MyPlate for Summer

 

Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time to dig into the lessons of MyPlate! Let’s see how these ideas can inform a healthy eating pattern at this time of year…

Vary Your Protein Routine:

It’s easy to eat a variety of protein foods during the summer months, especially if you have a great farmers’ market nearby. Try new varieties of beans and peas for a boost of both plant protein and fiber, or pick up a fun bag of nuts or seeds that you’ve never eaten before. At the markets, you can talk with people about the best ways to try your purchases and which new protein food might be most delicious for you.

Stock Up on a Variety of Fruits and Vegetables:

The same advice about variety and trying new things also works well with the fruit and vegetable food groups! With so many fruits and veggies being in season and at peak ripeness during the summer, there’s no better time of year to try new-to-you foods.

Talk with the people manning farmstands, farmers’ market booths, and the produce section of your grocery store to find out which fruits and vegetables might be a good fit in your meal plan, and consider trying one new fruit and vegetable each week. You never know when you might find a new favorite, and introducing extra variety is a great way to stave off boredom with what you eat while reaching MyPlate’s recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

Steer Clear of Empty Calories:

Ice cream, sodas, potato salads, and chips with dip abound in the summer months, and many of these foods are loaded with empty calories that fill you up but contribute no nutrients to your eating plan.
Eat these foods in moderation, choosing nutrient-dense foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy instead. When you're going for a treat, have it in small portions and really enjoy it. For the rest of the time, find a healthier alternative.

Hydrate with Water:

As the temperatures rise, so does your need to stay hydrated, especially if you’re physically active. Follow MyPlate’s advice and “Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Regular soda, energy or sports drinks, and other sweet drinks usually contain a lot of added sugar, which provides more calories than needed.”

How will you use MyPlate to have a healthy summer?

By Judy Doherty, PC II, AOS, BS

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