Each March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrates National Nutrition Month®, and this year the Academy members are encouraging everyone to “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” While social, emotional and health factors play a role in the foods people choose to eat, research confirms that taste is the number-one reason why one food is purchased over another. This year’s theme focuses on combining taste and nutrition to create healthy meals that follow the recommendations of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
As a health professional, you can use the theme of National Nutrition Month® to help clients build a healthy and delicious plate at every meal by simply expanding the range of foods they choose. When guiding patients and clients, share the following tips to help them explore new foods and flavors:
- Try adding a new fruit or vegetable to your diet each week. Deeply colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, so aim to eat fruits and vegetables that represent every color of the rainbow.
- Embark on a taste adventure by trying ethnic foods. Many ethnic cuisines offer healthy choices. When deciding what to order, look for items with whole grains like brown rice that are packed with produce and topped with lean protein.
- Experiment with new preparation techniques and different spices/ingredients as you prepare healthy foods that are staples in your home. This food experience will add a new twist to daily meals!
- For example, encourage clients to choose wholesome foods like eggs, which provide 13 essential vitamins and minerals. Advise them to incorporate eggs in a new and exciting way such as adding hard-boiled egg wedges to a pasta salad to pack a protein punch.
For more ideas on how to build a healthy plate at each meal, visit EggNutritionCenter.org and check out ENC’s educational materials. To learn more about National Nutrition Month® and find other nutrition education ideas and activities, please visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.
What are some of your favorite National Nutrition Month® Activities?