Every January, popular New Year’s resolutions include eating healthier or joining a gym. As a registered dietitian, I am often asked what I eat or do to stay healthy. This year, I’m recommending people turn those New Year’s resolutions into a healthy lifestyle all year long.

Here are five nutrition tips to consider for 2013:

1. Stay hydrated. Being well-hydrated lubricates the joints, helps move nutrients in the body and maintains body temperature just to name a few advantages. Checking urine color is one way to tell whether you are hydrated. If your urine is colorless or pale yellow, you probably are well-hydrated. Consider these tips to keep hydrated: Carry a reusable plastic bottle with you; add strawberries, lemon or cucumbers to your water for natural flavor or choose zero-calorie flavored beverages.

2. Don’t forget your fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients. Try unique produce items to keep meal and snack times exciting. Add vegetables to soups, a stir-fry, salads or smoothies. Many types of fruits and vegetables travel well in lunchboxes and can be a convenient snack.

3. Follow MyPlate. MyPlate is the new food-guidance tool that includes the five food groups. Try using a 9-inch plate as a way to reduce portion size and calories. Visually divide the plate in half and fill half of the plate with veggies and fruit. Next, fill one-quarter of the plate with lean meat or protein, and fill one-quarter of the plate with grains, including whole grains as much as possible. Add one serving of low-fat or fat-free dairy and you have all of the food groups.

4. Eat breakfast every day. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Eating soon after we wake up jump-starts our metabolism. An example of a nutritious breakfast is nonfat Greek yogurt with berries and granola.

5. Try new foods. We all tend to have our five favorite meals that we turn to in a hurry, but purchase new foods this year to expand your favorite meal selection. Maybe it’s a new cut of meat, a new cereal for breakfast or an ancient grain for a side dish.

And Happy New Year from your Hy-Vee dietitians!

For more information, contact your Quad-City Area Hy-Vee registered

dietitians. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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