March is National Nutrition Month. At this time, when the nation’s eye turns to eating for wellness, your Newberg dentist, Dr. McLeod, likes to reflect on the enormous impact that healthy eating has on your dental health— and how we can support this healthy eating.
Your food, your teeth
The food you eat provides vitamins critical to maintaining gum health, and minerals for strong, hard, enamel that resists cavities. Food, like crunchy apples and celery, can even work to clean your teeth. Plus, eating stimulates saliva, which also cleans– as well as remineralizes.
One of the simplest (and most affordable!) avenues to great nutrition is rooted in centuries of tradition: the home-cooked meal. When we eat at home, we know just what went into our food and are more likely to use whole, healthy ingredients than a restaurant or pre-packaged food source, which may cut corners for appearance or ease in preparation. But for a lot of us, the process of a home-cooked meal might feel intimidating.
Check out our great tips for home-cooked success!
Do you ever find yourself hungry at home but daunted by the task of preparing a nutritious meal? Make your kitchen a welcoming and easy place to enter with these steps:
- Organize it! If you can’t find the tools you need, you’re way less likely to whip up some delicious home cookin’. Invest in some home organization tools that will keep counters free of clutter, and ensure that you can find the can opener in your time of need.
- Cook clean. While you wait for water to boil or those onions to turn translucent and lightly browned, wash a dish or two. It will make your clean-up more manageable after cooking, and improve the cooking experience.
- Clear clutter. If you’re the kind of person who throws their purse, keys, or coat on the counter first thing when arriving home, take some time to tidy up now and then. A clean kitchen is far more hospitable, and you’ll be much more likely to use it!
Short on time?
Don’t let a tight schedule stop you from eating well and enjoying it! Try these tips:
- Double up. When you’re cooking dinner, double the recipe so that you are planning for leftovers. As children, we may have held our nose at leftovers– but now we’re older and wiser, and we know that three minutes in the microwave instead of 30 minutes of cook time is a much more practical approach to healthy eating.
- Put people to work. If you’re making dinner for the family, give everyone a job! Cooking dinner together (and cleaning up afterward) is a great way to spend time with your kids and mate, and makes every task easier.
- Prep double. Sometimes all the chopping that goes into a healthy veggie recipe may discourage you from eating those veggies in the first place! Avoid this by cutting up twice the carrots, onions, or celery that you need and throwing the extra into the fridge or freezer. You can also pre-wash all your salad greens for easy salad preparation.
- Keep it simple. Remember, nutrition doesn’t have to be astrophysics– mostly it involves whole grains, lots of vegetables, and low-fat protein. Give yourself a break and make your meals simple and wholesome– and save the fancy meals for when you want to treat yourself to a restaurant!