March is National Nutrition Month! Created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Nutrition Month is a campaign focused on educating the public about the important role of healthful eating and exercise to control weight and prevent disease.
Here are a few ways you can take part in National Nutrition Month and incorporate healthier choices into your family’s routine!
Keep it Colorful
We’ve all heard it before. The best way to get the nutrients and vitamins that our bodies need is to increase our intake of colorful fruits and vegetables. And it’s easier than it sounds. Go ahead and rinse, cut and prepare fruits as soon as you get them home from the supermarket to insure quick and easy access as snacks throughout the day. Try incorporating just one or two more colorful vegetables a day into your meals and before long you’ll be reaping the benefits of a healthier diet.
Fuel for a Workout
If you are trying to lose weight, it may be tempting to think that exercising on an empty stomach will produce quicker results. However, your body needs fuel to function. Studies have shown that eating before exercising versus exercising in a fasted state, improves workout performance. If you work out first thing in the morning, for some it can be difficult to eat solid food that early. Try something easily digestible such as a fruit smoothie or a meal supplement.
Watching TV or playing with the iPad have become the norm for children and adults, especially during mealtimes. Try making meals “media-free.” According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, studies have shown that families that eat meals together, completely unplugged, tend to have a better nutrient intake and children have better academic performance.
Don’t Go Out to Eat When Famished
Often, we want to “save up” for a big meal at a restaurant, but this could end up being counterintuitive. Sitting down to a meal with an empty stomach will most likely result in overeating. It is better to have a healthy snack about an hour or two before going out to eat to prevent extreme hunger.
So take National Nutrition Month as an opportunity to start including a few new health habits, and before you know it, they will become routine!