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Feed your body and mind
Although healthy eating may seem like work, there are simple ways to make it easier. Eating smaller portions, adding more fruits and vegetables, and drinking more water are just a few ideas.
Choose your plate
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) created a food guide to help you better understand healthy eating habits. The food guide shows how to combine different kinds of food to make a balanced meal.
Fruits and vegetables
- Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables
- Choose fruits that are fresh, frozen, dried, or canned (in water or 100% juice)
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to keep meals interesting
- Try eating whole or cut-up fruit rather than drinking juice. You will get more nutrients and more fiber
- Buy fresh vegetables in season when you can
- Stock up on frozen vegetables for quick and easy cooking
- Try to eat whole grains most of the time — like brown rice, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, and barley
- Look for the words “brown” or “whole” before the name of the grain on the list of ingredients
- For a change, try whole wheat pasta. Or make oatmeal cookies
- Choose fish or lean meat and poultry
- Try eating more beans, peas, nuts, and seeds
- Bake, broil, or grill meat. Avoid frying foods
- Use fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk and other calcium-rich foods, like low-fat yogurt and cheese
- If you don’t like or cannot have dairy products, choose lactose-free products, soy milk, or calcium-fortified juice
- A variety of non-dairy foods are great sources of calcium, such as broccoli; tofu; beans; and dark, leafy greens
As your parents get older, they may be thinking more about ways to stay active and eat healthier. Or they may not want to change habits because it is too difficult or they feel fine. Either way, it is important for them to take care of their health. Try an approach that focuses on their strengths and tastes. This can encourage your folks by making healthy habits less about overcoming obstacles and more about enjoying life. The healthy aging tips below can help get you started.
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