As spring brings a sense of freshness, it is the perfect time to take a fresh look at our food choices and overall nutrition habits. Also, if you made a new year's resolution relating to nutrition, spring is a good point to check-in and see your progress, or recommit, if needed.
Since what we eat can have a direct impact on health and how we feel, March celebrates National Nutrition Month and draws attention to the importance of good nutrition for all ages, genders, and backgrounds. National Nutrition Month is sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the theme of National Nutrition Month 2017 is 'Put Your Best Fork Forward.' Just like we would if embarking on a new career or hosting a visitor, we should give attention to our nutrition and make choices that will set us up for success. National Nutrition Month reminds us of our responsibility to eat right today and throughout the year to remain healthy and prevent lifestyle related health conditions. While 'eating right' can vary for each person, it simply means making nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle.
Putting your best fork forward doesn't have to be a drastic change. Small changes can make big differences over time and are more realistic. This National Nutrition Month, here are a few suggestions for families to eat right and well:
-Involve children in grocery shopping and meal planning
-Get children active in the kitchen by adding ingredients, stirring, and serving
-Focus on more fruit and veggie based meals
-Choose lean proteins including eggs, beans, nuts and seeds
-Opt for whole grains such as brown rice, farro, and whole wheat breads, pastas, tortillas, and crackers
-Incorporate dairy foods either as low fat milk with the meal or cheese or yogurt as ingredients
-Choose cereals, snacks, and desserts with 9 or less grams of sugar per serving
-Serve fruit for dessert
-Limit or, even better, avoid sugar sweetened beverages; drink water instead
-Use canola oil in place of vegetable oil
-Eat more meals as a family
-Attend a supermarket tour
-Take a cooking class
-Dine out less OR make healthier choices if dining out often by looking for lighter meal options
Happy National Nutrition Month!
- Louise, Nathan, and Stephanie, your Living Well specialists