NDSU Extension - Benson County


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Food Can Make You Look and Feel Better

A Taste

For Nutrition

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent

Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science


Food Can Make You Look and Feel Better

If you are reading this thinking that there is magic food that you need to eat once and you will be healthier than you have ever been, that is unfortunately not how a healthy lifestyle works.  There are of course small things that we can do over a period of time that will make a big different in our health.  Here are just a few:

  • Water is your friend: Water is calorie free and is low cost if you use a reusable water bottle. Beverages such as soda, fruit drinks, energy drinks, and alcoholic beverages can have ¼ or more of your daily calories in just one glass. 
  • Eat more whole grains: This will make you feel full longer and will make you less likely to feel the need to overeat.
  • Surround yourself with healthy food: Chances are, if it is there, you will eat it.  Fill your kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurt, and other healthy snack and meal ideas that can be easily prepared and eaten.
  • Build healthy habits:  Make a habit of buying foods that are low in added sugar and saturated fat.  Avoid foods such as bacon, hot dogs, candy, cookies, and ice cream.  Of course there is always room for our ‘sometimes foods’, but remember, sometimes does not mean these types of foods should be in our go to foods.
  • Fill you plate to look like My Plate:  If you are struggling with how much of each food group you need based on your age, gender, and amount of exercise, be sure to visit www.choosemyplate.gov

Below is a recipe for a chicken club sandwich.  It is a healthy addition to any summertime meal.  Enjoy!

Chicken Club Salad


  • 1 cup pasta, uncooked whole wheat, such as macaroni
  • 6 cups romaine lettuce, torn
  • 2 cups fresh vegetables, chopped: fresh, green pepper, celery, cauliflower florets, cucumber, carrots
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cubed cooked skinless chicken (1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat Italian dressing
  • 1 hard cooked egg
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese


Directions: Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and cool.  Place 1½ cups of the romaine in each of 4 large bowls or plates.  Combine chopped vegetables, chicken and pasta.  Add dressing; toss lightly to coat. Divide evenly among the 4 bowls.  Top each serving with a few egg slices, if desired, and 1 Tablespoon of the shredded cheese.

Makes: 4 servings.  Each serving contains 270 calories, 6 grams of fat, 380 mg of sodium, 29 carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, and 24 grams of protein. 



  • USDA 10 Tips Nutrition Education Series: Get the facts to feel and look better. January 2014.
  • USDA What’s Cooking Mixing Bowl
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