Get a Taste of Good Nutrition

— Written By Eleanor Summers and last updated by

We eat with our eyes as well, as our mouth and nose, so why not prepare foods that look, smell, and taste delicious. When taste is the major influencer of what we eat, it’s important to balance choosing the foods we like and those that provide the nutrients we need.

“Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” is the theme for National Nutrition Month® 2014. This year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to enjoy the taste of eating right. Consumer research confirms that taste tops nutrition as the main reason why one food is purchased over another. While social, emotional and health factors also play a role, the foods people enjoy are likely the ones they eat most.

Different foods contain different vitamins and minerals. No single food can give us all the nutrients that we need in the amounts needed. We need to eat foods in the correct amounts from each food group in MyPlate – grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy and protein. By visiting the website www.choosemyplate.gov you can find out how many servings are appropriate for you based on age, gender and physical activity. Find sample menus and recipes and ideas for increasing physical activity.

Nutrition and good eating go hand in hand. Most people like the taste of good food that is properly prepared. Cooperative Extension has on-line resources to help in planning, eating and shopping. Take a video trip through the grocery store “Aisle By Aisle” to learn a few tips about making healthier food and drink choices at http://www.myeatsmartmovemore.com/AisleByAisle.html. Find nutritious and tasty recipes at SpendSmart EatSmart from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings/. Choose the foods you like and those that provide the nutrients you need.