National Nutrition Month® is a month-long nutrition education and information campaign that is put on by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year’s theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward.” The idea behind the theme is that every bite counts and that taking small steps to change our eating habits can result in positive, lifetime changes! This idea is one that every Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) is familiar with. RDNs are taught very early on that for a goal to be met, it is key that it is both achievable as well as personalized to their client’s eating style. Put Your Best Fork Forward is really about finding ways to be healthy that you enjoy.
National Nutrition Month® 2017 has five key messages that will help you find your healthy eating style.
- Create an eating style that includes a variety of healthful foods that you enjoy. As they say, it’s not nutrition if it’s not eaten!
- Practice cooking at home and be willing to try new, healthier ingredients. There are plenty of cooking apps and recipes available on eatright.org and other reputable internet sites. Pick one and give it your best shot!
- Follow MyPlate guidelines when building your meal. MyPlate replaced the Food Pyramid in the year 2011 and has a bigger focus on portion size and building a healthy plate at every meal.
- Finding physical activity that you enjoy is important. This can be playing with your pet, pacing while you talk on the phone or joining a team sport. Anything you will enjoy that gets you moving!
- RDNs are skilled in all things diet and are the best source of personalized nutrition advice for you. They are able to assist you in making healthful changes that you’ll enjoy making!
Some examples of small changes in eating patterns are to: exchange a whole grain for a refined grain once a week, eat dinner in the dining room on Fridays, or plan to enjoy a home-cooked meal twice a month. These changes should be incorporated until you feel comfortable with them. Then, they could be changed to eating whole grains twice a week, eating dinner in the dining room Thursday and Friday or eating a home-cooked meal once a week. These modest shifts in our eating patterns can become healthy habits we enjoy for life.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Contributing author – Sydney Nutting, FDACS Intern, Spring 2017