• 45°

It’s National Nutrition Month, time to take control

Ideas

MyPlate website a good source of information and easy recipes

The USDA’s website www.choosemyplate.gov, has many resources for managing your food intake, preventing waste, fixing healthy meals and more.

There are printable cookbooks on the site, charts, tips and advice, as well as specific information about different food groups and nutrition.

From the USDA “Healthy Eating on a Budget” cookbook:

Coucous with Peas and Onions

1 cup onion, finely chopped

1/2 tsp. sage (ground)

1 tsp. olive oil

1 1/3 cup water

1 cup green peas (frozen)

1 cup couscous

1/2 tsp. salt, optional

Combine oil and onions in a heavy skillet. Saute for 5-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the peas, sage, water, couscous and salt, if desired.

Cover and cook on low for about 5 minutes or until peas are tender but still  bright green and all of the water is absorbed. Fluff with fork.

Serve with lemon wedges or balsamic vinegar.

May use poultry seasoning in place of ground sage.

Makes 4 servings.

And this one is from the USDA cookbook, “Meeting Your MyPlate Goals on a Budget,” which also offers many tips, explanations, budgeting advice, information about different food groups and more.

Broccoli-Cheddar Frittata

1 (10 oz.) package frozen, chopped broccoli

1/4 cup water

8 eggs

1/4 cup non-fat or low-fat milk

2 tsp. prepared mustard

1 tsp. seasoned salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

3/4 cups shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese

1 Tbsp. chopped green onion

Nonstick cooking spray

1 small carrot, optional

Combine broccoli, carrot (if using), and water in a 10-inch nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until tender, stirring occasionally to break up broccoli, about 10 minutes; drain well.

Beat eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl until well blended. Add broccoli mixture, cheese and green onion; mix well.

Coat same skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat until hot. Pour in egg mxture, cook over low to medium heat until eggs are almost set, 8-10 minutes.

Remove from heat. Cover and let stand until egggs are completely set and no visible liquid egg remains, 8 to 10 additional minutes. Cut into wedges.

Broil option: After removing from heat, fritttata can be broiled, 6 inches from heat, until eggs are completely set and no visible liquid egg remains, 2-3 minutes.

March is National Nutrition Month, which is a time to share nutrition education and information.  This annual campaign was created and is celebrated in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The 2018 National Nutrition Month theme is, “Go Further with Food.”

 The theme can be put into action several different ways. One of the ways is shopping locally, which is a great way to add healthy foods to our diets while conserving natural resources. Food purchased at farmers’ markets often is more affordable and tastes better than food you buy at commercial grocery stores because it is locally grown and naturally ripened.

Buying locally grown food also helps conserve natural resources and has a minimal effect on the environment, not to mention that you are supporting your local growers.

 During National Nutrition Month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to “Go Further with Food” by preparing meals in advance to enjoy throughout the week.

“Preparing several meals on the weekends can provide balanced meals that can easily be reheated throughout the week,” says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Kristen Smith. “It’s also a great way to eat healthfully, save time during the week and reduce food waste.”

Smith also recommends cooking in bulk to save money and to portion and freeze meals for later.  You don’t have to reheat the entire dish; you can reheat a single meal, if you’d like.

 “Go Further with Food” by storing food correctly to reduce waste and lower your grocery bill.  According to statistics, 31 percent of all edible food is wasted in the United States; American households throw away nearly 28 percent of fruits and vegetables.

“Far too often, good food goes bad before we get the chance to eat it,” says Melissa Majumdar, registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson. “Before going to the grocery store, check inside your refrigerator. Eat what you already have at home before buying more.”

Majumdar suggests freezing extra food such as fruits or meats to extend shelf life, wrapping freezer items in heavy freezer paper, plastic wrap, freezer bags or foil, dating all frozen items, and using the oldest food first.

 It is also important to know and understand how to read a date label to make sure good food isn’t wasted. The “sell by” date lets the store know when it should stop selling a package to manage inventory; “best if used by” is the last date recommended for the customer’s use of a product at its peak quality.  While it is very important to try to use food you’ve bought, if you have any doubts about it being safe to eat, throw it out.

March is a very important month for nutrition because of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, which is March 14. This is a time used to increase awareness of registered dietitian nutritionists as the indispensable providers of food and nutrition services and recognizes RDNs for their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives.

And March is also the time when we celebrate our local farmers. The 2018 Farmers’ Appreciation Breakfast will be held on Thursday, March 15, beginning at 7 a.m. at Trading Ford Baptist Church,  3600 Long Ferry Road.

We are asking all farmers to join us. We would like to honor you for your hard work before the new growing season begins. To RSVP, call the Rowan County Cooperative Extension Center at 704-216-8970 or register online at go.ncsu.edu/2018farmerappreciation. Hope to see you there.

For more information on National Nutrition Month or if you would like tips on improving your eating habits visit:  https://www.choosemyplate.gov/national-nutrition-month

Toi N. Degree is a family & consumer education agent with North Carolina State University & North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Call 704-216-8970 or email toi_degree@ncsu.edu.

Comments

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras