Each year, March is dedicated as National Nutrition Month. This is a great time to examine your diet and lifestyle. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages individuals to return to the basics of healthy eating while fitting good nutrition into their own lifestyle.
The theme of this year’s National Nutrition Month reflects that goal. “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” isn’t a shout-out to that popular fast food restaurant, but a reminder that you can incorporate the foods you love as a part of a daily healthy eating plan.
Here are some recommendations for how to eat healthy, nutritious foods no matter what your lifestyle is like.
Are you busy with your career?
- Keep healthy foods at your desk for a quick lunch, such as canned tuna (in water) and fresh fruit.
- Plan ahead by using a crockpot – throw in a roast, potatoes, and colorful vegetables before you leave for the day, and voila! You’ve got a meal ready when you walk in the door.
Are you an athlete?
- Be sure to fuel properly before exercise – try peanut butter with graham crackers.
- Drink water – you’ll need plenty to keep you well hydrated.
- Read more recommendations from BCM experts on how to ensure proper nutrition for athletes.
Are you a busy student with a tight budget?
- Try a quick breakfast like banana and yogurt to give you the protein and energy you need to start your day.
- Load up at the cafeteria with colorful fruits and veggies—just be sure to go easy on creamy salad dressings and cheese.
Do you have a medical condition, such as hypertension, diabetes, or food allergies?
- Try lean meats that are baked, broiled, or grilled – add herbs and spices for new tastes.
- Make sure half of your plate contains fruits and vegetables for a good source of fiber that will help you feel fuller.
- Read food labels – this is important for anyone, not just for those with allergies.
Are you unsure about how to pack nutritious school lunches your kids will eat?
- Many schools have started to move away from the olden days of tater tots and French fries as cafeteria lunch staples – but a recent study shows that parents packing school lunches aren’t always following suit.
- Read the details about cafeteria lunches vs. brown-bag lunches, and get recommendations about healthy lunch options from BCM experts.
Do you have difficulties making time for family meals?
- Research shows the importance of sitting down together as a family for meals.
- Learn about how family meals affect our health, and ways to start getting the family together for meals.
Questions about nutrition? Check out Eat Right or contact a local registered dietitian to better help tailor your diet to your individual needs.
Celebrate National Nutrition Month by checking for more posts on nutrition, including recipes, and share your favorite healthy lifestyle tips and meals.
-Kristi King, registered dietitian with Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital