March Is National Nutrition Month

Created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education campaign that focuses on eating healthy. The campaign consists of bloggers, a social media promotion that includes comments on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #NationalNutritionMonth, and 30 and 40-second public service announcements on the radio that share healthy eating tips.

Moreover, March 14 has been designated “Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day” to honor registered dietitians and nutritionists. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics asserted that all registered dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians.

The theme of this year’s crusade is “Go Further With Food.”

“While millions of Americans worry about how to feed their families, the amount of safe food wasted in the United States is on the rise,” explained Cordialis Msora-Kasago, registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy Of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson. “By making small changes to the way we think about eating, we can help reduce food waste.”

Acquire Food From Local Farmers’ Markets

The program encourages us to purchase our food from local farmers’ markets because it is affordable, has a minimal affect on the environment, and provides an opportunity to talk to farmers about lesser known fruits and vegetables, learn about how they are grown and how to prepare and serve them. Moreover, the experience helps to promote sustainable practices for a more diverse ecosystem and healthier people.

Prepare Meals In Advance

The campaign also encourages us to prepare meals in advance on the weekends to enjoy throughout the week. Kristen Smith, a registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson, noted that would help us focus on preparing balanced meals that can be reheated, help us eat healthier, and reduce food waste. She also noted that cooking in bulk actually saves money and permits you to portion out the meals and freeze what you don’t use now to have later.

She suggested that once you have decided when you will prepare the meals, you should decide on what recipes to use and then make a grocery list based on what you plan to prepare. She also recommended that you plan meals that include foods you already have on hand.

She added that if you want to assure that the meals you plan out are nutritious, then consult with a registered dietitian nutritionist or seek help from the Academy’s website (https://www.eatright.org/) where you can find articles, recipes, videos, and educational information that will teach you about good nutrition.

Store Food Properly To Avoid Waste

The celebration also encourages us to store food properly to reduce waste and lower grocery expenses.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, about 31 percent of edible food is wasted in the United States and Americans throw out about 28 percent of fruits and vegetables.

With this in mind, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggested that you freeze extra food to extend shelf life; wrap items in heavy freezer paper, plastic wrap, freezer bags or foil; date all frozen foods and consume the oldest food first; and to learn how to read date labels on food to assure that food is not wasted. For example, stores label food “Sell By” to best manage their inventory. Packages are also labeled “Best If Used By” to recommend to consumers the last date the food can be consumed.

Choose Healthy Foods

The best way to ensure health is to eat healthy food. For example, air-popped popcorn is healthier than movie theatre popcorn because it is whole-grain, includes antioxidants and is low in calories. Movie theatre popcorn is popped in coconut oil, which is bad for you; it has an overabundance of 1,200 calories and contains a whole lot of saturated fat per bucket.

Sugarless Greek yogurt is packed with protein and calcium while sweetening yogurt with flavorings or fruit pulps has less protein and contains 8 teaspoons of sugar.

Energy bars that include protein and fiber, low in sugar and saturated fat is better for you than energy bars with a chocolate coating or sugary syrups.

A salad that includes spinach, light tuna, vegetables, feta, and yogurt dressing is lower in calories than a salad that includes crispy chicken, bacon, cheddar, and ranch dressing.

Peanut butter is a good source of protein and heart-healthy fats, but flavored peanut butter with sugar and cocoa butter is high in calories and rich in chocolate.

One-ounce a day of dark chocolate is rich in cocoa solids that include flavonoids that help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, improve thought and lowers the risk of diabetes.

Breakfast cereal made of whole grains is low in sugar while sugary cereals lack fiber and protein and can cause a blood sugar spike that can cause you to crash before lunchtime.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics created National Nutrition Month in 1973. It was only a week long but was extended to a full month in 1980 because of the popularity of the nutrition education campaign.

The Eichholz Law Firm is committed to the well-being of our clients. We encourage you to follow the suggestions covered here and to participate in events involving National Nutrition Month. Here’s to good eating!