Every year in March, we come together as a nation to celebrate National Nutrition Month. What a perfect time of year to reflect on how we are doing with our current nutrition goals — now that we are almost a quarter through the year — and set new goals as needed. During National Nutrition Month, we can come together and gather some great tips, resources and get that boost we need to continue to do our best throughout 2017.
“Putting Your Best Fork Forward” is this year’s theme for National Nutrition Month. This serves as a reminder that each of us holds the tool to make healthier food choices. Making small changes now and over time will improve your health now and into the future. There is no time like the present to start making some healthier choices and take advantage of all the resources available to you throughout this month.
Eating right does not have to be and is not complicated. If making dietary changes seems challenging to you, start small and celebrate those small successes. Increase your fruit intake by two servings each week. Do the same with your vegetable intake. Exchange one sugar filled beverage — like energy drinks or iced, sweetened coffee — for water. Look for leaner cuts of meat while shopping and replace your meat at one meal per week with beans or eggs. Start small. You can do it. Do not focus on changing every aspect of your diet at once. Mealtimes and eating should be an enjoyable experience, not one full of anxiety, stress and fear.
If you do not know where to begin, think about talking to an expert on the subject to get you started. Aregistered dietitian nutritionist can point you in the right direction and give you the basics you need to get started such as label reading and portion control. Asking your doctor for a list of professionals in your area is a great way to start your search and asking your physician for a referral is helpful as well. You can also search online to find a dietitian near you.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics invites you to visit its National Nutrition Month website for great information throughout the month of March. Head to www.eatright.org/resources/national-nutrition-month and find tip sheets, videos, recipes and more. We hope you decide to “Put Your Best Fork Forward” and take steps toward a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. You will not regret it.