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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Savor the Flavor of Eating Right

Kids have more taste buds
than adults, so food may taste
stronger to them.
Did you know that you have about as many taste buds in your mouth as Minnesota has lakes? Give them a treat by mixing things up and trying some new foods. March is National Nutrition Month® and a great time to "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right."

Here are some ideas and recipes to try:

At the grocery store

  • Try a new color. Have your children pick out an orange fruit or vegetable to put in the cart. Sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin and carrots are taste superstars. Eating yellow/orange fruits and vegetables may help prevent cancer, keeps your heart healthy, helps maintain vision and may even slow down aging! How about mixing Mashed Potatoes with Butternut Squash?
  • Try a new food from a food group. Maybe you feel you've tried all the 'green' veggies out there, but how about kale? Kale is considered a super food because it packs a nutrient punch! This Tuscan White Bean, Sausage, and Kale Soup is sure to be a family hit. Kids can remove kale from the stems by running the kale through their fingers. Very fun!

At home

To add some variety during National Nutrition Month, try new ways to cook your "old" favorites.
  • Tired of baking your chicken? Try stir frying or grilling it.
  • Tired of steaming your veggies? Why not sauté them? Sauté is a French word that means 'to jump or bounce,' which refers to the tossing/stirring of foods in a small amount of oil in a pan. This cooking method preserves texture, moisture, and flavor of foods, and is quick and easy to do.
  • Tired of baking your potatoes? Try roasting them. Add sweet potatoes or other root vegetables to your potatoes for an easy and healthy Roasted Root Vegetable Dish.
For more preparation tips, see Food Preparation.

Variety is the spice of life!

And speaking of spices, how about adding a dash of this Mexican Spice Blend to your next batch of chili or fajitas?

Mexican Spice Blend
1/4 cup chili powder
1/8 cup paprika
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground dried chipotle chile pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a small bowl. Store in an air-tight container.

Goal for the month

Here are three goals to try out this month. Pick one or two goals, and don't forget to get your kids involved!
  • Visit The Recipe Box to "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right."
  • Ask your kids what new colors or new types of food to try.
  • Try one of the recipes we've shared this month.
Have fun exploring new foods with your thousands of tastebuds!

Written by Connie Burns, registered dietitian/nutritionist, and Hannah Jastram, registered dietitian — Center for Family Development.

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