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March 2021

MARCH is National Nutritional Month

Everything You Eat Matters

National Nutrition Month is an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign, celebrated each year during the month of March, focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

Developing a healthful eating pattern is not a one-size-fits all endeavor. The key is tailoring the foods you love to meet your individual nutrient needs. This year's theme, Personalize Your Plate, promotes creating nutritious meals to meet individuals' cultural and personal food preferences. We are all unique with different backgrounds and tastes, so it only makes sense that our food choices will reflect that individuality.

Here are some tips to keep in mind this month:

  1. Eat Breakfast. Start your morning with a healthy breakfast that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits and/or vegetables.

  2. Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables. Fruits and veggies add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals, and fiber to your plate. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables your daily goal. Experiment with different types, including fresh, frozen, and canned.

  3. Get Cooking. Preparing foods at home can be healthy, rewarding, and cost-effective.

  4. Watch Portion Sizes. Get out measuring cups and see how close your portions are to the recommended serving size.

  5. Drink More Water. Quench your thirst with water instead of drinks with added sugars. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water, especially if you are active or an older adult.

  6. Avoid distractions while eating.

  7. Cook with dried spices and herbs instead of salt to add flavor to your dishes.

  8. Go meatless: Serve up beans or lentils for a heart healthful plant-based protein.

  9. Cook with vegetable oils instead of solid fats such as butter when cooking to limit saturated fat.

  10. Eat 100-percent whole-wheat bread instead of white bread for more dietary fiber.

  11. To decrease extra calories from fat, bake, grill, roast or steam your food instead of frying.

Remember that quality nutrition isn't restrictive. Small changes to your diet can have a cumulative effect on health over time. Every healthy nutritional choice is a choice in the right direction!

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