Healthy eating is important at every age. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy or fortified soy alternatives. When deciding what to eat or drink, choose options that are full of nutrients and limited in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium. Start with these tips:
Make simple changes
Create main dishes such as pasta primavera with vegetables and chickpeas, pizza topped with vegetables, veggie lasagna, tofu-vegetable stir-fry, and spicy bean burritos.
Think about plant-based protein
Eat a variety of plant protein foods such as black or kidney beans, cooked split peas, and yellow or green lentils. Nuts and seeds are also great options to help you meet protein needs.
Build strong bones with calcium
If you skip dairy, get calcium from fortified products like soy beverages, tofu, and some breakfast cereals and orange juices. Dark-green leafy vegetables like collard greens, spinach, and kale are sources of calcium, too.
Add nuts to your day
Choose unsalted nuts as a snack, or use them in salads or main dishes to bump up your protein, dietary fiber, and healthy fats. Slivered almonds or crushed walnuts are great on a green salad.
Have beans for dinner or lunch
Try a bean-based chili, three bean salad, or split pea soup. Beans, peas, and lentils, which are excellent sources of protein, fiber, folate, and several minerals, are recommended for everyone—vegetarians and nonvegetarians alike – because of their high nutrient content.
Enjoy a vegetarian snack
Snack on raw veggies and hummus – a Middle Eastern dip made from blended chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Hummus is rich in protein, dietary fiber, and several important minerals.