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Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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March is "Eat Right" Month

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March is National Nutrition Month and the theme is simply, "Eat Right." National Nutrition Month is a time when the American Dietetic Association, a non-profit organization of 68,000 nutrition professionals, focuses on helping consumers focus on improving their diet.

To find out if you are eating right, check out this great interactive quiz from the American Dietetic Association.

Quick tips to think about this March:

Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with these recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
A healthy eating plan:
  • Emphasizes fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
  • Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.
Make Your Calories Count. Think nutrient-rich rather than “good” or “bad” foods. The majority of your food choices should be packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients – and lower in calories. Making smart food choices can help you stay healthy, manage your weight and be physically active.

Focus on Variety. Eat a variety of foods from all the food groups to get the nutrients your body needs. Fruits and vegetables can be fresh, frozen or canned. Include more dark green vegetables such as leafy greens and broccoli and orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes. Vary your protein choices with more fish, beans and peas. And, eat at least 3 ounces of whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day.

Know Your Fats.
Look for foods low in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Most of the fats you eat should be monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Check the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels for total fat and saturated fat.

Physical Activity for Fitness and Health. Balancing physical activity and a healthful diet is your best recipe for managing weight and promoting overall health and fitness. Set a goal to be physically active at least 30 minutes every day. You can break up your physical activity into 10 minute sessions throughout the day. If you are currently inactive, start with a few minutes of activity such as walking. Then gradually increase the minutes as you become stronger.

Healthy Eating Habits for Kids
  • Healthy eating and physical activity don’t become habits overnight. Parents can help children improve their eating habits by making healthy changes a part of the daily routine.
  • Make the most of family mealtime. Eating meals together provides the opportunity to help children develop a healthy attitude toward food. It also enables parents to serve as role models, introduce new foods and establish a regular meal schedule.
  • Active kids need planned, healthy snacks. Think of them as mini-meals that contribute nutrient-rich foods. Keep a variety of nutritious ready-to-eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy foods on hand.
  • Every child needs appropriate amounts of calories, protein, minerals and vitamins to grow. MyPyramid.gov offers personalized eating plans for healthy adults and children over the age of two and interactive tools to track food choices, stay active and eat right.
To find a Registered Dietitian in your area, visit www.eatright.org and click on Find a Nutrition Professional in the upper right corner.
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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