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graphic_nnm18_gofurther_finalBy Ben Graff

March is here, which means…National Nutrition Month is here, too! This year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ theme is Go Further with Food. You’re probably saying to yourself, what does that mean? Well, going further with food is about noticing the difference that food can make to help us go further in different parts of our lives. Here is what going further with food means to me:

  • When having a healthy breakfast, I try to include protein and fiber. These nutrients help me stay full and the meal keeps me going further into the day before getting hungry again.
  • I like to eat a healthy and energizing snack, such as whole wheat crackers with peanut butter, before working out. When I do, I notice my muscles keep working strongly further into the workout.
  • When I bring a healthy lunch to work instead of reaching for unhealthy snacks whenever I’m hungry, I notice the meal helps me to stay focused further into the afternoon, and helps my food budget go further each month.

Sticking with this theme, going further with food can help stretch your food dollars and prevent food waste. Planning meals ahead of time and using up leftovers can help keep everyone in your family satisfied further into the week before having to go back to the store, and prevent food from spoiling or being wasted. Did you know that about 40% of all food produced in the United States goes to waste? Hopefully, some of these ideas will help you to go further with food! If you have other tips, send us a tweet @MassWIC. In the meantime, try out these meal prep ideas and see if they help you and your family go further.

  • Find a personal meal prep method

Whether it’s cooking a big batch of a recipe and freezing it, portioning out meals for the week, or chopping foods ahead of time to cut down on prep time later, find what works for you!

  • Have a game plan to stay organized

Choose what recipes you’d like to make, and check if there are parts you can prepare ahead of time, such as chopping onions and garlic. Then block out time to make sure the prepping will happen!

  • Take a look at what you have on hand first before heading to the store

Once the menu is decided, building a shopping list is next. Be sure to remember any staples that are needed. Writing your list by section of the store can help cut down on time spent wandering the aisles.

  • Prep and store

Start with foods that take a long time to cook, such as foods that need to be baked, or grains like brown rice, and then prepare other foods while those are cooking. Keep in mind that most foods only last a couple of days after being chopped, and a couple of days after being cooked. Read more about leftovers and food safety at https://www.foodsafety.gov/.

Tips adapted from http://www.eatingwell.com/article/290651/a-beginners-guide-to-meal-prep/

http://www.eatright.org/resources/national-nutrition-month

Ben Graff is a dietetic intern at Simmons College.

 

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Nutrition Education Specialist for the Massachusetts WIC Program

Nutrition Education Specialist for the Massachusetts WIC Program

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