March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Go Further with Food”. The focus is on choosing foods that are healthy for both our bodies and the environment and learning to manage food resources at home. There are several ways we can accomplish this.
- Shop locally. Visit your local farmers market for an affordable and tasty way to try out new foods and enjoy locally grown and naturally ripened foods. Make a list and choose foods you know how to prepare or ask your local farmers about ones that you are not familiar with.
- Prepare meals in advance. If you have free time on the weekend this is a great time to prepare several healthy balanced meals that can be enjoyed throughout the week for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is a great way to save time and reduce food waste. Cook in bulk and divide into individual portions to put in the refrigerator or freezer and warm up when ready to eat.
- Store food properly. Correct storage of food reduces waste and can help lower your grocery bill. “About 31% of all edible food is wasted in the U.S., and American households throw away nearly 28% of fruits and vegetables.” Before heading out to buy more food eat what you already have at home; soups and stews are great ways to use up remainders in the fridge. Freeze meats in portions, fruits and vegetables in freezer friendly packaging to avoid it going bad before being used.
It is important to also continue to include a variety of food from all food groups daily, be mindful of portion sizes, and be physically active most days of the week.
Rachel Sestrich, RD, LD, CDE