Include All Colors of the Rainbow: It is important to get fruits and vegetables of all colors. Different colors are a sign of special nutrients those foods have. We want as much variety as possible. Try new foods every day— make it a family rule.
Complex Carbohydrates: Whole grains, beans/legumes, fruits, & vegetables. These are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Look for bread made with 100% whole wheat.
Milk: Is a great source of protein, and can be a good way to balance out a meal or snack. Whether you choose low fat or whole milk, try not to add any sweeteners.
Yogurt: Beware of added sugars and artificial sweeteners! Compare types and brands of yogurt to find one low in sugar and high in protein.
Cheese: A great source of protein, cheese is also high in calories, so try to stick to one portion: 1 ounce, about the size of a “string” cheese stick or 1 slice of cheese. Aim for real cheese, not “cheese product” which is often wrapped in individual slices.
Meat: Aim for meats free of nitrates—less processed is always good.
Eggs: High in protein and nutrients, eggs can be used in many ways, as a meal or snack. Hard cooked eggs are great for a fast breakfast or snack.
Beans & Legumes: Try using beans or legumes in place of meat at least one day each week. They are high in protein and also heart-healthy fiber. Visit MeatlessMonday.com for recipes.
Healthy Fats: Wild salmon, sardines, avocado, nuts (especially walnuts), and seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, flax, chia, and hemp all provide essential fats for brain development.
Marina Bedrossian is a Northport, NY dietitian nutritionist who helps people with holistic nutrition solutions and food sensitivities. Visit this page to schedule an appointment and don’t forget to join the private Facebook group “Ingredients For Healthy Families” more information here.