Because I am a nutritionist, many of my yearly resolutions revolve around the nutritional quality of my diet. Some of these food resolutions may be — and possibly should be — on your list of resolutions too.

Here’s to a healthy gluten-free diet in 2009!

Each day this year I resolve to:

1. Eat fruit with breakfast.
For years, whenever I ate Van’s brand frozen gluten-free waffles for breakfast (which was almost every day) I would microwave maple syrup and frozen blueberries together and place my toasted waffles on top… yum. Then one day I stopped adding the blueberries. Waffles and syrup still taste good but not as good (and certainly not as healthy) as they do with blueberries. If you would like to add fruit to your breakfast, it might be helpful to always have frozen and dried fruit available and add them to your cereal, yogurt, waffles, and homemade muffins.

2. Make sure to get enough calcium.
I am lactose intolerant and even though most people who are lactose intolerant can tolerate hard cheeses and yogurt (great sources of calcium), I can not. Every day I have to make an effort to make sure I’m getting the equivalent of 3, one-cup servings of milk. Some days work better than others for meeting this goal. If you are like me (can’t or don’t drink milk or milk-based products) and need to increase your intake of calcium, the following non-dairy foods provide approximately 300 milligrams of calcium: 1 cup calcium-fortified orange juice; 1 cup calcium-fortified soy, rice, or nut milk; 1 cup cooked spinach; 1 cup cooked collard greens; 1 cup cooked rhubarb.

3. Go easy on the bag of Lundberg Farms brand rice chips.
These chips are one of my favorite gluten-free snacks and once I open a bag they’re gone (not really but almost). If you have never tried these chips, they come highly recommended — just don’t eat them all in one sitting. When eating any snack food, don’t eat directly from the bag!!

4. Use a measured amount of sugar in each cup of tea.
I drink 2-3 cups of black tea with turbinado sugar each day. Generally, this sugar is poured straight from the box (it has a convenient spout) into each cup. While I think I’m adding only a teaspoon of sugar, I’m probably adding a lot more. When it comes to any type of sweetener or fat added to food/drink it is a good idea to get in the habit of measuring.

5. Take a gluten-free multivitamin and mineral supplement.
I always intend to take a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement but forget on more days than I remember. While I am a big believer in getting vitamins and minerals from food, depending on other food restrictions and dietary choices, our diets may be lacking in certain vitamins and minerals. You may want to take stock of your own diet to see whether you could benefit from a supplement.

Happy New Year everyone!

Copyright © Tricia Thompson, MS, RD

Originally published January 2009. Updated February 2, 2011.

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Five gluten-free new year’s resolutions