Eat Well, Be Well

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Eat Well, Be Well
By Cynthia Fisher, Child Health and Safety Supervisor, Head Start of Fayette County

We’ve all enjoyed the comfort foods of the winter, hearty soups, casseroles, and baked goods, but as we move into spring, it’s time to get back into the groove and back on a healthy track.

Sponsored by the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, March is National Nutrition Month. Nutrition Month encourages us to focus our attention on making informed food choices and developing healthy eating and physical activity habits. This year’s theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”. The theme is used to promote the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, in which it is recommended that we limit the amounts of added sugar, sodium, and saturated fats (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2016).

Here are some tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2016) you can try today:

  1. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  2. Vary your protein food. Keep meat and poultry portions small and lean.
  3. Cut back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars, and salt
    1. Choose food and drinks with little or no added sugars.
    2. Add spices and herbs to season foods to season rather than adding salt.
    3. Use oils when preparing foods rather than solid fats.
  4. Eat the right amount of calories for you
    1. Cook more often at home where you are in control of what’s in your food.
    2. Get your personal calorie limit at www.ChooseMyPlate.gov.
  5. Be physically active (USDA, 2016).
    1. Young Children (2-5 years) need to play actively several times a day.
    2. Children and Adolescents (6-17 years) need 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day.
    3. Adults (18-64) need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity at a moderate level or 1 hour and 15 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity at a vigorous level.
  6. Use food labels to help you make better choices
    1. Read labels, look for food items that are lower in sugar, sodium, and saturated

For more information and healthy tips, visit www.choosemyplate.gov or www.eatright.org/resources/national-nutrition-month


References

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (2016, January). National Nutrition Month. Retrieved from: http://www.eatright.org/resources/national-nutrition-month

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (2016, March). Savor the Flavor of Eating Right. National Nutrition Month. Retrieved from: http://www.eatright.org/resources/national-nutrition-month

United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA). (2015). Physical Activity. How Much. Retrieved From: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/