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March Is National Nutrition Month

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Encourages Eating Right for Life Stages


As you age, your nutrition needs change.  What you ate in your teens may not be the right choices in your 60’s. Of course, healthy food habits are important through every life stage.

In your teens to 20s eat and drink plenty of high calcium and Vitamin D foods to build bone density. Foods include:  low-fat dairy like milk or yogurt, calcium fortified nondairy drinks like almond milk and soy milk, fortified cereals, beans, leafy greens, canned fish with bones (salmon, sardines).

Your 20s to 40s should focus on reducing your risk of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Most importantly, work to keep your weight down. Include plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, fiber, fish, beans, nuts and seeds. Women of childbearing age should include plenty of foods high in folate such as fortified grains and cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, beans and peas.

Your 40s to 50s represent a time of hormonal changes and a slowing metabolism. Rev your metabolism with plenty of exercise and strength training, eat smaller portions and limit added sugars, salt and saturated fat in your diet.

60s and beyond nutrition should focus on eating foods that are nutrient dense rather than energy dense, including eggs, lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy foods, nuts and seeds, legumes, fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and cereals. Continue to focus on strength building to maintain muscle mass and eat plenty of Vitamin B12-rich foods (found in animal-based protein foods).

Establishing healthy eating habits that will be carried on into later life is key to lifelong health.

~Michele Lubin, MS, RDN

 Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Meatballs

This is an easy, hearty, nutritious twist on a traditional Italian Wedding Soup

Servings: 6

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground chicken breast
  • ½ cup oats
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp milk

Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan
  • ½ cup bean pasta (like red lentil or chickpea)
  • 1 cup celery stalks diced
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ⅓ cup white wine
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. In a large bowl add ground chicken, oats, parmesan, thyme, salt, black pepper, egg, ground oregano, ground coriander and milk
  2. Mix all the ingredients well until meatball mixture is combined
  3. Use an ice-cream scoop to portion and shape meat mixture for meatballs. Shape further with your hands into little balls
  4. In a large pot, add the extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. Add the meatballs. Brown for 5 minutes on two-three sides until golden brown.
  5. Remove meatballs and set aside
  6. Add chopped carrots, onion, celery and garlic
  7. Sauté for 5-6 minutes
  8. Add white wine and simmer for 2 minutes
  9. Add chicken broth
  10. Add meatballs, bay leaves, oregano and bean pasta. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  11. Add spinach leaves, red pepper flakes and parmesan and let simmer for another 10 minutes.
  12. Serve with some squeezed lemon and extra parmesan

Nutrition per serving:

Calories: 444kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1075mg | Potassium: 847mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3635IU | Vitamin C: 4.1mg | Calcium: 212mg | Iron: 2.8mg

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