The theme for this year’s National Nutrition Month is “Get Your Plate in Shape.” This is a great health observance holiday that can be celebrated, discussed, and utilized at a variety of workplaces and in schools. Use the resources at Eat Right to help plan your month of healthy choices.
If you work in a hospital, therapy center, or doctor’s office, you are probably already promoting good nutrition to your clients. Unfortunately, these busy environments often lead to less than healthy choices for the staff. When you add treats from vendors and pharmaceutical representatives, it may feel almost impossible to resist temptation and make healthy choices. This month, instead of focusing on teaching patients how to eat healthier foods, collaborate with your coworkers on how to make healthier food choices while at work. Have a weekly potluck where everyone brings their favorite healthy food; this will allow people to experience new healthy options and guarantee a healthy lunch for everyone. When vendors call and ask what everyone wants from the coffee shop or bakery, ask them to bring fruit and vegetable platters instead. Have an office competition to encourage everyone to journal their food choices and try to reach the right number of servings for each food group every day. Make the prize a healthy treat, such as a gift card to an organic store or dinner at a restaurant known for their healthy options.
Children have repeatedly shown they are more interested in eating healthy food if they take part in growing or preparing it. March is the beginning of spring in much of the country and a great time to start planting a garden. Even if it is still cold and dreary outside, seedlings can be started inside. Encourage classes to grow their own produce and then have the cafeteria incorporate the foods into school lunches once they are grown. Ask a local dietician to come in and speak to the various classes and use school funds to purchase healthy foods the children might not otherwise be exposed to for the dietician to give to the children.
Does your school or medical office maintain a blog? If so, this could be a great way to spread the message of healthy eating to your readers. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has blog widgets which make it easy to promote the even all month long and tips targeting your readers could be posted at the beginning of the month, weekly, or even daily.
How are you going to promote National Nutrition Month?