Eating healthy for National Nutrition Month
Thursday, March 07, 2019
Obviously, every single person is aware of nutrition because food is a staple for survival. However, it can be hard to know what is healthy and what isn’t. March is National Nutrition Month, a tradition started by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics with National Nutrition Week in 1973. However, it wasn't until 1980 that interest peaked, and it went from one week a year to one month a year.
Eating healthy is hard and eating poorly is easy. It starts innocently enough — a co-worker brings donuts to work, you work through lunch, so you grab something from the vending machine. It’s all downhill from there.
You put in long hours at work, the kids have extra homework and you are all tired. It is very easy to hit a fast-food drive-thru; throw back some nuggets and a coke and you’re set.
Some small planning can change all that. A slow cooker is my best friend. For example, I toss in an English roast, a few baby red potatoes, some vegetables and beef broth, and set it on high for 8 hours. Then, you have a nutritious meal waiting for you after work and school.
You can pre-plan your meals a week at a time. I love fresh fruit, so I leave a basket of bananas and apples on the dinner table. This lets you pack something healthy for work and school.
If you love soda (and all its sugar), like I do, a little trick I learned was to freeze soda into cubes and add a “pop” cube to my water until I was able to completely stop drinking soda.
You can take National Nutrition Month even further by trading one bad food for a good food. For example, if you normally take chips to work, trade your chips for carrot and celery sticks.
If that seems too hard, try it every other day. Another suggestion is to cook together as a family. Pick one night a week and plan a meal together. If you include everyone in the decision-making, the more likely everyone will be to eat healthier. Tackling these issues is easier if you have support and work as a team.
Another thing you can do for National Nutrition Month is to take a nutrition class. If you can’t afford one or locate one locally, there is plenty of information online.
Many times, those who are less fortunate don’t have the financial means to eat healthy, so another way to get involved is to donate to your local food pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters. You can help those who might never get healthy foods.
You could also host a healthy potluck at work. Ask everyone to bring in their favorite healthy dish and have them place a notecard with the dish listing the ingredients. You can add some fun to the event by having a favorite dish award; vote anonymously, tally the votes, and the winner receives a gift card for a local health store.
If you’re even more ambitious, you can take flyers to work, to your local stores and to your local gym. A faster way to get the word out is to promote National Nutrition Month on all your social media accounts. Finally, stay active; march into spring and spring into March.
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