National Nutrition Month 2021

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Hand weight, vegetables, and an apple

Written By FCS Intern: Tommy Hernandez

Welcome to the Month of March! This month is National Nutrition Month!

History

You may be wondering what National Nutrition month is. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), called the American Dietetic Association at the time, started this nutrition campaign in March 1973.1 The campaign started off as “National Nutrition Week,” to share nutrition (education or information) with the public, and promote the Dietetics profession.1 With nutrition gaining some popularity in 1980, the National Nutrition Week campaign was expanded to a month!1

This Year’s Theme!

Each year National Nutrition Month has a theme.2 The theme this year is “Personalize your Plate.”3 Everyone is unique with different goals and preferences, especially when dealing with food, when thinking nutrition there is not a one-size-fits-all approach, people come from different cultures, backgrounds, and customs.3 Choose nutritious foods that compliment your culture and preferences. While there are themes every year, the overall message of national nutrition month is “focusing on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.”1

Weekly Key Goals

Each week of National Nutrition Month has different goals, these goals are not for each day of the week, but rather are habits and practices that are encouraged to be partaken in regardless of the day. It should be addressed that some of these goals are situational, especially for week 4. The goals in Weeks 1-3 are habits that can slowly be incorporated into our daily lives for a healthier lifestyle.

Week 1:

Eat a variety of nutritious foods every day!

Week 2:

Plan your meals each week

  • Include healthful foods from all food groups
  • Hydrate healthfully
  • Learn how to read a Nutrition Facts Panels
  • Avoid distractions while eating
  • Take time to enjoy your food
  • Use a grocery list to shop for healthful foods
  • Be menu savvy when dining out
  • Choose healthful recipes to make during the week
  • Enjoy healthful eating at school and at work
  • Plan healthful eating while traveling

Week 3:

Learn skills to create tasty meals

Week 4:

Consult a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist!

  • Keep healthful ingredients on hand
  • Practice proper home food safety
  • Share meal together as a family when possible
  • Reduce food waste
  • Try new flavors and foods
  • Ask your doctor for a referral to an RDN
  • Receive personalized nutrition advice to meet your goals
  • Meet RDNs in a variety of settings throughout the community
  • Find an RDN who is specialized to serve your unique needs
  • Thrive through the transformative power of food and nutrition

Don’t Forget the Registered Dietitians!

During National Nutrition Month, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day is celebrated. RDN Day was first celebrated in 2008, and is always on the second Wednesday of March.1,4 RDNs offer so much to the public. RDNs are nutrition experts who understand the complicated science of food and are able to use that knowledge to aid in improving someone’s health status.4 Most people probably think that RDNs work in hospitals, but actually they work in many different worksites such as universities, schools, nursing homes, public health clinics, fitness centers, food management sites, and many others.4

It takes a lot to become an RDN. RDNs usually have degrees in nutrition and dietetics from an accredited university, complete an internship, and then take the RD exam. Now that may not seem like a lot on paper, but it is highly competitive and in 2024 you must have a graduate degree to be eligible to take the RD exam, so the bar is being raised higher.4,5 Thank your RDNs, they work very hard to get to where they are!

Hopefully, you join us in celebrating National Nutrition Month with us this year! We encourage you to spread the word to family and friends, this could be the beginning to a healthier lifestyle and developing healthier habits.


Citations:

About National Nutrition Month

History Timeline

National Nutrition Month

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day

2024 Graduate Degree Requirement