Tuesday, February 28, 2012

March is nutrition month. This is Mary S the Dietitian who plans to celebrate the coming of all the new things in spring with a new plate. A simple change in the size and distribution of your plate can lead to better health and a 5 to 7% weight loss in a year.
Each year the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics picks a theme to promote. This year it is a simple message that I have found to be very effective. Wheaton Dietitians have been telling patients for years to fill one fourth of an eight inch plate with a different serving of a food group. Serving is a vague term which is why we use food models to demonstrate this concept. Visual comparisons used include: the piece of meat the size of a deck of cards, size of computer mouse for a potato, golf ball for serving of peanut butter or 4 dice for a serving of cheese. Patients look for loopholes such as asking if each serving can be piled 4 inches high. This is not such a “Wheaton Wise” strategy.
This is easy to remember meal planning strategy that helps you get a healthy assortment of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. We recognize this is not always easy to do as time and taste preferences can be barriers. Participants in many of our programs remember this simple meal planning strategy and find it produces results without all the measuring and counting.
Companies have started to sell portioned plates to make it easy. I prefer dishes in my own personal favorite color themes and shapes such as polka dots and bicycles. I have attached photos of my favorite plates. The stores are filled with new spring colors so while you are out looking for great food buys check for a new plate.


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