Build Better Meals

Food is fuel. Choosing foods that will get you started – and keep you going – can nourish your body and mind, help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent illness.

Food is fuel. Choosing foods that will get you started – and keep you going – can nourish your body and mind, help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent illness.

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Take the next step toward better health and reach your goals with WeightWatchers. Learn More!

I signed up and I am looking forward to starting my health journey!

Damaris A, 1199SEIU Member, SBH Health System


I signed up and I am looking forward to starting my health journey!

Damaris A, 1199SEIU Member, SBH Health System

Give yourself the gift of health with

A Message from Abbie Gellman, MS, RD, CDN

Fruits and veggies are full of nutrients, nutrients that help our bodies run. They have everything from antioxidants to vitamins and minerals and fiber. When I’m thinking about what’s really healthy for my body, fruits and vegetables are my go-to.

A Message from Abbie Gellman, MS, RD, CDN

Food scoring systems imply ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods. This, in turn, may increase guilt or shame around eating and disordered eating behaviors, or misinformation around foods that are healthy instead of nutrition education. It’s much easier to understand a plate (MyPlate) that is half non-starchy vegetables, one-quarter lean protein and one-quarter starch. This is not foolproof, but it’s a better place to start when trying to think about what a healthy diet and healthy meal may look like.

Opt for a heavily plant-based diet rich in complex carbohydrates like those found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, brown rice and whole grains, which will keep you satisfied, doesn’t spike blood sugar and supports GI health. The goal here is to make half of all grains whole grains, so some refined carbohydrates are fine. If possible, pair these refined carbs with foods high in fiber. For example, white rice paired with vegetables or sugar in oatmeal.

Unsaturated heart-healthy fats may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by improving related risk factors such as total and LDL blood cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammation. Also, omega-3 fatty acids may play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease and other issues such as cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.

Know Your Caloric Numbers

Check this USDA chart for an estimate of what your body needs to function efficiently, but for a more accurate measure, try the calorie calculator at

Sedentary Moderately Active Active
21–25 2,000 2,200 2,400
26–30 1,800 2,000 2,400
31–50 1,800 2,000 2,200
51–55 1,600 1,800 2,200
56–60 1,600 1,800 2,200
61–75 1,600 1,800 2,000
76 and up 1,600 1,800 2,000
Sedentary Moderately Active Active
21–25 2,400 2,800 3,000
26–35 2,400 2,600 3,000
36–40 2,400 2,600 2,800
41–45 2,200 2,600 2,800
46–55 2,200 2,400 2,800
56–60 2,200 2,400 2,600
61-65 2,000 2,400 2,600
66-75 2,200 2,200 2,600
76 and up 2,000 2,200 2,400

What Is Healthy Eating?

Nutritional guidelines vary based on age, sex, height, weight, activity levels and specific health conditions, so talk with your doctor, nutritionist or dietician about your own health needs before starting a new eating plan.

Where Our Fuel Comes From

45% to 65%: Carbohydrates
10% to 35%: Protein
20% to 35%: Fats

Take the MyPlate Quiz

Black Bean Brownies - English

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

This heart healthy sweet treat packs a punch—fiber, protein and taste! SBH Health System’s Chef Abbie Gellman shows you how you can improve your cardiovascular health while enjoying dessert, with simple swaps.

Black Bean Brownies - Spanish

Satisfaga Su Gusto Por lo Dulce

Este regalo dulce y saludable para el corazón tiene un gran impacto: ¡fibra, proteína y sabor! El Educador de Nutrición Culinaria de SBH Health System, Yanir Cedeño, le muestra cómo puede mejorar su salud cardiovascular y también disfrutar el postre, con simples intercambios.

Save Time and Boost Your Nutrition - English

Save Time and Boost Your Nutrition

We know your days are busy, and sometimes eating healthy takes a back seat to other responsibilities. Watch SBH Health System’s Registered Dietician, Chef Abbie Gellman, show you how one-pan cooking can save you time and increase your nutrition!

Ahorre Tiempo y Mejore  Su Nutrición

Ahorre Tiempo y Mejore Su Nutrición

Sabemos que usted está ocupado durante el día y a veces, comer sano pasa a un segundo plano frente a otras responsabilidades. Siga al especialista en nutrición culinaria de SBH Health System, Yanir Cedeno, élla les mostrara cómo puede ahorrarle tiempo al cocinar en una solo sartén y aumentar su salud nutricional!

Mango Kale Ginger Smoothie video

Cooking Demo

Mango Kale Ginger Smoothie

@1199SEIUBenefitFunds teamed up with @SBHteachingkitchen to share a cooking demo with Wanda Mendez, Culinary Nutrition Educator. View the video to find out how to make a Mango Kale Ginger Smoothie.

@1199SEIUBenefitFunds se junto con el @SBHTeachingkitchen para producir una demostración culinaria con Wanda Méndez, Educadora de Nutrición. Mira el video para aprender cómo cocinar un batido de mango, col rizada y jengibre.

Good-for-You Foods Made Easy

Follow this simple recipe from SBH Health System’s Teaching Kitchen.

Alimentos que le hacen bien, fáciles de hacer

Siga esta simple receta del equipo de cocina de SBH Health System.

The Best Fuel for Your Body’s Engine

Eating enough fruits and veggies is important, yet challenging. Get simple tips on squeezing more of them into your day.

Turn Your Pantry Staples into Healthy and Budget-friendly Meals

In this webinar, health educators explain how to turn your cupboard items into tasty and nutritious meals.

