March has been designated as National Nutrition Month by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month, the campaign focuses on creating attention around the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The theme for 2016 is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.” The goal is to encourage everyone to take time to enjoy traditions involving food and to appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences that food adds to our lives. Sometimes there is a large focus placed on what we eat and only that when talking about healthy eating. Although what we eat is very important and should be thought about, how, when, why and where we eat are important to consider as well.
The food we eat should be and is much more than just food. Our experiences with different foods, memories that certain foods have for us and where we were when we first had a particular food are all things that shape our eating patterns. How can you “savor the flavor” this month? Go to your favorite restaurant and try a new menu item. When cooking at home, experiment with different seasonings and spices to add new flavors to your dishes. Invite some friends over for dinner and sample a new recipe together. Take some time to look back at recipes and dishes that you were raised with and remember the culture and the experiences surrounding those dishes. While we always need to be mindful of what foods we consume and focus on nutritious choices, think about how you can enhance your experience with food this month.
It is always a good idea to take time and look at our diets and think about ways to include more nutritious options. This is especially true since your diet can help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer), and promote your overall health.
For more information about national nutrition month or for promotional resources to use in your workplace or school please visit http://www.nationalnutritionmonth.org/.