Q: If I should eat several little meals and snacks throughout the day, what should they contain?
– Elaine in Garland, Texas
A: You should try to evenly divide your food intake throughout the day. To reach the optimal intake of fruits and vegetables of 8 to 10 servings daily, means including two fruits or vegetables at every meal and snack. For example, at breakfast have half a toasted whole wheat bagel topped with peanut butter and chopped prunes (1 serving of fruit) along with a glass of OJ (1 serving of fruit). For lunch, you could have half of a turkey sandwich on whole wheat, a glass of nonfat milk, and two of the following: a tossed salad, glass of tomato juice, a piece of fruit, baby carrots, or vegetables and dip. At dinner, you could have some type of protein, such as salmon, chicken breast, or split pea soup along with a grain (such as a roll, brown rice, or cornbread) and two steamed vegetables and/or a salad and a glass of milk. Snacks should be chosen with the following in mind: nonfat yogurts and milk, low-fat cheeses, whole-grain crackers and grains, more fruits and vegetables, nuts, and dried fruits. The minimum total of servings throughout the day should be: 3 servings of nonfat milk or fortified soy milk, 2 servings of protein-rich meat or beans, 6 servings of whole grains, and 8 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables. It may sound like a lot of food, but it’s all low-calorie, high-fiber selections. I’ve had clients lose up to 30 pounds following these suggestions….with the addition of daily exercise, of course! -Elizabeth Somer