4 Small Diet Changes You Can Implement With a Big Impact March is Nutrition Month! And this year’s theme is Make Small Changes, One Meal at a Time. The theme is indeed timely! Many of us made healthy eating resolutions in January, and by February, some of us have already forgotten about them, or have given up all together. Overwhelming, drastic changes are hard to stick with. Small, actionable changes can be experimented and adjusted, and hence easier to implement. 4 Small Changes You Can Implement Right Away Experiment with Plant-Based Protein Replacing meat with plant-based protein adds nutritional punch and saves calories. Plant-based protein choices like lentils are loaded with potassium, folate, fiber, iron and many other minerals you can’t find in meat. Plant-based protein foods often work well in one-pot meals such as jambalaya, lasagna, and chili. Choose a meal that you will have more time (such as a Saturday dinner) to experiment with new recipes. For instance, when you make lasagna, replace half of the ground beef with whole lentils in this Beef & Lentil Lasagna Another one-pot meal recipe I highly recommend is this Jambalaya Lentil & Orzo Skillet. Not only is this bursting with intricate flavors, it also provides an impressive amount of protein. Cook a Bigger Batch and Save for Later Use Healthy eating is not always about avoiding certain foods, it’s also about adding in nutrient-dense foods. Quality counts. Some nutrient-dense foods, such as lentils, quinoa, and edamame, often keep well in the fridge and freezer. So when you are preparing a recipe involving these superfoods, cook more and divide them up into smaller bags to freeze and save for later use. Don’t Forget About Snacks Snacks are often an integral part of a diet. An afternoon snack for most adults help us to stay focused as well as sustain energy between lunch and dinner. On the other hand, a healthy snack for kids before a sporting activity provides needed energy for better performance. Often, due to the time constraint, many of us resort to the vending machines or packaged processed products. If you plan ahead, your afternoon pick-me-up could also be a healthy delicious treat! Try making these delicious Oatmeal Lentil Cups from the newest Lentils For Every Season recipe book! Short of time? Prepare a Buffet Bar Sometimes after a long workday in the office, the thought of making a healthy meal for the family just seems tiring. If your kids are old enough, maybe you don’t always have to cook and serve them every night. Simply prepare a buffet of ingredients, such as sliced cucumber and tomatoes, corn niblets, chopped meat pieces, lentils or quinoa leftovers in the fridge. Let your family choose their own ingredients to roll up in tortilla wraps. This also works for personal pizzas; prepare similar ingredients and this time use pita bread as the “pizza crust” and let your family assemble their own personalized pizza. You will enjoy more interaction with the family; and less cooking for you is an added bonus. A new habit takes time to build. This March, don’t rush into multiple changes. Take small steps and make one change a meal at the time.