March is National Nutrition Month!
Bet you didn’t know that March is National Nutrition Month! Well it is, and this year’s theme is “Eat Right, Bite By Bite.” National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics aimed at promoting informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. This month’s theme is broken down into weekly topics and tips to help you implement habits for a healthy lifestyle.
Week One: Eat a variety of nutritious food every day.
Sometimes our kids (and maybe even ourselves) get into a routine of eating the same thing over and over again. We should be eating a variety of different foods to receive an array of nutrients. Aim to try a new food once a week. Don’t know what to make with jicama or how to cook leeks? Websites like Pinterest can provide you with an endless number of recipes. You can use Google to learn how to tell if a certain produce is ripe and how to cut and prepare it.
Week two: Enjoy healthful meals at school, work, and home.
The key to this tip is planning. Plan your weekly meals around your schedule and make a grocery list. Soccer practice on Wednesday? Make a double portion of Tuesday’s protein to ease the stress of cooking on Wednesday. The same can be done to prep for lunches to take to work or school. Just mix up the meal a bit! Tacos for dinner and taco salad for lunch…cook once, eat twice!
Week Three: Learn skills to create tasty meals to share and enjoy.
Sometimes cooking can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Find a local cooking class in your area and make a it a family outing. Get the kids in the kitchen and give them age-appropriate tasks, like ripping up lettuce or rinsing veggies. They will be more enthusiastic about trying a new food if they helped prepare it. You can even gather new recipes from friends and family. Saw an interesting dish your friend posted on Facebook? Don’t be shy, ask them for the recipe!
Week Four: See a registered dietitian.
Having trouble figuring out the new nutrition facts label? Didn’t even know there was a new nutrition label? Ask your doctor or pediatrician for a referral to a registered dietitian. They are there to help you decode that information, as well as to help you with all the tips from above, and can even help you if your child is a picky eater. A registered dietician will be able to provide you with personalized nutrition advice that will fit your lifestyle and help you meet your goals.