AUBURN, Alabama—National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
Go Further With Food
“Go Further with Food” is the theme for 2018. Its importance is timely for many reasons. Whether you start the day off with a healthy breakfast or fuel before an athletic event, the foods you choose can make a difference. Preparing foods to go further at home can have a positive impact. Nutrition experts can also help people adopt healthier eating styles and reduce food loss and waste.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has sponsored National Nutrition Month since 1973. Each year it encourages consumers to eat better and to exercise more frequently to improve or maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Keys to Healthy Eating
The Academy says, variety, balance and moderation are the three keys to healthy eating.
No one food group can supply all the nutrients a body needs. Eating a variety of foods from several of the food groups to meet your nutritional needs each day is important.
“Most Americans eat way too much food,” said Tera Glenn, a regional agent in human nutrition, diet and health with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. The average portion size for most people equals two or three servings per meal instead of the recommended serving size.
Glen says appropriate portion sizes range from 1/3 cup to one cup, depending on the food and sometimes how it is cooked. If you don’t have a measuring cup to measure the food, use these tips as a quick reference:
- 3 ounces (one serving) of meat, poultry or fish is about the size of a deck of playing cards or the palm of a woman’s hand.
- One serving (1 ounce) of cheese is equal to one thin slice of prepackaged cheese or a chunk about the size of your thumb.
- One serving of chopped green salad is a small handful of greens. A balanced diet, set up with the appropriate number of daily calories for your activity level, age and size, includes appropriate servings from each food group.
Eat in Moderation
What and how you eat may help you lose or maintain weight. Proper nutrition may help protect you from health problems later in life. It also allows you more flexibility in your food choices.
Contact your county Extension office for more information on National Nutrition Month.
Photo by Chinnapong/shutterstock.com.