March is National Nutrition Month and its focus is to bring attention and awareness to the importance of making good food choices and being physically active. “Go Further with Food” is the theme 2018 and it offers several key messages to help us achieve health benefits that come from healthy eating such as:
- Include a variety healthful food from all of the food groups on a regular basis.
- Consider the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.
- Buy only the amount that can be eaten or frozen within a few days and plan ways to use leftovers later in the week.
- Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that’s right for you, as MyPlate encourages us to do.
- Continue to use food safety practices.
- Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.
- Realize the benefits of healthy eating by consulting with a registered dietitian nutritionist.
In addition to the key messages above, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also included other health tips for 2018 such as:
- Start your morning with a healthy breakfast.
- Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Be active – adults should get two hours and 30 minutes of physical activity per week.
- Fix healthy snacks – healthy snacks sustain your energy levels between meals.
- Get to know the food label.
- Follow food safety guidelines – this includes hand-washing, separating raw protein foods from ready-to-eat foods, cooking foods to the right temperature, and refrigerating food promptly.
- Drink more water.
- Cook foods at home that are healthy and cost effective.
- Choose healthy options when you dine out.
- Have a family meals at least three times a week.
- Cut back on your added sugars.
- Make an effort to reduce food waste.
For more information, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website at https://www.eatright.org or USDA Choose MY-Plate website at https://www.choosemyplate.gov . For some ideas on healthy recipes, see the attached cookbook, "Meeting Your My-Plate Goals on a Budget."