Do you aimlessly wander up and down the aisles of the grocery store or stare blankly into the fridge when you want something to eat? Don’t worry – you’re not alone.
Less than 10% of adults and adolescents in the U.S. eat enough fruits and vegetables, according to the CDC. Eating healthy and sticking to a decent eating schedule can be hard. Work, school and life in general can get in the way of maintaining a good diet.
However, March is National Nutrition Month; aka the perfect time to pay attention to your eating habits and learn about the food choices you could make for optimal health.
The Story Behind National Nutrition Month
National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign held in March to encourage people to learn how to make informed food choices and develop healthy eating and physical activity habits, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
This year, the Academy is encouraging us to “celebrate a world of flavors” during National Nutrition Month.
This campaign was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Established in 1917, the Academy is the world’s largest organization of nutrition and dietetics practitioners. This organization represents over 112,000 credentialed practitioners, from registered dietitian nutritionists to students studying nutrition and dietetics. Through research, education and advocacy, it aims to improve health and advance the profession of nutrition and dietetics.
How You Can Participate
The Academy has “weekly key messaging” to help people participate in the campaign and reach their nutrition goals.
During week one, the goal is to eat a variety of nutritious foods. Participants are encouraged to eat foods from all food groups, learn how to read nutrition labels and incorporate their favorite cultural foods into their meals.
Week two’s goal is to see a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). Participants should ask their doctor for an RDN referral, find an RDN who specializes in their unique needs and receive personalized nutrition information to help them meet their health goals.
Week three is all about planning meals and snacks. To do so, participants should choose healthy recipes to make throughout the week, utilize a grocery list while shopping for nutritious foods and make healthy eating decisions when eating out.
The final week is dedicated to creating tasty food at home. To end National Nutrition Month with a bang, participants can learn cooking and meal preparation skills, try new foods from around the world and enjoy meals with their loved ones.
Staying Healthy And Happy Year-Round
After National Nutrition Month comes to a close, keep implementing the things you learned into your daily routine. This will keep you healthy and happy year-round.
However, don’t be afraid to indulge once in a while! Finding a balance between eating healthy, nutritious foods and mouth-watering, less-nutritious foods is important. There’s nothing wrong with having a slice of cake or a bag of chips sometimes.
Have fun during National Nutrition Month – healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring.