Nutrition HelpMaking small changes to your eating habits can make a big difference for your health. Here are some tips and tools to get you started.
Keep a food diary.Knowing what you eat now will help you make changes. Starting today, write down:
- When you eat
- What you eat
- How much you eat
- Where and with whom you eat
- How you are feeling when you eat
Get Started Today:
- Print this food diary [PDF – 36 KB].
- Try the SuperTracker tool to plan and track your diet and physical activity.
- Choose a free tracking app for your smart phone
- My Fitness Pal
- The Eatery
- Lose It!
- My Food Diary
- MyNet Diary
- MyPlate by Livestrong
- Nutrition Menu
Plan ahead to save time.Planning your meals for the day or week can save you time and money. These tools can help you plan healthy meals that are easy to make and taste great.
- Plan your meals for the day.
- Plan your meals for the week [PDF – 124 KB].
- Cook several main dishes on the weekend when you have more time. Make enough to get you through the busy weeknights.
- Rinse and chop vegetables the day before you will need them.
Find recipes that work for you.If you are looking for ethnic foods or special recipes, try these tools:
- Heart Healthy Home Cooking African American Style [PDF – 3 MB]
- Delicious Heart Healthy Latino Recipes [PDF – 1 MB]
- River of Receipes Book, Native American Observances [PDF – 644 KB]
- Tips and Resources for Vegetarian Diets
- Information on Allergies and Food Sensitivities
Shop smart at the grocery store.Try these tips the next time you go shopping:
- Eat a snack at home before you go to the store.
- Use a shopping list.
- Buy a variety of vegetables and fruits in different colors. These shopping tips can help [PDF – 668].
- Use this list to help you find low sodium foods.
- Choose the fat-free or low-fat types of milk products.
- Use this list to help you replace old favorites with healthy, lower fat choices.
- Choose 100% whole-wheat or whole-grain bread and crackers.
- Buy foods when they are on sale or in season to save money.
Read the Nutrition Facts label.
Click here for more about how to read a Nutrition Facts label.
- Look at the serving size and the number of servings per package.
- Check out the percent Daily Value (% DV) column.
- Try to keep saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium at 5% or less.
- Look for foods that have 20% or more of fiber, calcium, potassium, and vitamin D.
Be a healthy family.Parents and caregivers are important role models. You can teach kids how to choose and prepare healthy foods. Try turning grocery shopping and cooking into fun activities for the whole family.
- Use this chart to help you and your family shop for healthy foods [PDF – 136 KB]. Explain your choices at the grocery store.
- Let your child help with these kitchen tasks for young children [PDF – 12 KB].
- Check out these quick tips for making healthy snacks.
- Get more ideas on how to be a healthy role model for your kids [PDF – 459 KB].
Eat healthy away from home.You can make smart food choices wherever you are – at work, in your favorite restaurant, or running errands. Try these tips for eating healthy even when you are away from home:
- At lunch, have a sandwich on whole-grain bread.
- Choose fat-free or low-fat milk, water, or 100% fruit juice.
- In a restaurant, choose steamed, broiled, or grilled dishes instead of fried foods.
- On a long drive or shopping trip, pack fresh fruit, unsalted nuts, or fat-free or low-fat string cheese sticks to snack on.