Not only does March signify early spring, it also happens to be National Nutrition Month. This annual campaign, created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, focuses on making smart lifestyle choices. This year’s theme, “Go Further with Food”, is one I’m particularly excited about because its importance is timely for many reasons.
To help demonstrate the array of meanings this phrase can have, I asked some of my nutrition colleagues what the slogan means to them. From reducing foods waste, to embracing kitchen creativity, to experimenting with new flavors, here’s how eight registered dietitians “Go Further with Food.”
1. Make your food choices more sustainable.
“One of the most important things you can do is cut your food waste—40% of all food produced ends up in the trash! Try to save your leftovers, purchase only what you need, and use perishables up first to trim food waste.”
–Sharon Palmer, RDN
2. Step out of your comfort zone.
“Try new cuisines, foods, and ingredients. Pick out a new food at the store and give it a try. Order something new at a restaurant. Try an ethnic cuisine you’ve never had before, buy a new spice and find a recipe to try using it in. You’ll never know what you’ll like if you don’t try it. Break out of your routine and sample all the flavors the world has to offer.”
–Brynn McDowell, RDN
3. Dig deep into food origins.
“Look at food not only as a thing of sustenance but remember that food is what helps create society as we know it. Look into the history and meanings of food to appreciate what’s on your plate and how it got there. The origins of your favorite foods may shock you!”
–Markita Lewis, MS, RDN
4. Prepare your body to truly use the nutrients you consume.
“You are NOT what you eat, you are what you absorb. Before eating put yourself in the ideal state for digestion — relaxation! Pay attention to how food makes you feel, mind and body. As we begin to include more of what ‘agrees’ with us and less or what makes us feel ‘blah’, we give our digestive system a chance to work better and go further without working harder.”
-Jamie M. Peguero, RDN
5. Connect with loved ones through food.
“To deepen my family connection, not only do I want to make dinners happen, but I want to have less stress over shop and prep so that sitting there with my kids is more joyful on a busy weekday. When it’s time for the weekend, I bake with my girls. When I miss home, I make my mom’s meatloaf and bask in the comfort of each bite.”
–Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN
6. Reduce food waste; fight hunger.
“Up to 40% of the food we grow and produce in this country never gets eaten. At the same time, one in eight Americans struggles to put food on the table. It may seem like this issue is too overwhelming to do anything about, but there are steps every one of us can take to reduce food waste that are much more manageable.”
–Rachel Begun, MS, RDN
7. Appreciate all the ways food can benefit your health.
“My career in dietetics has shown me over and over how little good food it takes to make a big impact on health — whether it’s healing a wound, progressing from a walker to a cane or growing a kid that succeeds because they weren’t anemic when they attended class.”
-Jane Aylmer Brown, RDN
8. Get creative in the kitchen.
“Enhance your everyday meals and snacks with more flavor from herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds. These are small ways to give big taste and reduce food waste. Also try re-purposing meals for lunch the next day or adding leftover vegetables to your morning eggs.”
–Janet Brancato, MS, RDN
How do you “Go Further with Food”? Share your tips for reducing food waste, maximizing flavors, or anything else you think extends food. I’d love to hear from you!