Focus on Nutrition: One B.I.T.E. at a Time

Saturday, January 21

Like many other people, the beginning of the new year marks a time when I want to refocus on making better choices in my family's diet. During the holidays it is so easy to overdo it on all of the treats of the season, and there is nothing like overindulging for a month or so to make everyone start to feel a little gross. I know the real answer is to just not overdo it during the holidays, but at this point I am focusing on what comes next instead of what I should have done in the past.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of cleaning up my food choices is a total overhaul program, like Whole 30 or something similar. However, I know from experience that this is FAR from realistic for our family. You don't go from being a couch potato to running a marathon, and a similar mindset needs to happen when it comes to food. I have always set goals that were unattainable in the past, and this year I wanted to change that! So, I have broken my immediate goals down into 4 realistic items... and I have an acronym for them, because you know I love a good acronym! Ha!

( Disclosure: I am working with Hiland Dairy as a sponsor this month to find ways to #GetHealthyWithHiland. While this is not a sponsored post, it does contain links to sponsored content. In my opinion these are valuable resources, and I am sharing them here for that reason.)

I want to focus on nutrition on B.I.T.E. at a time as we begin this year!

B - Breakfast sets the stage
I - Ingredients matter
T - Turn up the color
E - Education and encouragement

Here's is how I break each of those items down:

Breakfast sets the stage - I have never been a fan of the sugary breakfast choices, but I am definitely someone who likes breakfast. There are certainly healthy savory choices to be made in the morning, but leftover mashed potatoes probably isn't one of them! This month we have brought back our green smoothies in the morning, but that usually doesn't happen until Aiden wakes up... which is WAY after I do. So I am focusing on eating my old go-to meal in the morning and then following it up with a smaller smoothie as a morning snack. I will share my favorite morning meal next week, but for now I will share a couple smoothie tips:
  • I make smoothie bags in bulk. Each bag typically has a good amount of greens (usually spinach), a cut up banana, half a diced avocado and then an assortment of fruit. This is all put in a freezer bag, greens on top, and frozen.
  • I pull my smoothie bag the night before and move it to the fridge. This way the contents are still mostly frozen by morning, but are just a little softer. 
  • I blend my greens first with a cup of milk or almond milk and 6-8 ounces of Greek yogurt. I love using Hiland dairy products for this step!
  • Next I add the remaining ingredients and then thin it with a little water if needed. 
  • One smoothie bag with the mix-ins will make enough for both me and Aiden, and then either my mom or our daycare baby - or we freeze the leftovers in popsicle molds!! These are one of Aiden's favorite treats!

Ingredients matter -  It is not realistic for me to say I am going to do away with all packaged foods. However, I want to pay more attention to the foods I choose, selecting those with fewer ingredients (and ones I can pronounce!) like choosing Kind bars instead of sugary granola bars and chocolate milk or juice for an occasional sweet beverage choice instead of diet soda or energy drinks. While I am not doing away with all prepared foods, we have been making more of our own foods - like some awesome sweet potato-blueberry-applesauce and delicious whole grain blueberry cream muffins (recipe HERE)! The more I can make from scratch, the more I know exactly what we are eating.

Turn up the color - It used to be a family joke that when we hit a chinese buffet my husband's plate was mostly beige and brown foods. There is a great benefit to eating foods from every color of the rainbow, and we are working on adding more color to every meal! It is easy to fall into a rut of choosing the same few fruits and vegetables over and over. When Aiden was a baby I bought more variety than I ever had - it was when I tried my first persimmon, and the first time I remember preparing parsnips. This year we are making a goal of trying new foods on a regular basis, and we are making it an adventure! We will be using resources like:

Education and encouragement - When I am trying to get Aiden to eat certain fruits and veggies, I will remind him of what "super powers" they have. I have learned the basics of nutrition at some point I am sure... I know the food groups, and some basic information about the benefits of different foods. However, I don't think I know nearly enough. So, a BIG part of my goal for this year is just to educate myself, and my family in turn, about nutrition so that we aren't just eating things we assume are healthy because that is the popular opinion. I think by focusing on the positive side of nutrition, and learning how foods fuel and strengthen us, it will encourage me to make better choices. I know that there is a LOT of information out there, and much of it conflicting, so I want to focus on the basics and find sources that are both credible and encouraging. Part of that goes along with the resources above, but I also plan to look for encouraging people to follow on social media, and take advantage of tools like this healthy living email series

Now that I have spelled out my goals, I hope to report back monthly on how we are doing and the interesting resources and recipes we find.

I will add to my resource list as I go, but here are some to check out this week:

Do you have favorite resources I should check out? What are your current nutrition goals? Please feel free to share them with me! I Love getting ideas and resources from others!


  1. Way to go! I love your acronym! You are setting up the stage just right to accomplish your goals!

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