Fresh Activities for National Nutrition Month®

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It's hard to believe that National Nutrition Month® is almost over! What have been your favorite parts of this month?

Today I want to review the highlights of the health lessons laid out by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for National Nutrition Month®...

  • Eat a variety of nutritious foods every day.
  • Plan your meals each week.
  • Learn skills to create tasty meals.
  • Consult a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).

For a more in-depth review, check out the posts below! Each one goes into lots of detail about the themes of the month. Plus, they're loaded with great handouts...

And now for the best part: two brand-new activities to celebrate National Nutrition Month®, even while we're in the middle of a pandemic.

Activity #1: Personal Plate Swap!

One of the themes for National Nutrition Month® is to "Personalize Your Plate," taking the nutrition advice you've been given and applying it in a way that works for you. In this activity, participants will craft a healthful meal that lines up with the themes of National Nutrition Month®. They will write up a recipe and take a picture of what they've created. From there, they will share their recipes and photos with your group. Once everyone has shared their creations, each person will select a recipe that their peers have made and re-create it, sharing photos and discussing their own experiences with the dish. That way everyone gets to try two new meals: one they make on their own and one inspired by a friend in your group. Feel free to use social media and hashtags to run this activity, share the results in Zoom meetings, or turn the whole thing into an online contest!

Activity #2: New Food Scavenger Hunt

It's so easy to get into a rut when you're trying to improve your health, but introducing new foods offers a way to breathe new life into healthful habits.

For this activity, we use MyPlate's food groups and ask participants to try one new-to-them food from each food group per week. Be sure to review what kinds of foods to look for within each food group (whole grains in grain foods, low-fat dairy in the dairy group, reducing added sugars in everything, etc) as you start each week.

Then, once the participants have a sense of healthful options, have them pick a new food from that food group to try during the week. Once they've tried their new foods, reconvene to review the foods together so that everyone can hear about their peers' experiences. Who knows what might inspire each person? Perhaps one participant's first adventures with quinoa will encourage other participants to try it out, etc.

After you've reviewed the new foods, introduce the next food group for the next week. The food review could be through hashtags on social media, via email chains, in Zoom meetings, or sent to you individually -- choose what works best for your group. Feel free to get creative with song, poem, or purely visual reviews!

And there you have it! Two brand-new activities to celebrate National Nutrition Month®! I hope you get a chance to try at least one.

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