Every March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics creates campaigns for National Nutrition Month that are focused on making informed and healthy decisions when eating. The program was started in 1973 and, by 1980, growing public interest resulted in its expansion. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics works with over 100,000 credentialed practitioners to increase public awareness and create public resources for National Nutrition Month.
Eating healthy can be tricky, so we’ve gathered some of the best tips, like visiting Virginia’s Farmer’s Markets for fresh produce to help you make your National Nutrition Month tasty and nutritious.
Make a Healthful Plate
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According to Food and Health, focusing on healthful plates can have long-lasting health benefits and reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. There are five primary food groups: vegetables, fruit, grains, protein, and dairy. Balancing your plate with these groups will help you eat healthily all day.
Five Quick Tips:
- Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.
- Eat whole fruit more often than you drink 100% fruit juice.
- Make sure half the grains that you eat are whole grains.
- Keep your portions lean.
- Keep dairy portions small and low in unhealthy fats.
Eat Fewer Calories
Being knowledgeable about calorie consumption, especially in children, is a great way to maintain a healthy diet. The USDA and UFCW have released several guides to help parents manage their children’s diets.
Four Quick Tips:
- Have yogurt instead of ice cream.
- Add nuts and dried fruit to high-fiber cereals.
- Make a fruit sandwich with non-allergic peanut butter and fruit.
- Dip veggies to make them more appealing.
Physical activity is crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle, so, during National Nutrition Month, it’s important to focus on fueling the body to maintain activity. Avoiding sugary drinks and snacks can reduce spikes in blood sugar and healthy carbohydrates, such as fruit, can provide sustained energy all day.
Three Quick Tips:
- Eat a piece of fruit before a workout.
- Avoid sugary snacks for more balanced energy.
- Get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.
National Nutrition Month is a concerted effort from several agencies and it’s easy to find resources to help you and your family get started celebrating National Nutrition Month in your home. Eatright.org offers tons of food, health, and fitness videos and tip sheets to help get you started. If you have specific diet or exercise questions, ask your health care provider or trainer.