When you hear “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” what does it mean to you? While the official messaging is that “each one of us holds the tool to make healthier food choices” and “making small changes during National Nutrition Month and over time, helps improve health now and into the future,” I’d like to share some of my own interpretations.
Put your best fork forward
Rather than emphasizing “best,” let’s talk about your fork and what that symbolizes. Obviously we don’t always use forks and many cultures never or rarely use forks. I think the fork symbolizes eating well, which means different things to all of us. Factors such as cultural traditions, food allergies, health conditions and personal preferences all play a role. Rather than feeling as if someone is trying to tell you how and what to eat, take a moment to consider what putting your best fork forward means to you.
Focus on how food makes you feel
Rather than being preoccupied with the nutrient and calorie content of your food, make choices based on what helps you feel your best. Eat the foods you enjoy, rather than forcing yourself to eat something you dislike for the sake or health or weight loss. Revel in the pleasure of eating.
Health includes physical and mental health
The point of putting your best fork forward is to pursue health. While chocolate cake might not be the most nutritious food, it can do a lot for mental health. And we know mental health can impact our physical health, too. Remember, eating well includes flexibility and variety.
Take time to consider how public health messages may be interpreted and offer clarification to patients and clients as needed. Just as we tailor nutrition counseling to each individual with whom we work, it’s important to translate information so it is appropriate and accommodating.
Tell us, what does putting your best fork forward mean to you?