
  • Use fruit on top of ice cream and other desserts instead of candy or frosting.

Live Healthy Iowa offers participants healthy recipes and other useful nutrition resources. Visit www.livehealthyiowa.org to learn more about how Live Healthy Iowa is positively impacting the health of Iowans. More ways to “Get Your Plate in Shape” can be found on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website at www.eatright.org/nnm. IDPH also offers a monthly calendar to help users reach their health and wellness goals by tracking physical activity and nutrition at www.idph.state.ia.us/IDPHChannelsService/file.ashx?file=B8CE5C0C-9ED4-49DF-A220-2B9599B128B5.

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