March is a special month for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To them, March is National Nutrition Month and they encourage people to make more informed food choices and start on the path to developing better eating and activity habits.
We applaud their efforts and think March is the perfect time for their annual campaign to get us all thinking about better nutrition. For many of us, March the first month after winter when we can think about getting back outside and more active again. It’s also when we start to see some of the more seasonal produce come back to the stores as they begin to ripen in the southern states. So its a great time to be reminded of some of the things we can do to eat healthier meals.
But best of all, we love their primary campaign messages, which are:
1. Discover the benefits of a healthy eating style.
2. Choose foods and drinks that are good for your health.
3. Include a variety of healthful foods from all of the food groups on a regular basis.
4. Select healthier options when eating away from home.
5. Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that’s right for you, as MyPlate encourages us to do.
6. Keep it simple. Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated.
7. Make food safety part of your everyday routine.
8. Help to reduce food waste by considering the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.
9. Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.
10. Consult the nutrition experts. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists can provide sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.
Their website is also a great source of information and ideas for anyone looking to discover the benefits of a healthy eating style. For example, here is a link to an excellent post on snacking and kids – something that many parents struggle with. You might be surprised and actually a bit relieved about some of what they suggest – such as younger kids NEED to eat two snacks a day in addition to their meals. (we also love their URL – eatright.org!)
A lot of what we do here at The Dinner Daily is designed to make it easier for people to eat healthier meals and make more informed decisions about food choices. We actively work with Registered Dietitians (#10 on the list above!) to make sure our menus and recipes follow guidelines for healthy eating. We also hope that our service helps our members accomplish many of the other things on the list above.
So take it to heart and be a bit more mindful of your eating habits for the rest of March (and maybe beyond!) and try to make some small steps towards better nutrition. You’ll be glad you did!