National Nutrition Month
Posted on 13 March 2023
National Nutrition Month® (1) is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month of March, everyone is invited to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.
In its 50th year, this year’s theme is ‘Fuel for the Future.’ Eating with sustainability in mind is a tasty way to nourish ourselves during every phase of life and protect the environment.
Check out our top tips on how to make informed food choices, develop healthy eating habits, and stay active. Making a few simple changes you can make to improve your health.
Planning what you eat
By going shopping with a list, and sticking to it as much as you can, will help keep your costs down. It can also help to have the list written in the order you walk round the supermarket, avoiding the need to double back – and perhaps be tempted to add extras! By having all your meals planned you will reduce the need to grab something quickly for lunch or ordering in a takeaway.
Shop for foods that are in season
Shopping and eating foods in season can help you eat in a more environmentally friendly way. Varying your fruit and vegetables depending on what is currently being grown locally will mean they haven’t had to travel from far to be available in your local supermarket. Frozen vegetables can often be fresher (therefore more nutritious), as they are normally frozen within a few hours of being picked, making them both cheaper, better for long storage and means less waste.
Start a vegetable patch, or visit a local pick your own
Why not think about growing your own food? Some fruit, vegetables, salad, and herbs can all be grown from scratch in your own garden. It can be very satisfying to create a meal using items that you yourself have grown. A local farm shop or pick-your-own fruit farm can also provide a fun way to shop for fresh, local foods.
Eat from a variety of food groups
Choosing a variety of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy all helps provide the necessary fuel for our body. For example, it is recommended (2) to make half your plate fruit or vegetables, with the remaining portion of the plate made up of grains and protein. By making every bite count on your plate, you can get the most out of every meal.
Let’s get moving
Along with eating right, it is just as important to get enough exercise and physical activity. This doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym, or running long distances, it can be as simple as trying to get outside for a walk during your lunch break, or after work. NHS England (3) recommends you should get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, in bursts of at least 10 minutes. Regular physical activity has been shown to help prevent or manage health conditions and diseases, improve the quality of your sleep, and reduce levels of stress.
(1) National Nutrition Month® (eatright.org)
(2) Healthy Eating Plate | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
(3) Physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64 - NHS (www.nhs.uk)