Are you looking to improve your diet and overall health?
If so, you’re not alone. Each year, approximately 45 million Americans go on a diet. That’s about 1 in 6 people!
You think this would mean that everyone is very fit, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case. In fact, 99 million Americans are overweight and 70 million are obese. This accounts for about 40% of the population.
If you’re looking to get your nutrition back on track and lose some weight, or, you just want to improve your overall health, now is a great time to start. This is because March is National Nutrition Month.
Check out this guide to discover the top National Nutrition Month ideas to try out.
1. Shop at Your Local Farmer’s Market
A lot of us hesitate to stock up on fruits and vegetables because of how expensive they can be. However, you can often find fruits and vegetables at your local farmer’s market at half the price than what you’d find in stores.
Best of all, all the fruits and veggies you buy at farmer’s markets are locally-grown, and many of them avoid using pesticides that can be harmful to the environment and your body.
Try to make it a point to shop at the local farmer’s market once per week this month!
2. Experiment With a New Vegetable Each Week
Are you bored of eating the same old salad for lunch or the same old cup of peas for dinner? We don’t blame you.
But, we’ve got some good news. Did you know that there are 1,097 species of vegetables and around 2000 different types of fruit? While you may think you’ve tried every fruit or vegetable under the sun, there are clearly a lot of different fruits and veggies out there that you probably haven’t even heard of.
To celebrate National Nutrition Month, we suggest making it your goal to experiment with one new fruit or vegetable each week. Who knows, you may just discover new favorite food and a new favorite recipe.
3. Cook at Home Instead of Eating Out
When we eat out, we’re often blind to the ingredients as well as the amount of food we’re eating. According to a recent study, restaurant meals tend to pack in way too many calories- sometimes upwards of 1,400 calories per meal!
While eating out isn’t something you need to avoid altogether, we challenge you to swap eating out for cooking at home this month. When you cook at home, you’re much more aware of the ingredients you’re using as well as the portions you’re serving.
Plus, cooking a meal at home with a loved one or with the family can be a great bonding experience.
4. Volunteer Your Time or Money to a Nutrition-Related Non-Profit
If you have some extra money and time on your hands, we suggest putting it towards a nutrition-related non-profit this month. Here are some great organizations you can get involved with:
- National Farm to School Network: This organization works to bring locally sourced food into educational institutions
- Action for Healthy Kids: This organization works to provide parents and educators with the tools they need to raise healthy children
- Feeding America: This is a hunger relief organization with a network of nationwide food banks
- Wholesome Wave: This organization empowers underserved consumers to make better food choices
- Rudd Center for Policy and Obesity: This organization devotes itself to promoting solutions for childhood obesity, weight bias, and poor diet through policy and research
- California Food Policy Advocates: This organization is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of low-income residents of California
As you can see, there are a lot of great nutritional organizations worth getting involved in.
5. Teach Your Kids About Nutrition
The road to a healthier nation starts in the home. That’s why it’s so important to teach your kids about nutrition and wellness.
But, teaching your kids about nutrition and wellness doesn’t mean forcing broccoli and Brussel sprouts on them. Here are some fun ways you can teach kids about nutrition to empower them to make their own healthy food choices:
- Start a vegetable garden in your backyard
- Read them kid-friendly books about nutrition and eating well
- Don’t make food a reward or a punishment
- Be a role model — kids eat the way you eat, so make healthy choices
- Get your kids involved in grocery shopping and cooking
- Make healthy food fun by creating food art, choosing colorful food options, and hosting food-themed nights
- Eat dinner as a family and talk about the ingredients on the plate
- Check with your family doctor to see what nutrients your child may be lacking
The earlier you start teaching your kids about nutrition, the more likely they’ll be to make better food choices later in life.
6. Promote Healthy Eating at Work
Home isn’t the only place where we should be promoting nutritional education and healthy eating. It’s also something you should focus on in your place of work. Here are some ways you can celebrate National Nutrition Month in your workplace:
- Fill the break rooms with healthy snacks
- Provide all of your employees with a company water bottle
- Run a friendly company-wide wellness competition
- Install organic vending machines in the office
- Replace the weekly happy hour for a build-your-own yogurt parfait night
- Order in from a healthy restaurant once per week
According to the World Health Organization, healthy nutritional choices can raise your productivity levels by 20 percent. Put these tips into action and you’ll likely see more productive employees!
Are You Ready to Try These National Nutrition Month Ideas?
Now that you’ve read this article, it’s time to put these National Nutrition Month ideas into action.
Also, be sure to check back in with our blog for more tips and tricks related to healthy living.