Smiling mom and daughter make food together on their kitchen island.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Ask a Dietitian: National Nutrition Month 2020

By Laura Hedrick MS, RD, LD

March is the best month of the year, because it’s National Nutrition Month! National Nutrition Month is an annual information and education campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). It was first initiated in 1973 as National Nutrition Week, and it became a month-long observance in 1980 in response to growing interest in nutrition. The second Wednesday of March is celebrated as Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day to recognize the dedication of RD’s as the leading experts and advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world. This year’s celebration will be March 11.

This year’s theme is “Eat Right, Bite by Bite,” which promotes eating a variety of nutritious foods every day while planning healthful meals each week, and the value of consulting a Registered Dietitian. As RD’s, we like to focus on making healthy lifestyle changes, not just “quick fixes.” Dietitians provide recipe ideas, cooking tips, as well as medical nutrition therapy to help clients and patients manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, etc.

Week one: Eat a variety of nutritious foods every day!

  • Include healthful foods from all food groups
  • Hydrate healthfully
  • Learn how to read Nutrition Facts Panels
  • Practice Portion Control
  • Take time to enjoy your food

Week two: Plan your meals each week!

  • Use a grocery list to shop for healthful foods
  • Be menu-savvy when dining out
  • Choose healthful recipes to make during the week
  • Enjoy healthful eating at school and at work
  • Plan healthful eating when traveling

Week three: Learn skills to create tasty meals!

  • Keep healthful ingredients on hand
  • Practice proper home food safety
  • Share meals together as a family when possible
  • Reduce food waste
  • Try new flavors and foods

Week four: Consult a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)!

  • Ask your doctor for a referral to an RDN
  • Receive personalized nutrition advice to meet your goals
  • Meet RDNs in a variety of settings throughout the community
  • Find an RDN who is specialized to serve your unique needs
  • Thrive through the transformative power of food and nutrition

To see what’s happening during National Nutrition Month, you can go to the Academy’s website at www.eatright.org and follow their social media channels including Facebook and Twitter using #NationalNutritionMonth. On their website you can also find nutrition tips, recipes and snack and meal ideas, tips on how to eat right on a budget and smart shopping, and nutrient-rich foods.

You can also check out some simple heart-healthy recipes and foods to use versus foods to limit in our Heart Healthy Cookbook! It’s a free, downloadable PDF with recipes you and your family can enjoy making and eating together! Simply visit NormanRegional.com/heartcookbook and fill out the form to claim your free copy today.

If you think you need an expert’s help for better nutrition, Norman Regional can help!

With a physician’s order, Norman Regional’s Nutrition Center will provide one-on-one counseling or group classes for the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Nutrition during pregnancy
  • Heart disease
  • Weight management
  • Eating disorders
  • Sports nutrition
  • Food allergies
  • Infant and adolescent nutrition
  • Lactation management
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer

The Nutrition Center is not limited to any diagnosis and can provide nutrition education for any nutritional need as well as for any age from newborn to geriatrics. For more information, call 405-307-5730.