March is National Nutrition Month

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Savor the Flavor is the theme for this year’s National Nutrition Month.

“According to the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we should enjoy a healthy eating pattern and choose foods and beverages with limited amounts of added sugars, sodium and saturated fats,” said Dr. Sharon Robinson, a registered dietitian with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Healthy food choices can still have great flavor. Try these ideas to “savor the flavor”:

  • Reduce added sugar by choosing snacks such as naturally sweet fresh fruit instead of cake and cookies and choosing drinks such as water with lemon or unsweetened tea.
  • Use tasty herbs and spice instead of salt to flavor your foods, and at the store, compare food labels and select foods lower in sodium.
  • Reduce saturated fat and add flair to your meals by including a variety of protein-rich foods such as fish, poultry, lean meats, eggs, beans and seeds.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offers many educational programs to help consumers adopt healthy habits that promote health and reduce the risk for chronic disease. Programs include:  Dinner Tonight, Better Living for Texans, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education, Walk Across Texas, and Do Well Be Well with Diabetes, among others. Contact me to learn which programs are offered here.

National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The Academy’s website is EatRight.org.

Baked Zucchini Chips

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning or more if desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.
  2. Line two baking sheets with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Slice zucchini very thinly into circles. They should be about the size and width of a quarter. Lay them on the baking sheet and spray with more cooking spray to coat all surfaces. Sprinkle very lightly with spices and salt.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes, then rearrange baking sheets in the oven and bake another 45 minutes. If the chips are not crispy enough, continue to bake. Check frequently until all of the moisture has evaporated and the chips just begin to brown.

If you have any questions or would like to share some of your tips for working and living in Pecos County with our readers, please call me at the Pecos County AgriLife Extension Services, 432-336-2541. Make sure you check out our website and Facebook. Educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin. The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the county Commissioner Courts of Texas cooperating.

Karan Heffelfinger writes the weekly Karan’s Korner column as Pecos County extension agent for food and consumer sciences.

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