Research confirms that taste is the number-one reason why one food is purchased over another. So what are consumers to do when the taste of favorite foods starts to lose its luster? As part of the 2014 National Nutrition Month® theme, “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right,” the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to explore new foods and flavors, keeping taste and nutrition on your plate at every meal.
“Once we find nutritious foods that we like, it can be easy to fall into a rut of eating those same foods over and over,” says registered dietitian and Academy spokesperson Constance Brown-Riggs. “However, there is a whole world of tasty and nutritious foods available today that are just waiting to be discovered. Adding more nutrition and pleasure to each meal is as easy as expanding the range of foods you choose.”
Whether shopping at the grocery store, eating at a local restaurant or cooking meals at home, Brown-Riggs offers easy steps to keep your taste buds excited while making sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs.
At the grocery store:
When shopping, make it a point to try one new fruit, vegetable or whole grain every week. “You can start small by picking a different type of apple, a different color potato or a new flavor of whole-grain rice until you are comfortable picking entirely new things that you’ve never tried or heard of before,” Brown-Riggs says.
Eating at restaurants:
The next time you and your family head out to eat, choose a restaurant that features ethnic foods from Asia, Europe or Africa. These restaurants often feature menus filled with healthy options that will be new to you. “You can also find a local restaurant that specializes in using seasonal ingredients. Frequently you will be able to order your favorite dish but with a new and exciting flavor twist,” Brown-Riggs says.
Cooking at home:
Add variety to your staple dishes by varying the ways you cook them. Grill or broil the chicken you typically bake. Mash the potatoes you typically roast. Steam the vegetables you typically sauté. And get to know your spice cabinet. “A pinch of this and a dash of that can add a fresh zest to an old favorite,” Brown-Riggs says.
“Remember, you have about 10,000 taste buds. So don’t be afraid to experiment with new flavors and foods,” Brown-Riggs says.
Visit the Academy’s website to view a library of recipes designed to help you “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.”
As part of this public education campaign, the Academy’s National Nutrition Month website includes a variety of helpful tips, games, promotional tools and nutrition education resources, all designed to spread the message of good nutrition based on the “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” theme.
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