How Do You Get Your Required Daily Vitamins and Minerals?

Learn why you need certain vitamins and minerals and the foods you can eat to get the recommended daily amount.

Make every bite count:
Eat nutrient-dense foods instead of less-filling fast and processed foods

Choose a variety of options from each food group

Consider healthy swaps.

You can still enjoy the fullness and flavor of your favorite foods by making healthy tweaks. If you like crispy foods, try air frying instead of deep frying. You’ll lower your calories and consumption of trans fats and decrease your risk of cardiovascular and metabolic problems.

Also consider cutting down on the meat in your meals by swapping in plant-based proteins. Chili, hamburgers, meatloaf, tacos and spaghetti can be nutritionally enhanced by adding lentils, chopped mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, spinach—or whatever you like—into ground meat—without sacrificing taste!

When seasoning your dishes, try adding fresh or dried herbs to lower your sodium intake. When it comes to salt, reach for kosher salt. It has less sodium than table salt.

More swaps to try:

  • Honey or maple syrup for white sugar
  • Greek yogurt for sour cream or mayonnaise (more protein)
  • Oatmeal with fruit for boxed breakfast cereals
  • Avocados and olive oil for butter or margarine
  • Wild rice or brown rice for white rice (more protein and fiber)
  • Skin on sweet potatoes for peeled white potatoes (more fiber)
Watch for added sugars or artificial sweeteners in desserts, sodas and juices.

Build healthy eating habits and stay within calorie needs by choosing foods and beverages with little to no added sugars. Added sugars are sugars and syrups used in foods during preparation, processing or at the table. A product’s Nutrition Facts label can tell you exactly how much sugar is in each serving. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to 50 grams a day, aiming for 100 calories or less for women and 150 calories or less for men.

Meal prep on the weekends.

Maintaining a healthy diet can be challenging with a busy schedule. Meal preparation—batch-cooking, chopping veggies, pre-assembling meals – allows you to eat well-balanced meals, with controlled portions. It also helps you choose healthy ingredients and avoid making unnecessary food purchases – saving you money and reducing food waste.

Keep in mind:

  • You can prep meals as many as five days in advance. Freeze any that you won’t eat within five days.
  • Prep each meal in its entirety or prep separate ingredients (for example, cut vegetables and cook meats) to speed up the cooking process later.
  • Cook grains in large batches, as they take a long time.
  • Have plenty of single-meal-sized containers for storage on hand.
Learn how much you need from each food group with a personalized MyPlate Plan.

Visit to see your food group targets – fruits, veggies, grains, proteins and dairy – and learn what and how much to eat within your calorie allowance. Your food plan is personalized, based on your age, sex, height, weight and physical activity level.

Get your fill.

Drinking enough water throughout the day is vital for optimal health. While everyone knows it’s important to stay hydrated, getting enough water each day can be a challenge. Truth is, many of us don’t drink the recommended amount.

Pay attention to portion sizes.

How much you eat is as important as what you eat in order to maintain a healthy weight. But what’s the difference between a “portion” and a “serving”? A portion is how much food you choose to eat at one time, while a serving is a standard measure of food listed on a product’s Nutrition Facts label – so your portion size may not match the serving size. The serving size on a label is not a recommendation of how much you should eat or drink. That’s because the number of calories you need each day depends on your age, sex, height, weight and physical activity level. Use the chart above to find out how many calories you should take in each day.

Managing portion control is harder when eating out, so check the menu for calorie information; consider sharing a meal or taking half home; order one or two healthy appetizers instead of a whole meal; keep an eye on beverages – these calories can add up quickly; and stop eating and drinking when you feel full.


More than 5,900 schools offered salad bars to more than 3 million children and school staff between 2012 and 2019.

Source: CDC

Eating healthy, moving more and quitting tobacco can prevent 80% of heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes and 40% of cancers.

Source: WHO

Boost Your Longevity with Healthy Habits and Foods Workshop

  • Preventing and Managing Diabetes Workshop

    Saturday, July 20, at 10:00 am

    Wellness RN and Certified Diabetes Educator, Susan Gedan, and Wellness Health Educator, Golda Smith, will discuss various strategies for maintaining a healthy blood sugar level.

  • Preventing and Managing Diabetes Workshop

    Tuesday, July 23, at 6:00 pm

    Wellness RN and Certified Diabetes Educator, Susan Gedan, and Wellness Health Educator, Golda Smith, will discuss various strategies for maintaining a healthy blood sugar level.

  • Retirees: Cooking for Your Health

    Thursday, July 25, at 11:00 am

    Let’s get cooking! We’re excited to get in the kitchen to show you how to prepare healthy meals and share tips for better eating. Each class will last one hour at the Zoom links listed below and will include a cooking demonstration. Take a look at the tasty offerings you’ll cook up this month!


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Programs at Your Worksite

As an 1199SEIU member, you may have access to programs where you work to help you live a healthy lifestyle.

The information contained in this site is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives. See terms of use.

**$25 shop credit + shipping on us offer terms: You must purchase a WW membership plan between 6/1/23 and 7/31/23 to get a $25 WW Shop Credit that can be used at the WW Shop at You will receive the credit via email within 5 to 7 days of signup. Available only where membership plans are offered through your employer or health plan, and in participating areas only. One per member. Credit must be redeemed by 8/31/23. Some products may be excluded. Free shipping is applicable on standard ground shipping to a single continental U.S. delivery address only. Offer not available to current members. Non-transferable. Offer is subject to change without notice.

Health Is The Key, a podcast for 1199SEIU members