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3/25/14blog post

secrets to enjoying food from the pros

Do you ever struggle with developing a healthy eating plan for you and your family? Does it sometimes feel that between picky eaters, high grocery bills and not enough time to cook that it just isn’t worth it? Or do you even just feel that the “healthy” foods just don’t taste very good?

Take heart!

Did you know registered dietitians also face challenges when working towards healthy living?? We also need to plan, prioritize and just figure it out in the moment like you. A good reminder to us all, “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” (2014 National Nutrition Month theme), emphasizes enjoying healthy eating.

How do Dayton Children’s registered dietitians enjoy eating healthy while bringing out flavor in their food? I asked a few to share their ideas:

Glenda (Endocrine & Developmental Pediatrics dietitian) enjoys using fresh basil, garlic, rosemary (and other fresh herbs) to flavor foods. She especially likes cooked cauliflower, mashed up like mashed potatoes, with milk, small amount of butter, fresh garlic &light sour cream. When using cauliflower instead of potatoes, Glenda finds it tastes like mashed potatoes but gives less calories overall than mashed potatoes made the same way.

Shannon (Hematology/Oncology & Sports Medicine dietitian) stays healthy by purchasing foods that are minimally processed and making simple meals using whole foods. She reads the ingredient list and avoids foods that contain added sugars and chooses foods with short ingredient lists. When cooking for her family, subscribing to magazines and using apps helps her find new ways to prepare foods. She loves trying new recipes –she opts for recipes that are not too exotic or that contain a lengthy list of ingredients to keep them simple and less “scary” for her boys. When Shannon chooses to eat foods that are not processed, she finds that she appreciates the flavors and textures of the food more. It makes her feel like her diet is more “clean”, which makes her feel good.

Rachel (Organizational Nutrition and Healthy Way Officer) adds vegetables (more color, more interest) to entrees and sandwiches and serves a minimum of two with her main meal. She adds seasonings – her pantry is full of a large variety of options but her favorites are the Mediterranean (garlic, onion, basil, lemon, black and red peppers). Rachel loves variety and focuses her food choices around vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, dairy and nuts. Those choices automatically provide her with a very healthy base that she then will add extras to as the situation and her mood changes.

Keng-I (Endocrine dietitian) likes to make her salad with fresh fruits instead of salad dressing – the fruits add sweetness and sourness that the dressing usually provides minus the preservatives and food modifiers while giving the salad extra fiber. She cooks lots of stir-fries to increase her vegetable intake. She also cooks with ginger, garlic and onion which make the vegetables tasty and the aroma “is awesome”. She uses coconut milk to make curry – a great way to include lots of variety to vegetables, plus the cumin, turmeric, and paprika contain high amounts of antioxidants. Keng-I enjoys the refreshing feeling and taste of eating right. Her body feels better when she eats right.

Eating healthy does take time. But, as you see above, eating healthy can taste good while making the person feel good! How do you make healthy food taste good in your home?

I would like to thank my co-workers above for taking the time in sharing their thoughts!