March is National Nutrition Month and the theme is Nutrition, Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle. I read with interest the details of a study they have conducted every 3 years for the last 20 years. Here are the highlights that I took from the study:
- 90% of us know that nutrition is important, but don’t do all we could to practice a healthy diet.
- The older we get, the more important it is.
- Those with children say they are not doing all they can
- 50% or more actively seek information about nutrition and want to hear what they should eat, not just what they shouldn’t eat and their favorite source of nutrition information is TV first with Magazines and internet tying for second.
While seeking nutrition information may I suggest that you check out www.myplate.gov or www.eatright.org as a better place to start and if you still have questions, please give me a call at the office at 330-264-8722. Also included was a rate your plate quiz. This might be a great conversation starter at dinner one night this week. Here’s how it works. As you answer every question below, you receive 2 points if you do this on Most Days, 1 point for Sometimes and 0 points for Never.
- Consider nutrition when making your food choices?
- Avoid skipping meals?
- Include 3 or more whole-grain foods daily?
- Eat at least 2 ½ cups of veggies daily?
- Vary veggies with dark green and orange varieties?
- Eat at least 2 cups of fruit daily?
- Get 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt daily?
- Choose lean meats and poultry?
- Vary protein with more fish, beans and nuts?
- Limit added fats, sugars and salt?
Well, how did you do? If you have 16-20 points: Healthy eating seems to be your habit already! If you had 10-15 points: You’re on track. A few easy changes will make your total eating plan healthier. If you have less than 9 points, sometimes you may eat smart. For good health, add more smart choices to your eating plan. How do you start? Start simple, look for one thing that you can do to make your food choices a little healthier and practice it for a week or two, then add something else? An easy one is to look at your plate as you eat, is half of it fruits or vegetables? Have your family make a list of those fruits and vegetables they enjoy and try to prepare those during family mealtime. For additional mealtime tips, check out this website: http://www.nationalnutritionmonth.org/nnm/handouttipsheets/#.VPjpkU05D4g
Attention: If any of you are in charge of preparing food for a church gathering, or other social event I am doing an Occasional Quantity Cook training next Tuesday, March 17th at 6:00 P.M. here at the Extension office. Please call for more details or to register.
Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.