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Every March we celebrate National Nutrition Month®, an annual nutrition education campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It’s a time to focus on making nutritious food choices and getting activity every day to promote good health. This year’s theme is Personalize Your Plate, which supports the philosophy that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health. We are all unique individuals with different bodies, goals, backgrounds, and tastes!

As we age and evolve, so do our health and nutrition needs. We need more calcium and vitamin D to keep our bones healthy and strong. We also need more vitamin B12 because the absorption of vitamin B12 is less efficient and can be affected by some medications. Our calorie needs may be lower due to a decreased activity level along with the gradual loss of muscle mass that occurs with aging. Since our sense of thirst decreases with age, we need to ensure we get enough fluids each day to prevent dehydration. And, per the new 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, no matter what our age, we should limit added sugars, sodium, and saturated fat for good health.

It’s important to try to eat right for our changing nutritional needs. The following tips can help:

  • Make half our plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Make at least half our grains whole.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese.
  • Vary our protein choices.
  • Limit sodium, saturated fat and added sugars.
  • Stay well-hydrated.
  • Enjoy our food but be mindful of portion sizes.
  • Be physically active our own way.

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Bonus Recipe: Bell Pepper Egg in a Hole

Protein-rich and budget-friendly eggs are the star of this easy and delicious recipe. The bell pepper adds beautiful color and a healthy veggie serving to help us start our morning off right.

Bell Pepper Egg in a Hole
Adapted from natashaskitchen.com

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 bell pepper* cut into ½” rings (seeds and core removed)
  • 4 eggs
  • Dash salt & pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

Ingredients

  1. In a large, skillet heat oil over medium/high heat. Place sliced peppers into the pan and let them sauté for a minute.
  2. Crack one egg into the center of each pepper slice. Start pouring the egg in slowly; it prevents the egg from leaking and forms a nice seal, but some will leak no matter what; don’t fuss over it; it will still taste great!
  3. Sprinkle salt and pepper over each egg. Sauté for 3 minutes, then flip it over carefully.
  4. Top with 1 teaspoon of parmesan, if using. Cook egg to desired degree of doneness. If you want your yolks to be juicy (over-easy), cook another minute.

Note: *You can use whichever color pepper you prefer, though the green will taste less sweet.