Happy New Year! Follow these healthy eating tips

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Happy New Year! Do you usually make a New Year’s resolution? Millions of Americans make resolutions every January hoping to improve their health by losing weight, getting fit or eating healthy. Achieve your nutrition goals this year by making small changes to what you eat and drink.

Find your healthy eating style

Everything you eat and drink over time matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future. It is important to start with small changes to make healthier choices you can enjoy and maintain for a lifetime. In order to get the nutrients and calories you need, eat a variety of foods regularly.

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Get your MyPlate plan

Everybody requires a different amount of calories depending on their age, gender, height, weight and physical activity level. To determine what and how much to eat within your appropriate calorie target, enter your information into the MyPlate Plan by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) at https://go.unl.edu/myplateplan and receive a personalized plan.

Follow the MyPlate building blocks.

• Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.

• Focus on whole fruits.

• Vary your veggies.

• Make half your grains whole grains.

• Move to low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt.

• Vary your protein routine.

• Drink and eat beverages and food with less sodium, saturated fat and added sugars.

• Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Find small changes that work for you throughout the day. Don’t forget to choose foods and beverages from each MyPlate food group (i.e. fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy) for a balanced meal.

One great example on how to make your dinner healthier is to try whole wheat spaghetti and meatballs with a garden salad instead of fettuccine alfredo with Italian Sausage. This switch incorporates more food groups and has less calories, saturated fat and sodium.  Source: USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion’s ChooseMyPlate.gov

January is National Soup Month.

Try this recipe from Extension’s Nutrition Education Program which includes whole wheat egg noodles. It is easily adaptable to beef noodle or chicken and rice soup.


1 whole chicken*

1 teaspoon salt

Water, to cover

1 onion, chopped

3 large carrots, sliced

1 cup celery, sliced

3/4 cup whole wheat egg noodles, uncooked**

1.  In a large saucepan, place chicken and salt. Add enough water so the chicken is covered. Heat to      

      boiling. Cover, reduce heat and simmer about 45 minutes or until chicken is tender.

2.  Remove chicken from broth and cool enough to handle. Remove skin and bones and chop the meat.       

     Skim fat from broth.

3.  Add additional water, if needed, to make 6 cups. Bring to a boil.

4.  Add chicken, onion, carrots, celery and noodles to the broth. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20    


    *Substitute 2 pounds roast or stew meat for chicken to make Beef Noodle Soup.

    **Substitute 3/4 cup rice for noodles to make Chicken and Rice Soup.

     Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories 180, Total Fat 3.5 g (5 percent DV), 1 g Saturated Fat (5 percent DV), 80 mg Cholesterol (27 percent DV), 520 mg Sodium (22 percent DV), 11 g Total Carbohydrate (4 percent DV), 2 g Dietary Fiber (8 percent DV), 3 g Sugars, 25 g Protein, Vitamin A 100 percent, Vitamin C 15 percent, Calcium 4 percent, Iron 8 percent.

Source: Kayla Colgrove, MS, RDN, Extension Educator