Tag Archives: MyPlateMyWins

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month 2016

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month. With the summer growing season kicking into full swing, I can’t think of a better time to focus on eating more fresh fruits and veggies. If you’re like most Americans who don’t eat enough fruits and veggies, this is your reminder to make half your plate fruits and vegetables this month. Continue reading

Life is Naturally Sweet

Today’s post was written by VT Dietetic Students Emily Rowe, Justin Morello, Cassie Mitchell, and Kira Runkle.

Added sugars are not found naturally in foods; they are put into food or beverages when they are processed or prepared. The addition of these sugars increases the number of calories in a food or drink, but provides no health benefits. Eating or drinking too many added sugars is linked to health problems like weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease. Continue reading

Going out on a limb: Trying fruit three different ways!

Today’s post was written by VT Dietetic students Carolyn Greene, Kara Meyer, Emily Myers, Zahra Nomani, and Kallie Pugh.

Are you afraid to try new fruits? As a busy parent, adding fruits into your daily routine isn’t always easy. It can be risky to try new fruits for the first time, not knowing if your family will enjoy them. But making small changes to your meals can have a big impact on overall health. Fruit is full of vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy as well as filling fiber. So set a goal to eat 2-3 servings of fruit each day. A mix of fresh, canned, and frozen fruit can be added to your breakfast, snacks, and desserts!

Picture of a ripe strawberry

Fruit can be a healthy and delicious option for breakfast, snacks, and desserts! (Source)

Continue reading

A Simple Switch: Choosing Low-Fat Dairy

Two women shopping for milk

These women recently found out that choosing healthier low-fat dairy products, such as 1% milk or fat free yogurt, costs the same as full fat!

Hi! Meredith, Kim, Dimple, Kathryn and Anna here! We’re students at Virginia Tech who study Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise and we want to share what we’ve learned about choosing healthier dairy options. With the help of the Family Nutrition Program and what we have learned in class, we all switched to low-fat and fat-free dairy. And we didn’t even taste the difference!


This why you TOO should make the switch… Dairy foods are important because they improve bone health. This is important for both adults and kids. Dairy foods that are full fat are high in saturated fats and cholesterol, which can have negative effects on heart health. So choosing low-fat dairy is a great way to keep your body healthy. Here are some of our tips:

Kathryn: I choose 1% chocolate milk instead of whole milk at the grocery store!

Anna: My favorite breakfast is non-fat Greek yogurt topped with seasonal berries.

Kim: Since I’m lactose intolerant, I choose lactose-free skim milk at the grocery store. I think it even tastes better than regular milk and I still get the calcium I need.

Dimple: Instead of ice cream for dessert, I have frozen Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts!

Meredith: I like snacking on reduced-fat mozzarella cheese sticks. They’re convenient for when I have busy days and are healthier than full fat cheese sticks!

Click here to learn more about small changes you can make to improve you and your family’s heart health. Interested in trying new, healthy recipes that use low-fat or fat-free dairy? Visit our recipe collection here. Be sure to try the Berry Purple Smoothie. Meredith makes it for breakfast before school and it’s healthy, filling and easy to make! There are many other healthy, easy to make recipes on the VCE FNP’s website your family will love.

Have No Fear, Oil Is Here

This post was written by VT Dietetic students Amanda Carter, Erica L Hess, Kim Colicchio, and Kelly Richards.

Being a mother is never an easy feat! Every mother wants their child to be strong and healthy. One way to ensure your child grows up healthy is to prepare your meals at home with oils instead of solid fats, like butter and margarine.

canola oil in a bottle with canola flowers

Oils are an essential part of our diet. Canola oil is one of the best fats to use for cooking! Using canola oil in place of butter or margarine can add heart-healthy, monounsaturated fats to your diet. It also has a good amount of Omega-3 fats. Lastly, canola oil is usually cheaper than other oils, so it can be a great alternative if you are on a tight budget!

It’s easy to incorporate canola oil into your diet. Oils are a great alternative to solid fats and can help your family become heart healthyIf you are going to use butter, reach for the oil instead. Canola oil has a neutral flavor and is great to cook with. You can also use oil to make your own salad dressings! Homemade salad dressing is simple to make and will help save money.

These MyPlate, MyWins tips from VT Dietetic students will help you to make these changes more easily!

Erica: “I love to use canola oil to make my own salad dressings. Not only does it taste great, but it is a much cheaper option than buying name brand dressings from the store. “

Kelly: “I used to make my vegetable stir fry with butter, but now I use canola oil. The stir fry still tastes great and it provides me with healthier fats!” 

Amanda: “I choose to use canola oil because it is a cheaper option than other healthy oils, but does not sacrifice the flavor. 

Kim: “I started substituting canola oil for (melted) butter or margarine when I bake because it provides the same great taste with less of the guilt.”

What changes have your family made to live more heart healthy?