Healthy Eating: Best Fork Forward

March is National Nutrition Month® and this month’s theme, Put Your Best Fork Forward, serves as a reminder that each one of us holds the tool to make healthier food choices.

Initiated in March 1973 as a week-long event, "National Nutrition Week" became a month-long observance in 1980 in response to growing public interest in nutrition.

Join Dairy Council of California and the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics by making small changes during National Nutrition Month® and over time to improve health now and into the future.

Since great nutrition can be poured into a glass and slurped with a spoon as well as brought forward on a fork, we’re celebrating all five fantastic food groups with our family meal recipes this week.

Pack all five food groups into one featured entrée when you serve Lean Curry Chicken with Orange-Scented Rice rounded out with Hot and Sour Soup and Caramelized Spiced Pears for dessert. Other healthy recipes that combine three or more food groups to help you put your Best Fork Forward during National Nutrition Month® include Rigatoni, Grilled Vegetable and Chicken Salad, Slow Cooker Oatmeal, Creamy Couscous Florentine and Crunchy Baked Tilapia with Mango Salsa.

“Family Meals Matter” features registered dietitian–approved recipes with foods from all the food groups to reflect Dairy Council of California’s nutrition philosophy to elevate the health of children and parents. For more information, nutrition tools and additional family meal recipes, please visit our website, Healthy Eating Made Easier™

Lean Curry Chicken with Orange-Scented Rice, California Milk Advisory Board/Real California Milk.


(Includes ingredients to make at least four servings of each Featured Family Meal recipe)

Lean Curry Chicken
1 tablespoon Real California Butter
8 green Onions, thinly sliced, white separated from dark green tops
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1½ tablespoon minced fresh Ginger
1 tablespoon Curry powder
1½ pounds boneless, skinless uncooked Chicken, cut into small chunks
4 cups sliced seasonal Vegetables, any combination of 3 or 4 vegetables such as green and red bell pepper, carrots, snow peas, zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli, cauliflower or asparagus
1¾ cup chicken Stock or 1 can (14-½ ounces) chicken Broth
¼ cup Cornstarch
1¾ to 2 cups low-fat 1% Real California Milk
Salt and Pepper to taste

Orange-Scented Rice
2 cups chicken Stock or 1 can (14-½ oz.) chicken Broth plus ¼ cup water
1 cup freshly squeezed, strained orange Juice
1½ teaspoons Real California Butter
1½ cups basmati Rice or long-grain rice
½ teaspoon finely-grated orange Peel
Salt and Pepper to taste

Condiments (optional, not included in nutrition calculations)
Toasted, shredded Coconut
Dry-roasted Peanuts or toasted Almonds

8 cups low-sodium chicken Broth
¼ cup Cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
1 cup thinly-sliced green Cabbage or Bok choy (about 3 ounces)
1 cup sliced fresh Shiitake, Cloud ears, or other mushrooms
½ cup sliced green Onions (about 6 green onions)
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium Soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced fresh Ginger root
½ pounds firm reduced-fat Tofu, cut into strips
1 cup white wine Vinegar or to taste
1 tablespoon black Pepper or to taste (freshly ground preferred)
Egg substitute equivalent to 2 eggs, or 2 eggs lightly beaten
1 teaspoon fragrant toasted sesame Oil

3 ripe but firm Pears (about 1½ pounds), cut into ¼-inch slices
1 tablespoon lemon Juice
2 tablespoons unsalted Butter
3 tablespoons granulated or light brown Sugar
½ teaspoon ground Cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground Ginger
¼ teaspoon ground Cloves
Pinch of Salt