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National Nutrition Month Week 3
In week 3 of National Nutrition month UMD dietitians Alyssa Hammitt MPH, RD, LD and Amanda Joyce MS, RD, LD tackle lunch time.
MyPlate guides us to make nourishing and satisfying meals that include a variety of food groups including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, protein, and low-fat dairy. Alyssa Hammitt, UMD Dining Services dietitian points out that a lunch comprised of one or two food groups may not be balanced or satisfying, leading to excess snacking later in the day.
These seemingly healthy lunches are missing a balance of food groups:
Example 1: Big Salad: Combination of lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and vinaigrette.
What is Missing? While this salad provides many vitamins and nutrients from the vegetables it is missing out on protein and grains! This lunch would not keep you feeling full for long.
Quick Fix: Add a protein to the salad (such as chicken or hard boiled eggs) plus a whole grain side (such as a whole wheat roll).
Example 2: Beef Jerky + 2 Hard boiled Eggs+ Cheese Stick.
What is Missing? While this meal is high in protein, it is missing fruits, vegetables, and grains. It is also especially low in carbohydrates, the primary energy source for our muscles and brains. Low carbohydrate meals like this throughout the day can lead to intense cravings in the afternoon and evening, because our bodies need carbohydrates for many functions.
Quick Fix: Swap the beef jerky for a hearty vegetable soup and add a piece of fruit and whole grain crackers.
Here are 2 examples of meals: one that you could bring from home, and one that you could buy at superior Dining. Balanced meals do not have to be extravagant, but they do have to be tasty!
Amanda Joyce, UMD employee Health and Wellbeing dietitian showcases an easy portable lunch she often brings from home:
Wheat Pita Chips (grains) + Hummus (protein) + Cheese Stick (dairy) + Raw Carrots/Green Beans (vegetable) + Apple (fruit).
When Alyssa Hammitt eats at Superior Dining, she will often grab a Taco Salad:
Tortilla chips (grains) + Spinach, Tomato, Fresh pico (vegetables) + Black Bean Salsa (protein) + Glass of Milk (dairy)
Get creative and make your own lunch filled with a variety of colors, whole grains, and lean proteins!