Celebrating National Nutrition Month in March, 2013

March is National Nutrition Month. This is a perfect time to consider better food choices and eating habits and to begin incorporating small changes into your diet — like reducing your fat intake and eating more green vegetables and leaner protein. The goal of National Nutrition Month is not so much to turn everyone into health nuts, but to make small dietary changes which, over time, can play a significant role in improving health.

National Nutrition Month is sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It started in 1973 as "National Nutrition Week" but became a month-long awareness campaign in 1980 as Americans started becoming more interested in healthy eating. Each year, National Nutrition Month has a different theme that falls within the goal of improving eating habits.

2013's theme is "Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day" and seeks to acknowledge that nutrition can't be achieved via a one-size-fits-all approach. People have different lifestyles, cultural and ethnic traditions, and health concerns that should all play roles in individual nutritional needs and goals.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers a long list of ways you can help your community get involved in the "Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day" campaign. Here are just a few ideas from their website:

  • Ask your mayor or governor to make a proclamation about National Nutrition Month

  • Invite the author of a nutrition book to speak at a local bookstore or in front of your club or organization

  • Organize a "healthy recipe" cook-off at work

  • Ask your child's teacher to have the class bring in empty food packages, then hold a lesson on reading the nutritional labels.

  • Ask your supermarket's manager to promote National Nutrition Month with posters and handouts.

Be sure to check out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics toolkit for a lot more ways to get your community involved, as well as guidance for requesting a proclamation by your elected officials, and downloadable web banners and ads so you can promote National Nutrition Month.

If you’re interested in more information on this topic, check out Nutrition For Dummies.

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