By: Parshae Robateau
March is National Nutrition Month and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is devoted to serve as a vehicle to deliver educated nutrition messages to the public. They are the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. As part of their campaign, they invite the public to focus on the importance of making healthier food choices and develop physical activity habits. This year’s theme is “Eat Right, Bite by Bite” with a message to say that good nutrition shouldn’t be overwhelming, but small changes towards a diet can have positive effects on health.
The Academy keeps their page updated with COVID-19 press releases and information to help support the community. They want society to eat a variety of nutritious foods every day, learn skills to create tasty meals, and plan meals to enjoy at home. Keeping a healthy immune system and practicing active calisthenics should help keep everyone well during the virus outbreak.
The tradition began in 1973 with the start of the first National Nutrition Week campaign and the beginning of the American Dietetic Association. Each campaign was featured on television and radio service announcements, news releases and bumper stickers promoting the theme “Invest in Yourself—Buy Nutrition”. Within four years, the association would plan local events designed to catch media attention by featuring a mascot on promotional items for good nutrition. With a body in the form of a head of lettuce and a carrot beak; “Nutribird” became the popular idea to expand interest in nutrition and health. By early 1980s, many registered dietitians and students dressed in Nutribird costumes to share healthful eating messages with children and adults.
The American Dietetic Association’s success lead towards the expansion of Nutrition Week into what is now known as National Nutrition Month. A new organization theme was soon settled for “Eat Right!” in 2009 to encourage people to make better food choices and add color to their plates. Registered Dietitians within the academy help their clients develop healthy eating plans and multiple ways to stay active so they can become lifestyle habits. Recipe ideas, step-by-step cooking videos and advice for meal preparation are personalized for each individual to help improve their health.
For the entire month, the Academy’s website holds resources to spread the message of good nutrition and overall healthy lifestyle steps for people of all ages, genders and medical backgrounds. The public is given weekly nutritional tasks to follow to challenge themselves in their transition into having healthy eating habits and staying active. During week one, we are encouraged to eat a variety of nutritious foods and practice meal prepping during week two.By keeping the message in mind, “Eat Right, Bite by Bite”, those transitioning into a healthy lifestyle will be able to learn the skills to create tasty meals by the third week. Parents and children may use this as an opportunity to create tasty meals together while we practice social distancing during this self-quarantine stage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers are able to consult a registered dietitian nutritionist by the fourth week with any questions or if in need for advice.