Celebrate National Nutrition Month With A World Of Flavors
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
While the need to focus on making informed food choices is something that should go on year-round, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics pays special attention to healthy eating each year in March, which has been designated National Nutrition Month®.
This year’s theme, Celebrate a World of Flavors, embraces global cultures, cuisines and inclusivity, while also highlighting the expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists.
“Of course, we want everyone to focus on making informed nutritional decisions every day and designating a month out of each year to really focus on healthy habits is a great way to help people meet their nutritional goals,” said Diana Romano, Oklahoma State University Extension assistant specialist. “Keep in mind it’s not just about food – developing sound physical activity habits also play a role in good health.”
Enjoying different flavors of the world not only is a chance to learn more about your own food culture, but those that may be new to you. Familiar ingredients can be presented in new ways and new foods may remind you of things you already know and love. As an added bonus, you may even discover new ingredients and flavors you’ve never experienced before.
“It’s always fun to try new recipes and foods from other cultures,” Romano said. “Trying new flavors and foods from around the world can also help you increase the variety of foods you eat. It’s easy to get in a rut when it comes to mealtime. During National Nutrition Month®, try at least one new recipe each week. One of them could become the next family favorite.”
Experiment with new recipes for various meals during the day. Find new, exotic fruits that could be part of a breakfast smoothie or served alongside whole-grain pancakes. Try a new type of bread, such as pita, for those lunchtime sandwiches, and instead of lettuce, try using bean sprouts. Pair that sandwich with gazpacho, a type of cold soup made with tomatoes, peppers and onions.
When it comes to snack time, Romano suggests choosing healthier snacks from various food groups. Some good choices may include fruit chutney eaten with bread or cheese, raw veggies with hummus or tzatziki or perhaps whole-grain tortilla chips with guacamole or salsa made with veggies or fruit.
“Healthy eating options span the globe. To make things even more fun, have the family do some research on the part of the world where the recipes come from and discuss these new places around the dinner table,” she said.
OSU Extension offers additional nutritional information online.
National Nutrition Month® was initiated in 1973 as National Nutrition Week, and it became a month-long observance in 1980 in response to growing interest in nutrition. The second Wednesday of March is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, an annual celebration of the dedication of RDNs as the leading advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world. This year's observance will be March 9.