National Nutrition Month
It’s officially March — the best month of the year! Why? Because its National Nutrition Month. National Nutrition Month focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits (1). Each March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrates the power of food and nutrition in helping others discover the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. By following these tips, you can practice healthful eating habits during National Nutrition Month!
Reach daily fruit and vegetable goals. What is healthy eating without veggies and fruits!? This March, aim to consume 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables each day. Adding more fruit and vegetables into your day will provide fun colors and flavors to each meal while ensuring your body receives adequate vitamins, minerals, and fiber! Try making a fruit and veggie smoothie for a breakfast on the go, use veggies for dip instead of chips, grill your favorite vegetables for a week’s worth of meal prep or load them up on your favorite salad! You can add fruit to your oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt, or have it as a dessert with nuts. Having ready to eat veggies and fruit stocked in your fridge at home or work is another great way to fill up before meals or as a snack.
Use Myplate. MyPlate is a visual aid used to remind Americans how healthy eating should look throughout their lifetime. MyPlate highlights how each meal should include a variety of different nutrients, while limited saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars. Using the MyPlate visual, meals can be made more simple by modeling how each food group should be included. Plates should be filled with an assortment of whole vegetables and/or fruits as well a non-processed protein source (i.e. meat, poultry, seafood, beans, eggs, nuts, and/or seeds). Your meals should also feature whole grains that are rich in fiber and low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt (2).
Increase physical activity. This March, focus on moving more and sitting less. In order to reach the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, find activity that you enjoy and can make time for (3). Physical activity should be fun! Anything from dance lessons to walking your dog can count towards your weekly goal. Simple swaps such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away from the store, and biking to work will help increase your activity level. Workout with a friend or monitor your progress with an app to stay on track!
Consult a RDN. Consulting a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) is a great way to kick-start your healthy eating journey! By providing evidenced based nutrition advice, RDN’s can help you reach your nutrition and health goals through personalized care plans. Whether you are looking to lose weight, lower your risk and/or manage chronic disease, RDN’s are the nutrition experts eagerly waiting to help!
- National Nutrition Month® March 2019. Presentation updated in 2019. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
- What is MyPlate? United States Department of Agriculture. Updated December 14, 2018. https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate.
- Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition.
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