Being Portion-Wise with Your Serving Size Can Help Your Wallet and Waistline
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., May 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Can you trim your waistline and grocery bill at the same time? Both a registered dietitian and a "Kitchen Coach" think so and offer an array of recipe ideas and tips for an upside to a down economy.
As a general guide, Pat Groziak, a registered dietitian and senior lead nutrition manager for Unilever, recommends filling half of your plate with vegetables, one-fourth with a complex carbohydrate, such as pasta or rice, and one-fourth with protein for a better-balanced, calorie-controlled meal.
"With this approach, you'll get the health benefits from the nutrient-rich vegetables while helping to easily manage weight and caloric intake," says Groziak. Cutting down on serving sizes is also a way to cut costs for more expensive grocery items, such as meat, fish or poultry, while putting healthier portions on the dinner table.
"An easy way to determine how much meat or fish to consume is to compare your portion to the size of a deck of cards, which is about a three-ounce cooked serving. By being portion-wise with each serving size, you have the added benefit of keeping calories under control," Groziak added.
Jennifer Bushman, author of the "Kitchen Coach" cookbook series, has a few tips to help keep your family portion-wise and save money at the grocery store.
"Take a few minutes and plan a week's worth of lunches and dinners ahead of time. That way, you stick to your shopping list and be precise about the amount -- or weight -- of items you need, so food doesn't spoil or you don't end up stocking your pantry with items you don't need," says Bushman.
"Also, keep an eye on your circular when buying anything from higher ticket items, like meat or produce, to pantry staples. It'll help you save money and time in the grocery store," adds Bushman.
Here are more tips and ideas to be portion-wise with your serving size:
Making small changes to recipe favorites and incorporating healthier eating strategies to your everyday meals can keep families eating better year-round. For more recipe ideas and tips, visit www.makinglifebetter.com.
PASTA MARGHERITA Prep Time: 25 minutes 1 lb. penne pasta, cooked and drained 1 jar (1 lb. 10 oz.) Ragu(R) Old World Style(R) Margherita Smooth Pasta Sauce, heated 4 ounces pepperoni, sliced or cubed (optional) 1 lb. mozzarella cheese, cubed or shredded 1/4 cup thinly sliced loosely packed fresh basil leaves Toss all ingredients in a large serving bowl. TUNA NICOISE SALAD Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Marinate Time: 30 minutes 1 cup Wish-Bone(R) Light Italian Dressing 1 lb. tuna or salmon steaks or 2 cans (6 oz. ea.) tuna, drained and flaked 12 ounces potatoes, unpeeled and cubed (about 2-1/2 cups) 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and halved (about 2-1/2 cups) 8 cups mesclun or mixed salad greens 2 hard-cooked eggs, cut into wedges 1 medium tomato, cut into wedges 1/2 cup pitted kalamata or ripe olives, halved In large, shallow nonaluminum baking dish or plastic bag, pour 1/4 cup Wish-Bone(R) (Light) Italian Dressing over tuna; turn to coat. Cover, or close bag, and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, add potatoes and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Add green beans and continue cooking an additional 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender and green beans are crisp-tender; drain. Toss warm potatoes and green beans with 1/4 cup dressing. Remove tuna from marinade, discarding marinade. Grill or broil tuna, turning once and brushing frequently with remaining 1/4 cup Dressing, 8 minutes or until tuna is desired doneness. On serving platter, arrange salad greens. Top with eggs, tomato, sliced tuna and olives. Drizzle with remaining Dressing. Also terrific with Wish-Bone(R) Robusto Italian Dressing. CHICKEN & AVOCADO WRAP Prep Time: 10 minutes 3 Tbsp. Hellmann's(R) or Best Foods(R) Light Mayonnaise 4 (6-in.) fajita size whole wheat flour tortillas 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and sliced 1 medium avocado, peeled and sliced 1 red bell pepper, sliced 1/4 cup sliced red onion 2 cups mixed salad greens Spread It: Spread Hellmann's(R) or Best Foods(R) Light Mayonnaise on tortillas. Stuff It: Layer chicken, avocado, red pepper, red onion and salad greens down center of each tortilla. Wrap It: Roll and fold the filled tortilla. VEGETABLE MEDLEY SAUTE Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 6 minutes 2 Tbsp. Shedd's Spread Country Crock(R) Calcium plus Vitamin D 1-1/2 cups sliced carrots 1 large red bell pepper, sliced 1 cup broccoli florets 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley (optional) 1/4 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper Melt Shedd's Spread Country Crock(R) Calcium plus Vitamin D in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook carrots, red pepper and broccoli, stirring occasionally, 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in parsley and heat through. Season with salt and black pepper. CHEDDAR CHICKEN PASTA & VEGETABLE DINNER Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips 2 Tbsp. I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! (R) Spread 1 small tomato, chopped 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 1-3/4 cups water 1/2 cup milk 1 package Knorr(R) Sides Plus(TM) Veggies - Cheddar Cheese Pasta with Broccoli & Carrots Cook chicken with Spread in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove chicken and set aside. Cook tomato in same skillet 3 minutes. Stir in 1 clove chopped garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in water and milk; bring to a boil. Stir in Cheddar Cheese Pasta. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, 9 minutes. Stir in chicken; heat through. Substitute black beans as an alternative to chicken to make a vegetarian alternative.
(1) Contains 8 g. fat, 2g. saturated fat per serving
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Contact: Gillian Kushner 212-445-8417
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