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National Nutrition Month Tips

March is National Nutrition Month, and every year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics shares a theme, “Put Your Best Fork Forward.” It inspires how to make your fork and plate the best it can be! Check out some of my favorite ways how to do it!

Here are Some National Nutrition Month Tips & Put Your Best Fork Forward

  1. Add lots of color
  2. Choose Variety and Balance
  3. Eat Healthy Portions
  4. Eat Seasonal When Available
  5. Eat Mindfully
  6. Spice It Up

Ways to Implement Some of the National Nutrition Month Tips

1. Choose Lots of Color

One of my favorite nutrition topics is the health benefits of different colors! Every color has a different set of healthful plant chemicals that help keep us healthy! I love this beautiful handout created by Sharon Palmer, The Plant-Powered Dietitian that beautifully sums up the health value of all these colors!

The Plant Powered Rainbow of Phytochemicals

Here is one of my favorite colorful recipes, and I hope you will love it too!
Colorful Tostadas

Black bean and corn tostado that includes roasted vegetables and topped with an avocado
Summertime includes flavors of fresh, local food

2. Choose Lots of Variety and Balance

Much of today’s nutrition news may come from questionable sources where many foods are off-limits. If you have been a reader of my blog, you have learned that my food preferences include whole food, clean eating, and mostly plant-based, but I realize that I have to meet readers and clients where they are and that many foods can fit in a healthy diet occasionally. One food group that has recently had a lot of negative press is whole grains. Whole grains contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and many healthy plant chemicals I mentioned earlier in this post, so it might be time to re-think adding some to your meal plan!

Here is one of my favorite ways to get whole grains. I hope it inspires you to add some to your meal plan!

Whole Grain Spring Veggie Pasta

Spring Pasta
Capture the taste of spring with these veggies!

3. Eat Healthy Portions

Almost any food can be added in a reasonable portion, and healthy, low-calorie foods can be eaten to excess. Making low-sugar banana pudding and trifle can be lower in calories than the regular version, but it may be too much if someone eats more than a reasonable portion. Another thing that often happens is someone will order a diet soda and overeat at a buffet. When using low-calorie sweeteners, it is still important to eat reasonable portions.

One idea that might work for portion control is to make desserts in single servings and also use preportioned foods so it is easier to get a reasonable serving. I also serve things like pasta or rice with a measuring cup. I love using a 9-inch plate and visually dividing it into four, where I can portion 1/4 of it protein, 1/4 whole grain, 1/4 veggies, and 1/4 fruit. Adjust it as your dietary needs reflect.

Here is a tasty dessert that is already pre-portioned, and I hope you enjoy it!

Mini Sweet Potato Casseroles

Mini Sweet Potato Casseroles

4. Eat Seasonal When Available

Choose more foods grown closer to your home from local farmers and farmers’ markets. Every little bit that we purchase in season can save food miles, put money back into the local economy, and help farmers support their families. Please do your best. It is not an all-or-nothing choice; gradually, try to make it a habit to shop the farmers’ market first.

Here is one of my favorite spring recipes that most of us can make this time of year.

In my opinion, the strawberry is the crown jewel of spring!

Strawberry Kale Salad

5. Eat Mindfully

Enjoy and pay attention to food. Limit doing other things simultaneously while eating, like driving, watching television, reading, and working on the computer. In addition to being more mindful when eating, it is important to eat when hungry and stop when full. There are many reasons that people eat. About 75 % of us eat for emotional reasons, and many eat for convenience.

I love the book 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food. It has many great ideas for finding alternatives to eating when you are not hungry. An added surprise when I went to share the link with you was that Dr. Albers has a brand new book called 50 More Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food! I am going to order that one, too!

50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food

6. Spice It Up

Learning how to season food without a lot of salt can be a great way to help prevent and manage blood pressure. Many convenience foods are incredibly high in salt, so making rice and pasta dishes from scratch and using your seasonings can save lots of sodium—in addition to making soups and salad dressings!

One of my favorite recipes uses lots of spices, so it does not need much salt added.

Garbanzo Tomato Curry

recipe for garbanzo tomato curry
Tasty. Healthy. Easy on the Pocket Book!

Enjoy Using these National Nutrition Month Tips to Make Your Meals Healthier

Put Your Best Fork Forward this National Nutrition Month! I hope some of these ideas will give you some easy ways to help put your best fork forward! As an Asheville registered dietitian nutritionist, I love to help others eat healthier to care for themselves. I am so happy that you found my blog! You can find out about some of my other services here.

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