March is National Nutrition Month! So today, we decided to take a look at why nutrition awareness is so important and ways you can make changes to improve your nutritional health.

What is National Nutrition Month?

National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored each March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The awareness campaign centers on educating people about “the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.”

National Nutrition Month also works to educate people about issues like food waste and food insecurity.National Nutrition Month 1

Why Nutrition?

Nutrition is a central part of your entire wellbeing. What you eat matters. And beyond what you eat, the ways we get—and get rid of—food are worth being aware of. Each year, billions of pounds of food go to waste. At the same time, approximately 1 in 8 Americans struggles with food insecurity—meaning they do not have consistent access to enough food for a healthy, active lifestyle.

National Nutrition Month works like all other awareness campaigns by highlighting an issue that we all tend to overlook on a day-to-day basis.

Ways to Make Better Nutritional Choices

A great way to take part in National Nutrition Month? Reevaluate some of your eating and nutritional habits. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a few easy steps you can take to improve your nutritional health this month and every month moving forward.

Skip Takeout

An obvious way to improve your nutritional choices? Cut back on eating out. If you buy lunch out every day, try dropping that back to one or two days a week and bring your lunch the other days. Not only does this save you a lot of money, but it ensures that you’re eating healthier, less processed foods.

Meal Prep

A great way to get better at skipping takeout is through meal prep. Meal prep simply refers to planning and preparing meals ahead of time. For most people, meal prepping on the weekend makes the hectic weekdays much easier. You don’t have to worry about what to eat since it’s already prepared. At the same time, you don’t just resort to eating out for the convenience since you already have healthy, home-cooked options. Not sure where to start? Stay tuned for some great quick and healthy recipes we’ll be sharing later this month!

Proper Storage to Reduce Waste

National Nutrition Month 2Another way to make a difference in your nutrition and grocery bills is by trying to eliminate food waste where possible. Approximately 31% of all edible food is wasted in the U.S.

“Far too often, good food goes bad before we get the chance to eat it,” says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Melissa Majumdar. “Before going to the grocery store, check inside your refrigerator. Eat what you already have at home before buying more.”

Another solution? Reevaluate how you store your food. Freeze extra food like fruits and meats to extend shelf life. Wrap freezer items in heavy freezer paper, plastic wrap, freezer bags or foil to avoid freezer burn. Majumdar also suggests labeling frozen food with dates and eating the oldest food first.

Bottom Line

Nutrition is a central part of your health and well-being. This month and every month, it’s important to take a careful look at your nutritional habits. Stay tuned for more nutrition tips and healthy recipes we’ll be sharing this month!