If you are looking for simple ways to improve the nutritional quality of family meals, you came to the right place. Shape Up America! and National Turkey Federation developed this Meal Upgrade Calculator to show you how to “upgrade” some of your favorite dishes at breakfast, lunch and dinner so you and your family can reap the benefits of consuming less calories and fat.
The key to “upgrading” a meal is to make small changes that will lower fat and calories while not making any tradeoffs in taste or convenience. Since most families eat meat and poultry, this calculator starts by showing you ways to “upgrade” favorite meals with turkey – considered by many nutritionists as the perfect protein. This is because turkey has more protein than certain cuts of beef or chicken, is low in calories and fat, contains less cholesterol than most other meats, and is full of important nutrients.
Making small changes when preparing side dishes or adding toppings also leads to meaningful improvements in your health and well being. In short, this calculator gives you the power both to “upgrade” your meals and your health. So start upgrading your food choices now and you will be amazed!
Here is a stunning fact: a comparison study recently conducted by Shape Up America! found that making one simple change when preparing favorite family meals – substituting turkey for certain cuts of beef, pork or chicken – produced an average savings of 108 calories per meal occasion. Now think about this: studies predict 71.2 million fewer cases of overweight and obesity and savings of $58 billion annually in medical expenses if Americans simply consume 100 fewer calories a day. So if everyone made simple upgrades to their meals, consider how we would all be much healthier.
More than at other meals, kids have a lot of control over what they eat for lunch at school. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have an influence over the decisions your child makes. Make it fun to choose a healthy school meal by asking your child to take part in our Healthy School Lunch Challenge.
And if you are one of the many parents who pack a school lunch, learn a simple 1-2-3 formula that will take the guesswork out of packing a meal that is nutritious and low in fat and calories.
Doctors and public health leaders agree that the way to keep children healthy and at a healthy weight is by making sure kids are physically active every day. Now, you can make physical activity a family affair. Click here to see how fast and easy it is for family members to burn an extra 100 calories a day by taking part in activities that everyone enjoys. And if you don’t think 100 calories makes a difference, consider this: burning an extra 100 calories every day translates into 10 pounds of weight loss over the course of a year!
Click Here to download the Nutrition Educator Tool Kit for information on how to counsel consumers about making small changes in meal preparation to improve the family diet.
Bloggers from across the country submitted an “upgraded” recipe of their favorite family meal. Come see how they made improvements to the nutritional value of their meals and vote for your favorite turkey recipe!