With the start of Lent, many Americans will be giving up unhealthy actions and foods this month. Additionally, March is National Nutrition Month. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) originally launched National Nutrition Week in 1973. It became a month-long campaign in 1980. The first slogan for the movement was “Invest in Yourself — Buy Nutrition.” The goal is simple: “To increase the public’s awareness of the importance of good nutrition and position ADA members as the authorities in nutrition.” Now, living in a time when organic produce and locally-sourced foods are on the shelf in the local supermarket, healthy fresh food is more accessible than ever. However, price, culture, ease and habit can frequently stop us from making healthier choices.
Despite better labeling and more variety on the shelves, many of us don’t get proper nutrition. Perhaps it’s because of the sheer number of diets around to choose from that it can be overwhelming; we default to what is most comfortable and fastest in the face of difficulty. The good news is that National Nutrition Month isn’t about diets; it’s about education to help people make small, manageable changes. You can find quick tip sheets and fun games about nutrition for kids here.
The ADA says, “There’s no one diet that is right for everyone, so it’s important to follow a healthful eating plan that’s packed with tasty foods and that keeps your unique lifestyle in mind.” Following a roadmap instead of sticking to a diet is easier and something we are more likely to stick with in the long run.
Swearing off cookies, chips or other treats for life just makes forbidden fruit of them. It’s important to keep in mind that “variety, nourishment and a combination of nutrients,” are the key to good health. That means your meals should contain multiple food groups. You can use Choose My Plate to make great choices effortless.
Some people love paleo, keto or other diets. Others never meet a diet they like that fits their life. That’s when the practice of following an intuitive solution with simple parameters works best.