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Build A Better Sandwich (and how it fits into MyPlate)

 Sandwich for lunch, anyone? Take advantage of this simple lunch creation to increase your vegetable intake. Whether you are making the sandwich at home, buying it or creating it at one of the work cafeterias, you can COLORIZE your sandwich. 
 
Lettuce, onions and tomatoes are commonplace on a sandwich, but consider “sandwiching” in additional fruits and vegetables. Add pizzazz to sandwiches with sliced pineapple, apple, peppers, cucumber and spinach as fillings. You can also try sliced tomatoes, olives, pickles, onions, lettuce, bean sprouts, avocado or herbs.
 
First, start off by choosing a lean source of protein. Roast beef, ham, turkey or chicken may be some choices to consider. When choosing protein, check the amount of sodium in prepackaged and even deli-fresh meats since most run high. You can cut the sodium by roasting your own meat at home for a sandwich, or simply ask at the deli counter for a low sodium alternative. You can also create a veggie sandwich by choosing a bean burger, or simply create a roasted veggie sandwich. Get creative. Use cream cheese, hummus or avocado.

When making ‘salad’ sandwiches like chicken or tuna, use Greek yogurt instead of mayo to cut down on the fat. To these you can add walnuts, dried cranberries, grapes, apples or celery for a little bit of crunch and flavor. Combine this with spinach leaves and tomatoes for a filling, delicious, nutritious and colorful sandwich.
 
When adding condiments, use ketchup, non-fat salad dressing, barbeque sauce, chipotle sauce, honey mustard, salsa or non-fat mayonnaise. Avoid high-fat salad dressings, real mayonnaise and oil-based dressings. You can also use avocado or guacamole or hummus as a spread.
 
A sandwich can serve as a great opportunity for a healthy MyPlate meal, as you can get in servings of whole grain, vegetables or fruit and protein. Pair it with a side of fruit or yogurt to round out your meal.
 
 

About Julia Salomón MS, RD, CD

Julia is the corporate dietitian at Affinity Health System and also a nutrition educator. She works at various sites throughout the organization working with Affinity’s employee wellness program. She earned her Master’s degree in nutrition science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996 and became a dietitian shortly thereafter. Julia has worked on several nutrition projects abroad as well as domestically. Before joining Affinity Health System in June of 2011, she worked as a college dietitian and later in the school nutrition field. She has earned certificates of training in adult and childhood weight management. Julia has a special interest in nutrition, public health and wellness.

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