March is finally here! As spring approaches, we are celebrating National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme, “Go Further with Food,” communicates the importance of making healthy and informed food choices as well as reducing food waste.
What is Nutrition?
Nutrition is a major key to developing and maintaining good health. According to the National Institutes of Health, nutrition is a study that focuses on foods and substances in foods that help animals (and plants) to grow and stay healthy. The foods we eat provide us with energy. Essential nutrients for life include carbohydrates, proteins and lipids (fats), as well as fiber, vitamins, minerals and water. Nutrition is about eating a healthy and balanced diet. In order to be successful in obtaining good nutrition means getting the right amount of nutrients from healthy foods in the right combinations. Building a healthier eating lifestyle can help you avoid obesity and reduce your risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Meal prep is an essential step towards nutritional success and helps reduce food waste. For a healthy eating style, choose a variety of foods and drinks from each food group: fruits (whole), vegetables, grains (whole grains), proteins (lean), dairy (low-fat or fat-free) and oils. When planning meals always check your pantry and refrigerator first. Get creative in thinking of recipes and meals you can make with these ingredients before the items go bad, saving you money and making you less wasteful. Always plan to make extras! This planning technique saves you time throughout the week. Make sure you are meeting your calorie and nutrient needs when preparing meals and snacks.
A Healthy Community
Help your community support healthy choices! Many find that healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables can be expensive or unavailable where they live, which can make getting enough of these nutrients hard. Starting people young is a key component to maintaining good nutrition. Join the journey to good health by making healthy choices more accessible for all:
- At childcare
- In school
- At work
- Grocery/ convenient stores