By Fit For Work Staff

The whole month of March is considered National Nutrition Month. Each year the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics puts on an educational and informational campaign to encourage the importance of healthy eating as well as physical activity. The theme for this year’s National Nutrition Month campaign is “Put Your Best Fork Forward” meaning even the smallest change that you make to your nutrition and/or physical activity habits can help put you on the track to a healthy life! So don’t be discouraged by thinking you need to make big changes to see big results. 

 Ways to Start Putting Your Best Fork Forward:

Create an eating style which includes a variety of healthy foods from all different food groups. You want to choose a mixture of different foods because all foods contain different amounts of vitamins and minerals. Think about a carrot versus a yogurt. Each of those foods is healthy for you but one is going to contain a lot more calcium than the other.

Practice cooking healthy meals at home. For years you have heard cooking at home is the way to go, but as our lives started to become busy we started to rely on fast food, quick cooking, and junk food. So, bring back healthy, home-cooked meals. Don’t have time? Aim for just one meal a week at first then gradually add in additional home-cooked meals when you feel you have time! Make it fun! Find a new ingredient to work with, perfect a home-cooked recipe, get your children involved, have a themed dinner...whatever encourages you to cook more at home, do it!

Experiment with new ingredients such as a fruit, vegetable, or grain that you have never cooked with before. You would be surprised by how many choices there are at the grocery store these days!

Keep your portions in check! Most people overestimate the amount of food they should be consuming. To make it easy use the ChooseMyPlate guide to determine the proper serving size for each food group at every meal. Check out choosemyplate.gov for additional resources.

Find activities that you enjoy so you can ramp up those physical activity minutes. Aim to be physically active for 60 minutes each day. This doesn’t mean you need to go run for 60 minutes...but go on a walk, weed the garden, shoot hoops with your children, find ways to be physically active that you actually like!

Be a role model. Talk positively about eating healthy, especially around children. Children listen to every thing you say and if you complain about eating healthy they are going to complain as well! Also, be a role model for physical activity. When your children see you engaging in physical activity, they will likely follow!

Lastly, remember your decisions DO matter! Even the smallest change is still making a change and making a small change is better than making no change at all! So, keep up the good work! 

Visit the Wellness page to learn more about Nutrition Education services offered by Fit For Work.

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