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  • Writer's pictureKirsten Smith

What You Need to Know About National Nutrition Month 2023

National Nutrition Month is the best time to think about your health and eating habits. As moms, we don’t always have the energy to make healthy nutrition choices, especially if we’re taking care of our kids. However, your health is important and what you choose to eat can have huge implications down the road.

If you’re wondering how you can improve your nutrition and eat more balanced and healthy meals this March, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve gathered some of the best advice and information about National Nutrition Month and healthy eating here.

This way you can find a way to simplify your routine and make changes that have a positive impact on your health this year and beyond!

What Is National Nutrition Month?

National Nutrition Month promotes the reflection, awareness, and education of our health and nutrition. This national month was created by the Academy of Nutritionists and Dietitians to help spread information about healthy eating in the US so we can choose foods that will meet our nutritional needs.

In addition, National Nutrition Month also highlights the importance of nutritionists and dieticians. Unfortunately, many people in the US don’t use this resource for healthy dieting and meal planning. So, this month I’ll also be talking about the importance of meeting with a dietician or nutritionist. I started meeting with a nutritionist a few years ago, and it was one of the best decision’s that I’ve ever made.

Importance of Healthy Nutrition Habits

Healthy nutrition habits are one of the most crucial components of your health. If you want to live a long high-quality life, you need to eat the right foods. Many people know they need to eat healthily, but they fail to realize just how important nutrition is in the long term.

I know it isn’t easy keeping up with healthy nutrition habits, but what you put into your body affects your mental and physical health in a significant way. So, if you want to keep up with your kids, protect your heart health, and prevent a range of chronic diseases, nutrition should be on your radar.

How Do I Practice Healthy Eating Habits and Boost My Nutrition?

You know that you need to eat better, but how can you start healthy habits and get yourself back on track with nutrition? I’ll include some of my top nutrition habits here along with some other great advice from health experts to help you start your journey toward healthy eating.

1. Add Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet

This can seem like a no-brainer, but many of us aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables. This food group is packed with some of the most nutritious and fiber-rich foods. Eating fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to improve your health and prevent serious health conditions and diseases.

Start simple by adding a banana or favorite fruit for breakfast. Then add in a vegetable during lunch and dinner.

2. Eat Foods High in Protein

I often struggle with this. High-protein foods keep you fuller for longer and they maintain your overall level of health. Protein is rich in nutrients that will keep your bones and muscles strong. This food group also keeps you energized throughout the day.

Many health experts recommend getting lean meat. You should also consider eating fish which is high in protein and omega-three to really boost brain health.

3. Cut Refined Sugar Out of Your Diet

Sugar tastes great, but it doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value. It’s okay to indulge in your favorite snacks, foods, and drinks every once in a while. Sugar should not be a major part of your diet. Not only will this cause major health problems, but sugar can make you eat more and lead to even more unhealthy eating habits.

4. Reduce Salt From Your Foods

Like sugar, salt is something else that should be cut from your diet. In moderation, salt can be okay. Still, if all your food is coated in salt you’ll encounter some serious health problems. Reduce salt when you can and stay away from highly processed foods as they tend to have a higher sodium content.

5. Eat Whole Grains

Whole grains should be a part of your diet too. Refined white grains definitely taste better but they aren’t great for you. Doctors and other health experts recommend sticking with whole grains for better long-term health, energy, and nutritional value.

6. Drink Plenty of Water

Believe it or not, your nutrition and your healthy eating habits are tied to what you drink. If you want to eat better, you need to stay hydrated with the right liquids. Sodas, caffeinated drinks, and other highly processed and sugary drinks won’t help you eat better. Instead, I recommend drinking at least eight cups of water a day.

7. Don’t Skip Meals

Finally, don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. Skipping out on a meal might not seem like a big issue, but when you don’t have an eating schedule you are setting yourself up for nutritional failure. You're more likely to overeat and make poor nutritional habits when you skip breakfast or another meal.

Make sure you’re eating three meals a day, and include some healthy snacks throughout the day to keep yourself satiated.

What Does a Healthy Plate Consist of?

It isn’t easy knowing what a healthy meal looks like. That’s why I’ll take some time to talk about how you can prepare a healthy plate. According to Harvard scientists, a healthy plate consists of:

● Half of your plate is filled with vegetables and fruit.

● A quarter of your plate is filled with whole grains.

● A quarter of your plate is protein.

● You can also have healthy oils in moderation.

● You should also pair your plate with a glass of water.

If you want to see the visuals of a healthy plate, check out the link here.

How to Grocery Shop For Nutrition

Grocery shopping for nutrition can be confusing at first. This final section of my post will go over some simple tips that will get you shopping like a nutrition pro in no time!

1. Plan Ahead

The best way to shop for nutrition is by planning ahead. I do this every week and it really helps make things a lot easier during the week. Think about what meals you want to cook throughout the week and start writing down ingredients on your grocery list. Make sure to include all the major food groups like vegetables, fruits, grains and protein. If you know what you need to get, you're less likely to add unhealthy foods to your cart.

2. Look For Color

Add plenty of color to your cart. This includes plenty of natural veggies and fruits that will keep your family healthy and nutrient filled each meal. Doctors recommend trying to recreate the rainbow in your cart, as the more colorful your food is the more healthy and nutritious your shopping cart is likely to be. You can find out more about this tip here.

3. Don’t Go On An Empty Stomach

One of the worst mistakes you can make while grocery shopping is not eating. I tend to do this a lot when I’m busy. Experts agree that going on an empty stomach can be detrimental to your health. This is because when you're hungry, you’re more likely to pick up unhealthy foods or get more food than you actually need.

4. Read Nutrition Labels

Nutritional labels are key when you are grocery shopping. Make is a habit. Some foods might seem like they are healthy and nutritious, but you won’t know until you read the label. Look out for high sugar content, sodium, and lack of nutrients as you browse for food. You can learn more about nutrition labels and how to read them here.

5. Look For Canned and Healthy Frozen Options

Frozen and canned options not only save you money, but they can be just as nutritious as fresh foods. Again, you want to look at the food label and make sure there aren’t too many preservatives in the foods you get. Certain canned vegetables and protein can save you money and last for longer. This also includes frozen meats and vegetables.

Purpose of Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists

The importance of what you eat can’t be overstated. I’ve been talking a lot about nutrition and healthy eating habits and it's definitely possible to change your diet on your own. However, we don’t always know what foods will work best for our health and wellness.

This is why it's important to talk to a dietician or nutritionist. I started meeting with a nutritionist a few years ago, and it was one of the best decision’s that I’ve ever made.

These health experts have a lot of experience and knowledge about food, and they know how to create a nutritional plan that will work for you.

If you have health problems like diabetes, food allergies, or high blood pressure, you should see one of these health experts. Dietitians and nutritionists can make major improvements to your diet that will boost your nutrition and help you live a longer life.

Final Thoughts on National Nutrition Month 2023

National Nutrition Month 2023 is a month that we should all be celebrating this year. Health and wellness are easy to overlook in our busy lives. However, if we want to live well and be there for our kid's major milestones, this is something we have to think about. That’s why I’m sharing this important nutrition and health information with you today.

Also, make sure to talk to your doctor this March to see what improvements you can make with your diet. If you have the time, even consider booking an appointment with a nutritionist or dietician to start making some healthy changes to your eating habits.

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