March is National Nutrition Month, celebrated every year by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The theme this year is Put Your Best Fork Forward, a reminder that “each one of us holds the tool to make healthier food choices.” By making small changes in our food choices, we can live happier healthy lives. Here are a few ideas that can make an impact for you and your family:
Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.
Fruits and vegetables are great natural snacks that add vitamins, minerals, and fiber to your diet. Try to fill half of your plate with fruits and veggies, and include all the colors of the rainbow throughout the week. Meatless meals and vegetarian options are beneficial as well.
Drink more water.
The best way to stay hydrated is to drink water. Try to replace sweetened drinks with water throughout the day. Keep a water bottle at your desk or in your bag.
Increase fiber in your diet.
The best way to increase fiber in your diet is with whole grains. Including whole grains in your diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer. Try substituting your normal, everyday carbohydrates with whole grain versions, such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, or brown pasta. This will also promote feelings of satiety after you eat.
Schedule family meal times.
With our busy schedules, sometimes it can be hard to all sit down and eat a family meal. Planning this a few times a week is a great way to promote healthy lifestyles by cooking together, planning meals together, and trying new healthy foods. Family meal time also promotes family bonding.
There you have it, a few tips to help you put your best fork forward. For more information on National Nutrition Month, you can visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website at eatright.org