March is National Nutrition Month, California Agriculture Rules!
March 1, 2014
National Nutrition Month (NNM) this year focuses on following the Dietary Guidelines recommendations by combining taste and nutrition to create healthy meals. Consumer research confirms that taste tops nutrition as the main reason why one food is purchased over another. While social, emotional and health factors also play a role, the foods people enjoy are likely the ones they eat most.
NNM is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. NNM also promotes the Academy and its members to the public and the media as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically based food and nutrition information.
University of California Cooperative Extension – Imperial County is ready for NNM's theme this year, “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” Eating right can be challenging as healthy foods are often misunderstood to be bland, flavorless, boring, and not worth the time, but this isn't always true! Eating right can be delicious, flavorful, quick, and easy, and enjoyable.
California Walnuts wants to help consumers defend health all year round, and especially during National Nutrition Month. Their message is including whole foods like walnuts as part of a healthy diet can provide valuable nutrition that defend against diseases. The Natural Defender’s Toolkit has a variety of components that can be used to track personal health and learn more about nutrition.
The BMI Chart allows people to find their BMI value based on height and weight. The Cholesterol Tracker allows people to track cholesterol levels after every doctor’s visit, along with exercise and diet goals. The Medicine Tracker aids folks in keeping track of medications. And, finally, the Personal Prevention Record helps defend people's health against many preventable diseases. Use the forms in the Natural Defenders Toolkit, complete with nutrition tips from experts, to help people get started on a path towards wellness today.
The California Cling Peach Board suggests as we continue on through the month, we want to make sure we maintain a strong emphasis on the importance of nutrition.
California Strawberry Commission urges, “Just Add Strawberries for National Nutrition Month.”
Melissa Tamargo, on the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Blog, says to choose fresh foods that are naturally low in sodium such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs and milk.
UC California Agricultural Tourism Directory instructs us to read the Nutrition Facts label to choose low-sodium foods and look for terms like “no added salt.”
The Hass Avocado Board tells us to celebrate National Nutrition Month with an avocado-focused menu. Avocados make a great dip for chips and veggies or a flavorful sandwich spread. For creative ideas on how to add Fresh Hass Avocados to menu, stop by AvocadoCentral.com/avocado-foodservice.
Why not celebrate National Nutrition Month by taste-testing different varieties of the same crop, as suggested by the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. Try some pears, for instance. After all, according to the CDFA, California provides us with more than 400 choices!
Author: Melissa Tamargo