March toward better nutrition

It’s National Nutrition Month! Each March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics invites people to learn about making good food choices and developing healthy habits. Knowing there is no one-size-fits-all approach, the theme for 2021 is “Personalize Your Plate.”

We hope these suggestions inspire you to come up with a few goals that celebrate your unique background, tastes, and health.

Stuck in a food rut? Consider trying something new

Food choice tip: A simple guide for choosing fruits and veggies: the deeper the color, the higher the nutrients. Making a salad? Choose a darker green, like spinach or romaine, instead of iceberg lettuce.

Healthy habits tip: When looking for new whole grains to try, remember to read the nutrition labels. Higher fiber and protein are a sign your choice is a nutritious one. For example, a one-cup serving of quinoa has 8.1 grams of protein and 5.2 grams of fiber!

Set yourself up for success with weekly meal planning

Food choice tip: Start with a few super-nutritious ingredients, then search for recipes that feature them. Always wanted to try butternut squash, but not sure what to do with it? Look it up! There are dozens of free recipes available online. Just type the name of the food you are interested in to your favorite search engine.

Healthy habits tip: Too busy to plan, shop and cook? Healthy services from meal kits to weekly boxes of produce to grocery delivery can make it easier to stay on track.

Make mealtime about more than just food

Food choice tip: If you live with others, take turns having different members of the household pick the type of cuisine or main ingredient, or prepare the meal. Live alone? One thing we learned in 2020 is finding new ways to connect. Consider joining an online cooking club, or setting up weekly Zoom dinners with family and friends.

Healthy habits tip: Make it a point to learn nutrition basics. Whether you’re interested in performing better for sports, maintaining a healthy weight, exploring other cultures, or just leaning to better enjoy the experience of eating, seek out knowledge that will support you. From how to wash and store produce to how to make a sushi roll, make good nutrition a part of your life.

And now for the fun part: Let’s eat!

Author: Stephanie Sample

March 10, 2021