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Help for Keeping Your Healthy Eating Resolutions

Posted by on February 4th, 2019 Posted in: Blog
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With the first month of 2019 under our belts, how many of us are still motivated to continue with our New Year’s Resolutions we made just 4 weeks ago? According to an article by Inc. (https://www.inc.com/peter-economy/10-top-new-years-resolutions-for-success-happiness-in-2019.html), researchers say that more than 60 % of us make resolutions, but just 8% of us are successful at keeping them.

For 2019, the most common resolution made was linked to diet or eating healthy. Here in the northeast, the winter months may be a time when it can be more difficult to increase the servings of fruits and vegetables as they cost more and may not look as appealing. It also is more challenging to be active because of the cold, as well as the ice and snow can prevent us from being outdoors as much as we would like.

The following are a few free online resources and mobile apps from NLM and partner organizations that you may find helpful to motivate you to stay engaged or get back on track with your resolution to eat healthy and be active. The apps mentioned can be downloaded free and used on your iOS or android mobile device.

MyPlate and Healthy Eating,  https://healthyeating.nhlbi.nih.gov/

MyPlate is the model or guide that the USDA created to help us eat a balanced and healthy diet. The model encourages us to fill half of our plate at each meal with fruits and vegetables.

Eating healthy is a journey shaped by many factors, including our stage of life, situations, preferences, access to food, culture, traditions, and the personal decisions we make over time. All your food and beverage choices count. MyPlate offers ideas and tips to help you create a healthier eating style that meets your individual needs and improves your health. Online tools provided include information about eating on a budget, quizzes, and tip sheets. Information about how to eat well at various stages of your life (children, students, professionals) is also discussed.

Healthy Eating website offers more than 100 delicious heart healthy recipes including recipes from regional and multicultural cuisines. There are video resources about how to prepare favorite foods like egg rolls in a healthier manner. Also available are  family resources such as how to teach young children how to cook, and parent tips how much food children require at various ages.

Fooducate http://www.fooducate.com/

Fooducate is a free app and website that evaluates foods based on how good they are for you. Using an algorithm to grade foods and giving a food one of 10 grades, from A to D. For example,

  • Food can earn an A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, etc.
  • The more natural, healthful, and less processed a food is, the higher grade it will receive.
  • Fooducate only uses publicly available information when evaluating a product.

This app can be helpful when shopping in the grocery store for foods as it uses a barcode scanner as part of the tool. Here are the instructions from the Fooducate website of how to use the app:

  • Scan an item’s barcode to find out key information about that food.
  • To scan a barcode, first find the barcode on the actual product. Then tap the “Scan” section of the app’s home screen. Hold the barcode up to the phone until you see it lined up inside the little box on the screen. The phone will automatically process the code and pop up the product information.
  • No barcode? Again, no problem! You can also look up foods by name in the “Browse” section of the app, or online.
  • Once you find your food, tap it to get all the information you need. Evaluate its grade, review the product details, etc.
  • If the food you scanned has a low grade, find a better option with the alternatives list. On the app’s overview page for that food, look at the bottom right corner. There, you’ll find a button labeled “alternatives.” Tap it, and you’ll find a list of 10 better foods that are similar to the one you originally entered.
  • Just want to browse? Tap the “Browse” section of the home screen and you’ll find a list of products divided into different food categories. Select a category and browse by “Top Graded,” “Popular,” or “Recent.”

Fooducate is a great reference tool, but it should not serve as a substitute for reading the Nutrition Facts label.

BAM (stands for Body and Mind) Dining Decisions, https://www.cdc.gov/bam/nutrition/mobileapp.html

BAM is a free app from the CDC created for kids ages 9 through 13 that teaches nutrition without using the words “bad” or “good”. BAM categorizes the food choices used in its interactive games as “Go”, “Slow” or “Whoa.” Kendra, the BAM food and nutrition expert helps kids learn what foods provide the right kinds and amounts of fuel.

Image of the author ABOUT Susan Halpin
I am a former health and wellness educator who joined the NNLM NER in August of 2016, Excited to be promoting the excellent resources developed by the NLM and to provide training for anyone who would like to access the free and trusted information the NLM offers.

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NNLM New England Region
University of Massachusetts Medical School
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Worcester, MA 01655
(508) 856-5985

This has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012347 with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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