National Nutrition Month is a campaign that is celebrated annually during March. The campaign was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for nutrition education and related information. The purpose of this campaign is to highlight the significance of developing healthy eating and physical activity routines.
The members of the academy are promoted as the prime and sound source of convenient, scientifically-based food and nutrition data to the public and media, by National Nutrition Month. On the second Wednesday of March, during National Nutrition Month, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day is also acclaimed.
The theme of this year’s National Nutrition Month was “Eat Right, Bite By Bite” with the message that quality nutrition is not prohibited, but that little changes to the diet can have an aggregate impact on health over time. Be kind to your body and develop a healthy routine. Make smart health choices and avoid unhealthy habits.
National Nutrition Month 2020
The National Nutrition Month 2020 message was divided into four weekly-messages. The first week was about eating a different kind of nutritious food daily. Consume the products, which contain vitamin B and folates like leafy green vegetables, such as kale and spinach. The second week was about planning your meal every week according to your physical performance. Select the food that provides enough energy according to the activity level for the day.
The third week was about learning the skills to make various combinations of tasty meals. The purpose of this message was to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables by pairing new foods with old ones. The fourth week was about seeking support from Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to design healthy challenges to meet your goals.
A Brief History of National Nutrition Month
Members of the American Dietetic Association initiated National Nutrition Week in March 1973, as a way to provide nutrition education and information to the public while encouraging the dietetics profession. The American Dietetic Association (ADS) is now known as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The week-long celebration of nutrition in 1980, expanded to a month-long campaign due to the increased public interest. The mission of the academy is to advance the well-being and ideal nutrition for all the people. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the largest organization of nutrition and food professionals around the globe.
Academy consists of more than 100,000 approved practitioners; most of the members are nutritionists and registered dietetics and nutrition technicians. The use of National Nutrition Month is promoted according to the published guidelines of the academy only.
Healthy Habits to Celebrate National Nutrition Month
Aiming for healthy nutrition is a long continuous journey, and National Nutrition Month is the perfect time to kick start healthier routines and habits. We have come up with a few tips in this article that will help you in developing healthy habits.
- Replace Smartly
Replace low-fiber, refined, essential starchy foods that you consume daily (like pasta, rice, tortillas, or English muffins) with whole-grain products. In this way, you will get more protein, vitamins, healthy fat, and minerals that are lost during the process of refining (in which the endosperm and bran are removed from the grain). Moreover, you will get more gut-strengthening and cholesterol-reducing fibers.
Always look for the word “whole” as the first ingredient before buying packaged food like bread and tortillas. Add whole grains like barley, quinoa, buckwheat (gluten-free), brown rice, or farro into your diet instead of white rice.
- Know Your Needs
There are a lot of factors like body type, gender, family history, current health conditions, age, and daily routines that play an essential part in deciding what food to consume in more quantity and what to avoid. Know the needs of your body and select the foods that contain the required nutrients.
- Prepare Tasty Snacks in Advance
It is a good idea to fill your fridge with ready-to-go, pre-portioned, and healthy snacks so you can have easy access to them on your busy days. It will also help you avoid hunger-induced fast food runs. For example, select whole-grain rice cakes or crackers and have a topping of fruit and yogurt or seed butter on the top. Store it in your fridge and grab on your way out of the house.
- Daily Physical Activity
Being physically active and daily physical workout is a very crucial component of a healthy lifestyle. But unfortunately, most of us do not give it much importance. Regular physical activities and exercising make your muscles and bones strong, as well as lower the risk of chronic illness. Moreover, it enhances overall well-being, including better sleep, stress relief, and an optimistic mental outlook.
- Eat Throughout the Day
Skipping meals or doing extreme diet during the day can result in excessive cravings, hunger, and binge eating later in the evening, leaving you to feel drowsier and your digestion system out of whack. Have mini-meals after every 3 to 4 hours, balanced in complex carbohydrates, high-quality protein, and healthy fats to keep your energy and blood sugar level in check.
- Create a Mostly Plant-Based Diet
Include more legumes, fruits, nuts or seeds, and vegetables into your meals and snacks. Fresh vegetables and fruits are loaded with water and electrolytes, which can promote mental clarity and hydration when chosen as midday snacks.
Nuts, legumes, and seeds combine sustaining fiber with protein, which provides you a double-whammy of natural satiety to keep you satisfied and full. Increasing the quantity of plant protein in your diet is a straightforward way to leave less of a carbon impression on the soil, whereas also profiting from the powerhouse of nutrition they carry to the table.
We all are capable of making better health-related choices in our lives. So, instead of waiting for a particular month of nutrition and practicing healthy habits in that month only, make it your consistent routine. Eat healthy foods, be physically active, and avoid unhealthy habits throughout the year. Having a sound mind and body will make you do better and achieve more in your life.