Students in schools gaining better nutrition through local sources.

National Nutrition Month

In All, Eat Better by Cara Bailey

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Every March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrates “National Nutrition Month” by focusing on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. This year, the theme is, “Put Your Best Fork Forward.” Every bite you take counts towards your health, and making just small shifts over time can lead to a healthier lifestyle you can enjoy and maintain. The academy put forth some tips to help make some changes to your lifestyle so you can transition to a better version of you over the next year.

Let’s take a look at what they suggest.
  1. Add variety to your fruit and veggie choices.choose a new fruit or vegetable at least once a week. The more variety you get, the more vitamins and minerals you will pull from your diet versus a supplement. Try to choose fresh or frozen fruits and veggies or ones that are in season and available locally.
  2. Add variety to your whole grain choices. There are so many amazing grains readily available on the market now; black and red rices, quinoa, kamut, spelt, teff. These used to be hard to find and pretty pricey, now they are either available on their own or baked into grainy breads and cereals.
  3. How much you eat is just as important as what you eat! Far too often, we give foods a “health halo.” If it is good for us, we can’t possibly eat too much, right? Wrong. A lot of foods we should be eating on the regular (think: nuts, seeds, avocados) are high in (healthy) fats, and therefore, calories. Too much of a good thing can backfire. Use the “MyPlate” tool to help you serve yourself appropriate serving sizes of your favorite foods.
  4. Activity matters! Find activities you enjoy to help get you moving most days of the week. We all want a little wiggle room once in awhile with our diet, exercise affords us just that and it can be a powerful tool in preventing chronic disease and obesity. There are so many options: walking, using a home workout system, or going to a gym. Whatever you enjoy doing, get out there and get it done!

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