National Nutrition Month®, the national campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, celebrates the diversity of global cultures and cuisines this year. Many of us may unknowingly already follow the suggestions for incorporating foods and flavors from various cultures. Others may need a little bit of guidance to get started. Here are some tips from the Academy to help you celebrate a world of flavors throughout the day!
Vary your breakfast (or first meal of the day) to include favorites from around the world:
- Smoothie with low-fat yogurt and tropical fruits like papaya and mango
- Za’atar mixed with olive oil and spread on top of whole wheat pita bread, topped with tomato, olives, cucumbers, and fresh mint
- Spanish omelet with potatoes and veggies, topped with a sprinkle of cheese
Choose healthful recipes to make during the week based on other cultures. Consider the season and seasonally available ingredients and temperatures of dishes when deciding.
In hot weather, many cultures consume dishes that do not require heating. Consider these cold food options:
- Gazpacho – a cold soup made with tomatoes, peppers, and onions
- Salads – include different types of produce, whole grains, dairy, and protein foods
- Spring rolls – Vietnamese dish that contains fresh vegetables and a protein source (usually tofu) rolled in thin sheets of rice paper, served with a dipping sauce
In colder weather, many people reach for the warming and comforting dishes. Consider these hot food options:
- Monggo guisado – Filipino dish featuring mung beans, leafy greens, and seafood
- Sambar – Spicy Indian stew consisting of lentils and vegetables
- Da pan ji – Chinese stew consisting of chicken, potatoes, ginger, and garlic
- Mahshi – Middle Eastern dish that is made from zucchini stuffed with rice, lamb, and spices, served with a tomato-based sauce.
Choose healthier snacks that include foods from different food groups.
- Fruit chutney with bread and/or cheese
- Raw vegetables served with hummus or tzatziki
- Baba ganouj, a roasted eggplant dip, served with whole wheat pita bread
- Whole grain tortilla chips with guacamole or salsa
The intention is for these suggestions to be incorporated and adapted into your daily meal patterns. Healthful eating is visible in all cultures. Get inspired and make these wonderful and flavorful combinations work for you!