Small steps and healthy hints

Eating healthy can be easy and does not have to cost a lot.

Here you can find healthy hints for different family situations, such as small households and school lunches for kids. There are also easy ways to include more fruits and veggies into your day. For those on the go, we have tips on eating out and quick meals.

Check out the rest of the website for more ideas & tips. If you can't find what you are looking for or would like more information, contact us!

Quick and Easy Tips

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Small Steps for Eating More Fruits and Veggies

Why Fruits and Vegetables?

Did you know that eating more fruits and vegetables will help prevent and manage many health conditions? Your risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, some cancers, and weight issues can be decreased just by increasing fruits and vegetables.

Easy Ways to Include Fruits and Vegetables Into Your Day

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How to store leftovers

This information was adapted from Visit this site or the University of Vermont Extension at for more information on food safety and reheating foods. Don't forget to check out the recipe section of the website for new meal ideas and healthy cooking and baking substitutions!

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School lunches your kids will love

What is a healthy lunch? Cut fruits and/or veggies, lean meat or peanut-butter sandwiches on whole-grain bread, low or nonfat dairy products.

Portion size is important when planning lunches and recipes for your children. Here's a general guide for grade school lunch portion sizes:

Some ideas

Fruits and Vegetables

Children will more likely eat their fruit and veggies when they are cut up or already small in size.  Some ideas:


 Make sure it is 100% juice and give less than 12 oz in a day.

Pre-packaged items

Keep in mind that prepackaged lunches you can buy in the grocery store are convenient, but are often higher in calories, fat, sugar and sodium then meals that you prepare yourself. They are also usually more expensive. 


Have children make a list of their favorite foods from each major food group: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and lean meat. Have them choose at least one food from the list each day.  By giving them a choice, it's more likely they'll actually eat the lunch.

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Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids

Try these quick and easy snacks for during and after school:

These snacks are great anytime of the day or as part of a healthy lunch.

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Tips for Eating at Restaurants

1. Avoid buffets

2. Stick to the light menu/Make careful menu selections

3. Don't be afraid to special order

4. Watch portion size

5. Share

6. Order sauce and dressing on the side

7. Remember the big picture

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Eating On-the-Go


Many of us skip breakfast because we do not have time to prepare a meal. But breakfast offers us energy to get through the morning. Those who eat breakfast are better able to concentrate at work and school and are less likely overeat at other meals. Here are some examples of quick, healthy choices for a breakfast on-the-go.

Lunch and Dinner

Whether we are driving between meetings, squeezing in a 30 minute lunch break or racing between kids’ after school events, there are days that we need to eat a meal on-the-go. Here are some helpful hints for making better choices:

Sometimes fast food chains are unavoidable. But we can still choose to make better food selections. Here are some tips to choosing the best meals at fast food restaurants:


Snacks can be a source of extra calories throughout the day but they can also be a way to fit in healthy foods. Stock your car with bottled water and healthy snacks. Have a small snack before the cravings hit and you are less likely to pull into a fast food chain. Knowing what snacks are healthy and nutritious is important.


Healthy Weight Loss

Eating 250 – 500 fewer calories per day from what you’re currently eating will result in 1/2 to 1 pound weight loss per week.

The Following shows what you can eat if on an 1800 calorie meal plan. To find out how many servings are right for you (based on age, sex, and activity level), go to


Amount Needed

Serving Size


6 oz

(at least 3 oz are whole grains)

1 oz equals:

  • 1 slice bread
  • 1/2 cup cooked pasta, rice, cereal
  • 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal
  • 1/4 of a bagel

Meat and Beans

5 oz

1 oz equals:

  • 1 oz lean meat, skinless poultry or fish
  • (3 oz is the size of a deck of cards)
  • 1/4 cup of cooked, dry beans and peas (kidney, black, pinto, refried, baked beans, chickpeas, lentils, split peas)
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 oz of nuts (a small handful)
  • 1 egg

Dairy and Milk

3 cups

1 cup equals:

  • 1 cup of low-fat milk or yogurt
  • 1 and 1/2 oz of hard cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss)
  • 2 oz processed cheese (American)


1.5 cups

(3 – 1/2 cup servings)

1/2 cup equals:

  • 1/2 cup cooked, chopped raw, or canned fruit
  • 1 small piece of fruit
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit
  • 1/2 cup 100% fruit juice


2.5 cups

(5 – 1/2 cup servings)

1/2 cup equals:

  • 1/2 cup cooked, chopped raw, or canned vegetables
  • 1 cup raw leafy greens
  • 1/2 cup vegetables juice


5 teaspoons

Choose healthy oils such as olive and canola oils. Other oils include mayonnaise, salad dressing, trans fat-free tub margarines.

Discretionary Calories

Limit to 195 calories/day

Sweets, ice-cream, alcohol, high fat and high calorie foods.

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