Healthy Habits Bingo

Putting More Plants on Our Plates

#healthyeating #kidshealthyeatinghabits #kidsnutrition #plantbasedeating #platbased Feb 01, 2022
Putting more plants on our plates

There is a lot of talk these days about plant-based eating. So what does that mean?

Being a vegan means not eating any animal foods, including dairy, eggs and fish. Potato chips and Oreos fit that description, but are highly processed and are not recommended as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Whole-food, plant-based eating might be termed as a healthy vegan. It means avoiding all animal products and processed foods, and consists of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds and spices. The science shows that this is a very healthy way to lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure, control blood sugars and reach and maintain a healthy weight.

 

How to get started? Keep it simple. Eat fruits and vegetables at every meal. Maybe you already eat some plant-based meals. Eat them more often. Consider starting with meatless Mondays. Trade your animal protein for tofu, beans or lentils. Have whole wheat pasta and substitute ground meat with lentils in marinara sauce. Make a vegetarian chili or have a burrito filled with beans, rice, grilled veggies, avocado and salsa. Add a salad or other vegetables to each of these meals. Have a piece of fruit on the side or as dessert. It does not need to be complicated.

Often people wonder if they will get enough protein when eating plant-based meals. The answer is YES! Protein needs are 10-15% of your total intake. Plant-based foods provide protein in that exact amount naturally. Following the healthy plate model of eating and choosing a plant protein food with meals will ensure not only plenty of protein, but also fiber, vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy and without chronic disease. 

Want more information? Watch The Game Changers documentary on Netflix. Also, click below to sign-up for the KidShape newsletter, so we give you a heads up if there is a new KidShape Plantbased Eating Workshop coming up.

 

by Shannon Martin, MPH, RDN

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