Nutrition Notes: March is National Nutrition Month!

National Nutrition Month has a long history beginning in 1980 when Congress decided to expand National Nutrition Week to encompass the entire month of March. The purpose of the month is to spread nutrition information and education to the community by promoting sound eating practices and physical activity habits.

National Nutrition Month is sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), who works to bring awareness to this health and nutrition-focused campaign. AND is a great resource for healthy eating tips, ways to eat right on a budget and fun worksheets and games for kids to catch the healthy eating bug. You can learn more about National Nutrition Month as a whole by visiting www.nationalnutritionmonth.org. How can you celebrate National Nutrition Month? Check your local hospitals, food banks, community organizations and schools for special programs and educational classes taught by registered dietitians (RDs).

Can’t find any classes in your area? Try these simple ideas to jump start your healthy lifestyle:

– Explore new foods by cooking one new healthy dish for your family every week of March. Visit eatfresh.org for nutritious recipes.

– Visit a farmer’s market and select a fruit or vegetable that is new to you. Find your local farmers market by visiting the San Diego Farm Bureau’s website.

– Learn how to read a food label by visiting the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website, and practice your new skills on your next grocery shopping trip.

– Be active! Commit to taking a walk in your neighborhood after dinner each night.

– Reduce your chances of getting sick by practicing proper food safety guidelines. Learn about them here.

Need a little boost to start your new healthy habits? Consult with a local registered dietitian to learn easy-to-follow nutrition advice and reduce your risk of chronic disease. If you know a dietitian, make sure to give them a shout-out on March 11th, because it is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day! You can also learn more about dietitians at www.eatright.org/RD.