Get Ahead: Everything You Need to Know for Week One of Nutrition Month!

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The first week of National Nutrition Month® is from March 1-7, so I want to make sure that you have everything that you need way ahead of time.

This week's theme is Eat a Variety of Nutritious Foods, Every Day, and here is what the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics highlights for Week One...

  • Include healthful foods from all food groups
  • Hydrate healthfully
  • Learn how to read Nutrition Facts panels
  • Avoid distractions while eating
  • Take time to enjoy your food

Let's take a look at each feature in more detail, shall we?

Include Healthful Foods from All Food Groups: This one is a lot of fun! There are so many ways that you can help your clients find fun and healthful foods from each of MyPlate's food groups...

  • Stage a virtual cooking demonstration with a few of your very favorite foods. You can review the food groups and highlight your favorite nutrients all while giving your audience real-life tools that will help them eat better and be more excited about doing so.
  • Give a tour of each food group -- healthful foods to choose, not-so-healthful foods to avoid, and why. You could also talk about preparing and storing these foods Brainstorm fun foods for each section of MyPlate as a group or individually and then distribute your final list.
  • Set up a food group challenge with the Food Diary Tearpad. Have your clients use this tearpad to track the foods they eat during the week. What choices did they make? What patterns did they notice?

Hydrate Healthfully: There's still a lot of misinformation out there about what makes a drink "healthy." Here are a few ideas to help your audience navigate what they drink...

  • First of all, the best drink around is water. This meets health needs without any added sugars or salt. I'm partial to the Drink Water poster to get this message  across, but there are lots of ways to communicate this key health advice.
  • The Sweetening Drinks blog post breaks down healthful and not-so-healthful ways to sweeten drinks or otherwise make them more appealing. With two handouts (including a delicious smoothie recipe), this post makes a fantastic email blast.
  • And of course this Sports Drink Comparison Chart offers a great exercise in evaluating nutrition facts, packaging, and making nutritious choices in the grocery store.

Learn How to Read Nutrition Facts Panels: What a smooth transition into our next topic! Nutrition Facts panels can be a font of useful information -- if you know what to look for. Your clients might benefit from any of the following options...

  • Get the Nutrition Facts is my favorite blog post about how best to read the Nutrition Facts label, with a Nutrition Facts Handout coming in a close second. Want to move through the Nutrition Facts label with your clients in a measured, straightforward way? Those posts are for you!
  • And speaking of blog posts, Nutrition Facts Activity outlines a fun way to get comfortable with Nutrition Facts  panels. This activity can easily be adapted to a Zoom meeting too.
  • Of course, there are tons and tons of resources available in the Nutrition Education store -- check out the Nutrition Facts Collection!

Finally, the last two bits of advice for the week -- Avoid Distractions While Eating and Take Time to Enjoy Your Food both come down to mindfulness...

  • You can host a virtual brainstorming session to discuss what distractions are common while you eat and how you can avoid them, which could lead quite nicely into strategies for taking time to enjoy your food in this busy time.
  • I collected all my best mindfulness eating tips into the PowerPoint Presentation Mindful Eating -- check it out!
  • And of course they're always the free handout Manage Stress and Practice Mindful Eating by Victoria Shanta Retelny, RD, LDN!

And there you have it -- activities and resources for each aspect of Week One of National Nutrition Month®. Which will you use?

You can find even more resources to help prepare for Week One of National Nutrition Month® at the Celebrate National Nutrition Month® Toolkit page from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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