How to Celebrate National Nutrition Month
March is National Nutrition Month® and no matter how old you are, healthy eating promotes a healthier, happier life. Is it time to take stock of what’s in your pantry? Created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Nutrition Month serves to educate the public on nutrition to help us make informed food choices and develop healthy eating and fitness habits.
Every year has its own a unique theme. This year’s theme is “Go Further with Food,” to encourage us to focus on how we fuel our bodies and how to reduce food waste, conserving energy, resources and money.
Some of the key takeaways from the NMM 2018 theme are:
- Variety is the spice of life! Include healthy food from all food groups in your diet.
- Plan meals based on what you already have and what needs to be eaten.
- Buy portions that can be eaten or frozen within a few days.
- Portion control. Be mindful of the portions you serve yourself and others.
- Learn how to cook and store food to decrease bacteria and preserve food longer.
- Get physical! Find activities you enjoy and try to stay active.
- Consider consulting with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) who can provide personalized nutrition advice to meet your health-related needs.
In 1980, National Nutrition Month was established as a response to the growing popularity and public interest in what was originally National Nutrition Week. American Dietetic Association (ADA) members have embraced this opportunity to raise awareness, staying true to the campaign’s original purpose, “To increase the public’s awareness of the importance of good nutrition and position ADA members as the authorities in nutrition.” (1)
How to Celebrate
Make a plan to reach your nutrition goals. Resources like the United States Department of Agriculture’s ChooseMyPlate tool can help you create an eating plan and determine what you should incorporate depending on your age and lifestyle. Or you can reach out to an RDN for guidance from a professional.
Reduce food waste in your home by making plans to shop, store and prep with thriftiness in mind. Download an app to keep grocery lists and plan meals. Shop in your refrigerator first. Make your freezer your friend. And take the time to prep fresh food for snacks and easy cooking.
Do you know an RDN or work in a hospital or doctor’s office? Chances are good there’s a Registered Dietitian on staff, who’s life’s work is to help us live healthier lives. March 18th is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day. Don’t forget to show your RDN some love to celebrate them as indispensable providers of food and nutrition services.
To learn more follow this link for tip sheets and activity hand-outs on how to “Go Further with Food” from eatright.org, the official website of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Are you ready for National Nutrition Month? With Spring Break right around the corner, there’s no time like the present to “spring” into action!
(1) National Nutrition Month: A Brief History. 2006. Sharon Denny, MS, RD. http://www.eatright.org/~/media/eatright%20files/nationalnutritionmonth/nnmhistory_032006jada.ashx