This year’s National Nutrition Month® (NNM) theme, “Celebrate a World of Flavors,” embraces cultures and cuisines globally. As described in AND’s press release for NNM, honoring the traditions and foods of cultures worldwide is a delicious way to nourish our bodies and appreciate our diversity. This theme demonstrates that foods from all cultures can fit into a healthy lifestyle. As food and nutrition experts, Registered Dietitians can help individuals learn how to include their favorite traditional dishes into healthful eating patterns to support overall health and wellness goals while still celebrating their heritage.
When incorporating various cultural foods into your eating style, you can use MyPlate as a guide. MyPlate recommends making half of your plate vegetables and fruits, a quarter of your plate a protein food (meat, poultry, eggs, beans/lentils, fish), and the other quarter of your plate a starchy food especially a whole grain of some sort. The MyPlate model also encourages you to include calcium-rich foods (low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese) and/or fortified non-dairy alternatives. Some international dishes that provide an example of MyPlate guidelines, as stated in an AND article “Global Foods for a Healthy Plate,” are:
- Chinese: Stir-fried chicken and vegetables such as bok choy snap peas, carrots, and bean sprouts; brown rice; and a dish of lychee fruit.
- Italian: Minestrone (a hearty, tomato-based soup with vegetables and pasta) with kidney beans added for folate, fiber, and protein; gnocchi (flour or potato dumplings) with chopped vegetables, including spinach mixed into the dough and served with lycopene-rich tomato sauce.
- Greek: Tzatziki sauce (a creamy dressing of low-fat yogurt, garlic, and cucumber) served on pita sandwiches or as a dip with vegetables; and dolmas (grape leaves stuffed with ground meat, vegetables such as bell peppers, eggplant and squash, rice, dried fruit, and pine nuts).
- Mexican: Jicama (a crisp and slightly sweet root vegetable) peeled, sliced, and served on a salad with lime vinaigrette or chopped for a crunchy addition to salsas; and gazpacho (a cold tomato-based raw vegetable soup) made with spinach or cucumbers.
At Mom’s Meals, our mission is to support customers’ health and preferences by providing various delicious, nutritious meals, including those with worldly flavors. We have expanded the meal options in the International Flavors section of the menu, allowing our customers to enjoy a greater variety of cuisine from across the globe. Some examples of Mom’s Meals menu items with unique cultural flavors include Pork Stir Fry Rice and Spiced Fruit Medley, Korean Style BBQ Meatballs with White Rice and Seasoned Broccoli, Mushroom Risotto and Seasoned Peas & Carrots, Curry Vegetables with Pineapple and Brown Rice, Cajun Style Pasta with Chicken and Cinnamon Apples, and Chicken Tikka Masala with Brown Rice and Peas and Carrots. Mom's Meals supports our customers by offering menu items inspired by cuisines worldwide as they “Celebrate a World of Flavors” this NNM.