By John A. Ruibal, MS, RDN, CSSD, Prowers Medical Center’s Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
National Nutrition Month® is an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign, celebrated each year during the month of March, focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. In addition, National Nutrition Month® 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
Eating healthy and increasing exercise does not have to be an all or nothing proposition. The First step is deciding if you are ready to make a change. Once you decide, it is important to come up with a plan to get you on your way to better eating and fitness habits. If you need a little help getting started, reach out to qualified professionals that can help guide you.
A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist has a bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition or related field at minimum, most have master’s degrees or higher. To earn the RD, Registered Dietitian, or RDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist credential a dietitian must also be accepted to an extensive 9-month internship, after which they take an exam to earn the credential. To maintain their credential they must complete 75 hours of continuing education every 5 years.
Let’s make National Nutrition Month your month to start or keep your health and wellness plan moving forward. Below are 5 tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to keep your goals on track.
Consult an RDN
Whether you want to lose weight, lower your health-risks or manage a chronic disease, consult the experts! Registered Dietitian Nutritionists can help you by providing sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice
Start your morning with a healthy breakfast that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Try making a breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, low-fat cheese, salsa and a whole wheat tortilla or a parfait with low-fat plain yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal.
Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and veggies add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and fiber to your plate. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables your daily goal. Experiment with different types, including fresh, frozen and canned.
Regular physical activity has many health benefits. Start by doing what exercise you can. Children and teens should get 60 or more minutes of physical activity per day, and adults at least two hours and 30 minutes per week. You don’t have to hit the gym—take a walk after dinner or play a game of catch or basketball.
Schedule Family Meal Time
Plan to east as a family at least a few times each week. Set a regular mealtime. Turn off the TV, phones and other electronic devices to encourage mealtime talk. Get kids involved in meal planning and cooking and use this time to teach them about good nutrition.
Make today the choice to eat healthier and increase physical activity. If you need some guidance ask your Prowers Medical Center provider for a consult to an RD or RDN.