(Guest post) Helpful New Tools: Nutrient Rich Foods Resources

Posted by Dayle Hayes, MS, RD @ 5:00 PM


This is a guest post written by Dayle Hayes, MS, RD, President of Nutrition for the Future, Inc.  Dayle is an award-winning author, educator, and nutrition coach. From her home base in Big Sky country, Billings, Montana, she writes a monthly Healthy Families newsletter and appears frequently on TV and radio as a nutrition expert. She also manages her own blog on child nutrition issues, Nutrition for the Future In addition to being chair-elect of the School Nutrition Service Dietetic Practice Group and a member of the School Nutrition Association, Dayle is a member of the National Dairy Council (NDC) and Nutrient Rich Foods (NRF) Coalition Speakers Bureau.  You can read more about Dayle on her bio page, located here. 

As a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant, I’m constantly speaking and writing about easy ways families can make positive changes in their eating habits in order to maximize their energy levels and health.  What I’ve always found is that busy families are looking for guidance on ways to make meal times delicious and nutritious. But, they’re often confused by nutrition advice from multiple “experts” or nutrition labels and, let’s be honest, in this economy most people are also looking for smart ways to eat right without spending a fortune.  So where can people turn to achieve better health?  The option I always point out is nutrient-rich foods

For more than 30 years I’ve focused on the powerful benefits delivered by nutrient-rich foods—without unwanted, unnecessary calories—for both adults and children.  I always tell families to do most of their shopping around the perimeter of the store, because that’s where you find mostly nutrient-rich foods – in the dairy case, produce department and the butcher counter.  People are often surprised that their food budgets actually go much farther when they skip the all-too-tempting snack and beverage aisles.

That’s one reason why I was particularly excited to learn of several new nutrient-rich foods educational tools available from the Nutrient Rich Foods (NRF) Coalition, a partnership that brings together leading scientific researchers, health professionals, communications experts and agricultural commodities that represent the five basic food groups to help people learn how to get more nutrients every day by choosing nutrient-rich foods first. These tools, available in the “For Health Professionals” section of the NRF Web site, can help nutritionists like myself—and others who read this blog—educate our patients and clients on the importance of nutrient-rich foods.

These new tools include:

–       Food Groups Weekly Tracker: A way for people to track their nutrient-rich achievements as they work towards meeting the MyPyramid food group recommendations.

–       Nutrient-Rich Shopping List: A ready-made grocery store list that puts nutrient-rich food and beverage ideas at people’s fingertips.

–       Achieve Better Health with Nutrient Rich Foods Resource Guide: A comprehensive resource on the science and consumer insights behind the NRF approach, a positive, total diet approach that considers the complete nutrient package of foods and beverages as a way to help people eat smarter and get more nutrients for their calories.

I’ve already started to use these tools as handouts at my consumer presentations and encourage you to do the same.  Together, by increasing awareness of the need to choose nutrient-rich foods first, we can help families make positive changes in their eating habits and achieve better health.

I use a nutrient rich foods approach both personally and professionally.  It is the perfect tool for today’s busy shoppers who are looking to get the most nutrition for their calories—and their food dollar.  Please check out these new resources—I know that you will find multiple ways to use them in your practice.

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