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Nutritionists' Top 24 Tips: Registered Dietitians' Insider Nutrition Advice

Registered dietitians have a wealth of practical healthy eating advice. Here are some of their best tips.

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TIPS FOR REDUCING CALORIES

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"Use smaller bowls and plates. You can really trick your eye by using a salad-size plate in place of your regular dinner plates or a small mug instead of a large bowl."
—Emily Fonnesbeck, R.D., C.D., registered dietitian, Fitness Ridge Resort and Spa, Ivins, Utah

"If your recipe calls for full-fat sour cream, use fat-free plain yogurt or fat-free or low-fat sour cream. (I add fat-free sour cream to my chocolate cake recipe and have the most tender, moist cake you could imagine!)"
Tina Ruggiero, M.S., R.D., corporate and private nutrition consultant, Tierra Verde, Fla.

"Keep your pantry well-stocked so you’re never without a healthy meal to whip up! Whole-wheat pasta, couscous, quinoa or brown rice can easily be paired with canned beans or chickpeas, some marinara sauce or salsa, and some fresh or frozen veggies for a healthy meal in minutes.”
—Janel Ovrut, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., registered dietitian, Fitness Works at Work (employee wellness), Boston, Mass.

"Restaurant portions are two to three times what you would serve yourself. Plan ahead by splitting an entrée, or doggy bagging before you even start. The more you are served, the more you are likely to eat, so only serve yourself a reasonable portion."
—Jill Jayne, M.S., R.D., president and "Rockstar Nutritionist," Note to Health LLC, with interactive health presentations for children

"For portion control on foods that you pour out of a container, such as cereal and dry pasta, keep the accurate portion-size measuring cup right in the package. This way you can scoop out a portion instead of easily pouring out more food than you need."
—Janel Ovrut, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., registered dietitian, Fitness Works at Work, Sherborn, Mass.

Find more tips for reduced-calorie cooking in our "Healthy Substitutions" charts.

 

TIPS FOR HOW TO KEEP FROM EATING WHEN WATCHING TV

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Hold light hand-weights and do several sets of different lifts during each commercial.”
—Susan Watson, M.S., R.D., nutritionist, The Heart Institute of the Greenville Hospital System, South Carolina

Crowd in vegetables with what I like to call Veggie Grab Bags. Just pack up small plastic bags with baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, snow peas, red pepper chunks or whatever is in season.”
Barbara Storper, M.S., R.D., author,
Janey Junkfood's Fresh Adventure!

 

 

NUTRITION TIPS FOR CHILDREN

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To get kids to eat fruits and veggies, use vegetables for art; then, eat them. For instance, on a paper towel make a picture using broccoli stalks as trees, sliced cucumber as the sidewalk and sliced yellow squash as the sun.”

—Linda Lockett Brown, R.D., L.D.N., C.L.C., founder, CINET Registered Dietitians, Orange Park, Fla.

Do not bribe [children] with dessert to get them to eat vegetables. That encourages overeating.”
—Linda Lockett Brown, R.D., L.D.N., C.L.C., founder, CINET Registered Dietitians, Orange Park, Fla.



TIPS FOR HEALTHY AFTER-SCHOOL SNACKS

tips-child-snack"Chilled yogurt parfait made with nonfat plain yogurt and layered with pineapple, blueberries, chopped raw almonds, fresh mint leaves and cinnamon."
Dori Zerlin, M.S., R.D., registered dietitian, The Center for Integrative Medicine, Tarzana, Calif.

"Sliced apples and peanut butter, sliced pears and cheese, etc."
Susan Moores, M.S., R.D., spokesperson, American Dietetic Association; registered dietitian, St. Paul, Minn.

"English muffin pizzas: an English muffin split in half, with marinara sauce and low-fat cheese. Heat until cheese is melted."
—Pamela M. Nisevich, M.S., R.D., L.D., registered dietitian, Nutrition for the Long Run, Dayton, Ohio

"One orange, sliced and sprinkled with ground flaxseeds and cinnamon."
Dori Zerlin, M.S., R.D., registered dietitian, The Center for Integrative Medicine, Tarzana, Calif.

 

HOLIDAY NUTRITION TIPS

tips-halloween-candy

On Halloween, “Trade up: Set up a trading station with some of your kids’ favorite healthy treats, like dried fruit, packaged fruit bowls, or goodquality dark chocolate squares—at least 60-percent cocoa. Encourage them to trade in their least-favorite candies for healthy treats they know they love.”
—Gloria Tsang, R.D., founder, nutrition community HealthCastle.com

On St. Patrick's Day, “Instead of drinking green beer, celebrate this Irish holiday by adding more green into your diet. Trying baby spinach in salad, using avocado as spread, having a kiwi for dessert, or sipping on green tea is a much healthier celebration.”
—Gloria Tsang, R.D., founder, nutrition community HealthCastle.com

 

WINTER NUTRITION TIPS

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Have a hot water source available—electric tea pot, for example—so that you can brew hot green, black or herbal tea throughout the day to keep hydrated and add a great source of antioxidants to your diet without excess calories.”
Janice Baker, M.B.A., R.D., C.D.E., registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator in San Diego, Calif.


“Frozen fruits and vegetables
—without the heavy sauces and sugary syrups—are as nutritious as fresh because they are picked when ripe and flash frozen to lock in nutrients. Add some frozen blueberries to your oatmeal or stir in some frozen mixed vegetables into a warm winter stew. The nutrients and antioxidants will help to ward off winter colds and keep your immune system in tip-top shape.”

—Janel Ovrut, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., registered dietitian, Fitness Works at Work (employee wellness), Boston, Mass.

 


Last updated and/or approved: May 2010. These tips originally appeared in various issues of the former print magazine. Bios are current as of the dates of the original issues. This article is not meant as individual advice. Please see our disclaimer.

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Comments (2)add comment
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Re: Great Parfait Idea!
written by Leigh Ann , April 14, 2011

Ha! Yeah, me too.

Leigh Ann Otte
Managing Editor
MyFamilyDoctorMag.com

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Great Parfait Idea!
written by Margarita , April 13, 2011

I kinda like that chilled yogurt parfait idea for myself the heck with the kids.

Thanks

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