February 15, 2022
CHICAGO – Amid supply chain-related shortages at grocery stores, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics provides recommendations for creating healthful meals during National Nutrition Month® 2022.
"Since we are all dealing with food supply chain issues, consider making some simple food swaps that will help you get dinner on the table without much fuss," said registered dietitian nutritionist Grace Derocha, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics based in Detroit. "This is an opportunity to put a spin on a traditional family dish."
"Most of us have our go-to family meals that use ingredients we always have on hand, the ingredients are simple, the preparation is easy, and these meals always make the family smile. Cooking can become frustrating if you can’t find what you need at the grocery store," Derocha said.
Derocha suggests food swaps for creating family-friendly meals:
Fruits and vegetables: "If you don't see your favorite fresh fruits or vegetables, look for canned or frozen versions. Choose canned fruit in their own juice and low-sodium canned vegetables. If you can't find low-sodium canned vegetables, you can also rinse off excess sodium before cooking."
Grains: "If the store is running low on your regular long-grain white rice, consider jasmine rice, basmati rice, brown rice, barley, couscous, farro, orzo or quinoa. Consider whole wheat pasta for white pasta to add more fiber to your meal. If you can't find your favorite bread, consider making your sandwich with whole wheat wraps or tortilla shells."
Protein Foods: "Swap ground beef for ground chicken, turkey or soy products such as tofu or tempeh. Make taco Tuesday meatless by swapping meat for canned low-sodium black beans. If you can't find canned beans, purchase dried versions and soak them in advance to prepare them for cooking. If fresh eggs are in short supply, consider purchasing an egg substitute in the dairy aisle and follow directions on how to incorporate them into your dishes."
Dairy: "If you can't find your favorite flavor of low-fat yogurt, try flavoring plain Greek yogurt with fruit instead. For recipes that call for ricotta cheese, try substituting cottage cheese or vice versa."
"Instead of becoming discouraged during your next trip to the grocery store, consider it as an opportunity to expand your horizons and try something new," Derocha said. "You might get lucky and stumble onto a new family favorite."
About National Nutrition Month®
National Nutrition Month® started in 1973 as National Nutrition Week, and it became a month-long observance in 1980 in response to growing interest in nutrition.
The second Wednesday of March is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, an annual celebration of the dedication of RDNs as the leading advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world. This year's observance will be March 9.
As part of National Nutrition Month®, the Academy's website will host resources to spread the message of good nutrition and the importance of an overall healthy lifestyle for all. Follow National Nutrition Month® on the Academy's social media channels including Facebook and Twitter using #NationalNutritionMonth.
To find an RDN near you, visit the Academy's Find a Nutrition Expert.
Representing more than 112,000 credentialed nutrition and dietetics practitioners, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.