By Kristin Kessler, Registered Dietitian
March is an exciting month in the land of health professionals. Why? It’s National Nutrition Month® (NNM)! This tradition was started by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to educate the public on how to eat nutritiously, and each year the Academy selects a fun, nutritious (and delicious!) theme to encourage healthy behaviors. The 2016 theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right,” which champions the notion that food can be both wholesome AND tasty. Read on to learn more about this theme and garner kitchen inspiration with theme-centric recipes.
Flavorful food is fantastic
Change your mindset from “I must eat vegetables because they’re healthy” to “I want to eat vegetables because they’re tasty!” Wholesome food—when prepared properly and with quality ingredients—can taste as good as candy, we promise! This Carrot and Beet Salad is a perfect example. It complements the simple goodness of veggies with crunchy pistachios and creamy feta cheese.
Treat traditions with thankfulness
We all have food traditions that we hold dear, like that Thanksgiving side dish you can’t live without or the one-of-a-kind birthday cake your mom bakes every year. Celebrate the “specialness” of food while also doing your body good by lightening up beloved classics with healthy ingredient swaps (think: subbing Greek yogurt for sour cream or whole wheat for refined grains). For a healthy twist on a traditional Sloppy Joe, try Mexacali Turkey on a Bun, made with lean meat and whole wheat hamburger buns.
Savor the fun of social eating
Arguably the most important lesson we can learn from National Nutrition Month? Food = FUN! Sharing meals with loved ones makes food exponentially more memorable and satiating. Potlucks are one of our favorite forums for this food + fun combo. If you don’t have one on the books, consider hosting your own—just because! This Winter White Chili, a colorful concoction that’s both kid and adult-approved, will make an excellent centerpiece at your next get-together.
For more information on National Nutrition Month and how to Savor the Flavor of Eating Right, check out www.eatright.org.