Healthy Eating: National Nutrition Month “Put Your Best Fork Forward”

As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I look forward to joining in the celebration of National Nutrition Month each March. National Nutrition Month is a yearly nutrition education campaign focusing attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habit. For 2017, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to “Put Your Best Fork Forward.”

So what does that really mean? It means that what we eat is just as important as how much we eat. It means that every little positive change you make in your eating habits adds up. It means that new habits take time so you don’t want or need to overhaul your diet overnight. Small changes, made over time add up.

“Put Your Best Fork Forward”Healthy eating tips national nutrition month

Here are my top five tips for making small changes that add up to healthy rewards:

  1. Swap one sugary food for fruit once a day: The simple habit of swapping that snack of sugary cereal or that dessert cookie for a piece of fresh seasonal fruit can add fiber, phytochemicals, and vitamins and minerals to your diet. Plus it will cut calories and energize you rather than leave you feeling depleted.


  1. Go meatless one day a week: Make Meatless Mondays a new family tradition. Have a meal focused on lentils, beans, or tofu once a week to gain the benefits of plant-powered proteins while cutting down on your intake of meat.


  1. Add one more vegetable to your plate: Make it a goal to add one more serving of vegetable to your lunch or dinner plate. A serving is just ½ cup of cooked vegetables yet in that ½ cup is vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Try having a side salad with dinner, start with a bowl of vegetable soup, or try roasting vegetables and see how it transforms them into sweet and addictive morsels.


  1. Eat a breakfast that includes a whole grain, lean protein, and a fruit or vegetable: Instead of choosing a refined breakfast cereal or white bagel, go for a whole grain like oats, quinoa, or whole wheat toast. Add a serving of filling protein like an egg, Greek yogurt or tofu, along with a fruit or vegetable and notice how your energy and concentration improves. You’ll also being doing your heart a favor by lowering cholesterol by adding valuable fiber to your diet.


  1. Be active most days of the week: Start small by “house-walking” when the weather is bad, moving more during the work day, taking the stairs, and adding a lunch time walk. Aim for bouts of 10 minutes – an achievable goal you can achieve by cutting down on screen time, time spent playing video games, or time spent updating Facebook.


Contact me for individualized help and to help you “put your best fork forward.”



  1. Good advice for achievable goals….baby steps.

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