National Nutrition Month encourages all to eat right

MECOSTA COUNTY — March is National Nutrition Month and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to ‘Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right’.

WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, supports National Nutrition Month. WIC offers free supplemental food, nutrition education/counseling, breastfeeding support, and referrals to other health services to low and moderate income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children up to age 5.

To find the nearest WIC agency, call 1-800-26-BIRTH, or 2-1-1, the hotline link to community resources. If eligible, a WIC Registered Dietitian can start you on the path to ‘Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right’ with personalized nutrition education. CMDHD has Registered Dietitians and Breastfeeding Peer Counselors to provide you with healthy and helpful information for you and your family.

This year’s National Nutrition Month theme reminds everyone to make taste a priority when preparing healthy meals. Many factors influence our food choices, but ultimately the foods we enjoy most are the foods we choose to eat. Research, too, confirms that taste is the No. 1 reason one food is purchased over another. Celebrate National Nutrition Month by experimenting with new foods and flavors that your thousands of taste buds might love, keeping taste and nutrition on your plate at every meal.

Tips to ‘Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right,’ from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

  • At the grocery store. Choose one new fruit, vegetable or whole grain every week. Start small by trying different versions of familiar foods until you are ready to make a bigger change. WIC food benefits include fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grain options.
  • At home. Try new ways of cooking your old favorites! Roast potatoes instead of mashing. Steam veggies you might typically sauté. Grill, broil, or bake some lean meat. Or, for quick meal prep, sauté chicken strips or pieces, then add some vegetables to create a delicious stir-fry. Adults should aim for three cups of vegetables each day. Adding spice is another great way to enhance the taste of your food!
  • At restaurants. Try a restaurant that features healthy, ethnic foods that may be new to you. Or, try a restaurant serving seasonal and locally grown foods; you may find a healthy twist on an old favorite.

More helpful tips? Visit the Academy’s website at eatright.org/NNM for a variety of helpful tips, games, promotional tools, and nutrition education resources to include in your National Nutrition Month celebration.

The mission of the Michigan WIC program is to improve health outcomes and quality of life for eligible women, infants and children by providing nutritious food, nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals to health and other services.

If you would like an opportunity to get involved to improve nutrition in your community, consider joining Together We Can. Together We Can is a community project aimed at improving health status in the central Michigan area. For more information, like Together We Can Health Improvement Council on Facebook, visit our website at together-we-can.org or email us at TogetherWeCan@cmdhd.org.