This group contains the cereals, crackers, breads, pastas, rice, tortillas, etc.
Try to look for "whole grains" on food labels, such as "whole wheat," "whole oats," "whole rye," and bran.
Try substituting wild rice or brown rice for white rice. Or, make a side dish of half white and half brown rice.
Choose whole wheat tortillas and whole wheat pasta.
Oatmeal is a healthy grain, and it makes a filling and nutritious breakfast.
Ever tried quinoa? It is a healthy grain from South America that is loaded with protein.
Fruit & Vegetable Group
Fruits and vegetables are loaded with important vitamins and minerals. They help to keep our immune system strong, keeping us healthy. Vitamins and minerals are also good for our vision, for preventing diseases, for healthy skin, for energy processes and for many other important functions of our bodies.
Try to choose a variety of colors: Dark green leafy lettuce, spinach, broccoli; orange carrots; sweet potatoes; red and yellow bell peppers; red berries; blueberries; yellow bananas; even purple eggplant!
Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as fresh, and they are less expensive.
Milk & Dairy Group
This group contains milk, eggs, butter, cheese, yogurt, etc.
Dairy is high in calcium, B vitamins and protein. But it can also be high in saturated (unhealthy) fat. Calcium is important for strong bones and teeth. B vitamins and protein are important for all body functions.
Choose 1% or skim, low-fat, fat-free or non-fat dairy products.
Meat & Bean Group
This group contains red meat, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, etc., as well as nuts, seeds, and legumes, such as lentils, black beans, kidney beans, peas, chick peas (garbonzo beans), etc.
Meat is an excellent source of protein, but we want to eat it in moderation because it also contains saturated (unhealthy) fat.
Choose lean meats (greater than 90% fat-free/lean), and select skinless breasts of poultry. Did you know one serving of meat should be about the size of a deck of cards? Try to have one serving per day. Bake it, broil it or grill it.
Fish is full of essential protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
If you're making burritos, try black beans instead of refried.