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March 1, 2012

March is National Nutrition Month

Everyone knows healthy eating leads to a healthier lifestyle.

That’s why March is set aside as National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme  is Get Your Plate in Shape.

These recommendations from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the ADA) are a great way to get started on the road to health and wellness through good nutrition.

  • Start with the basics. Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. A healthy eating plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy and includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans and nuts. A healthy eating plan is also low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars.
  • Make calories count by thinking nutrient-rich rather than “good” or “bad” foods. Most food choices should be packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients — and lower in calories. Be aware of portion sizes. Even low-calorie foods can add up when portions are larger than you need.
  • Focus on variety by eating foods from all the food groups. Fruits and vegetables can be fresh, canned or frozen. Look for locally grown produce that’s in season. Vary protein choices with more fish, beans and peas. Include at least three servings of whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day.
  • Make the most of family mealtime. Eating meals together provides the opportunity to help children develop a healthy attitude toward food. It also enables parents to serve as role models, introduce new foods and establish a regular meal schedule.
  • Balancing physical activity and a healthful diet is your best recipe for managing weight and promoting overall health and fitness. Set a goal to be physically active at least 30 minutes every day.

Visit the ADA Web site for nutrition month recipes, fun quizzes, hand hints and more.

Watch ADA videos here.

March 14 is National Dietitian Day, a great time to thank the food and nutrition experts of our Health System.

Need help eating right and staying active? A registered dietitian can create a custom plan for you. Contact a Methodist Health System dietitian at (402) 354-8797, or

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