Tips for Choosing a Nutrient-Rich Diet

Tips for Choosing a Nutrient-Rich Diet

September 08, 2019

Reviewed by Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN\


You should enjoy the food you eat. In choosing nutrient-rich foods, you'll notice they are familiar, easy to find and represent the five basic food groups. Achieving balance and building a healthier eating pattern can be simple and low-stress.

Selecting nutrient-rich foods and beverages first is a way to make better choices within your daily eating plan. Choose first among the basic food groups:

  1. Brightly coloured fruits and 100-percent fruit juice
  2. Vibrantly coloured vegetables including potatoes
  3. Whole-grain, fortified and fibre-rich grain foods
  4. Low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese and yoghurt or fortified plant-based alternatives
  5. Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, soy foods such as tofu and tempeh, beans, lentils and nuts


Here are some practical ways for you to add nutrient-rich foods and beverages to your daily diet.


  1. Make creamier oatmeal by adding fat-free milk or calcium-fortified soy milk instead of water. Stir in some walnuts and raisins too.
  2. Make sandwiches on whole-grain bread, such as whole wheat or whole rye. Add slices of avocado, tomato or cucumber to fillings such as lean roast beef, ham, turkey, chicken, tofu or mashed chickpeas.
  3. When dining out, look for nutrient-rich choices such as entrée salads with grilled seafood and oil-based dressing, baked potatoes topped with salsa, grilled vegetables and black beans, and vegetable stir-fry loaded with a rainbow of veggies and tofu served over brown rice.
  4. Choose nutrient-rich beverages such as low-fat or fat-free plain or flavoured milk, calcium-fortified plant-based beverages or 100-percent fruit juice.
  5. Top foods with chopped nuts and seeds to get crunch, flavour and nutrients from the first bite.
  6. Spend a few minutes washing and cutting vegetables so they are in easy reach for every family member — these include ready-to-eat favourites such as red, green or yellow peppers, broccoli or cauliflower florets, carrots, celery sticks, cucumbers, snap peas or whole radishes. Keep cut vegetables handy for mid-afternoon snacks, side dishes, lunch box additions or a quick nibble while waiting for dinner.
  7. Serve meals that pack multiple nutrient-rich foods into one dish, such as hearty, broth-based soups that are full of colourful vegetables, whole grains and beans. Make chilli with a dollop of low-fat yoghurt. Whip up beans and rice with canned tomatoes. Use chickpeas to make sliders with barbecue sauce on whole-grain buns. Throw together tacos with frozen shrimp, frozen corn, canned beans and canned pineapple.
  8. For dessert, try no-bake bars with whole-grain oats and dried fruit or a chocolaty smoothie with banana and peanut butter.