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Healthy Eating Habits for National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign dedicated to healthy eating observed each March. The goal of the campaign is to encourage people of all ages to make healthy choices when it comes to food, following a balanced diet and getting enough exercise throughout the day. There are several steps you can take to change your eating habits in order to stay healthy.

Try new, colorful foods

Did you know that the different minerals and vitamins in each fruit or vegetable affects the color? In order to get your necessary nutrients, make sure your breakfast, lunch and dinner plates are covered in a variety of colors. In order to expand your palate and horizons, try to have something new during your meal at least once a week. In addition to making a meal more interesting, you could find a new favorite food you never thought to try before. Trying something new also allows you to get new vitamins and minerals during meals and pay more attention to what you are eating. Watching what you eat allows you to develop healthier habits, such as eating away from your television or your laptop screen and make your meal more satisfying.

Pay attention to how and when you eat

Do you often find yourself snacking on chips and cookies when you’re bored or stressed? Do you rush through meals because you’re so busy? Changing the way you eat your food can help increase your enjoyment of each meal. Stress eating is a common habit that affects much of the population. Instead of grabbing a candy bar when you feel overwhelmed, try something new that can relax you. This can include going for a run or a drive, reading a book, listening to music or taking a class. In addition to helping you relieve stress in a healthy way, you can get some exercise for your mind and body. If you find yourself scarfing down meals over the sink or eating quickly to get back to work, you should slow down. Before each bite, you should pause in order to let the food digest. After taking the bite, you should chew slowly in order to return your focus towards eating. This will prevent you from overeating more than you want or need. Monitoring the time between meals is critical to making good choices when it comes to food. When enough time elapses between when you eat that you become famished, you are more likely to resort to junk food like chips, cookies, and candy rather than something more filling.

Stay hydrated

Making sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day is important all year long, not just during the warmer months. During the winter and spring, it can be easy to forget to drink water because you aren’t sweating or losing fluid. Limit the number of sugary beverages you drink like juice and soda, which can increase your thirst. If you are looking for something carbonated, switch to unsweetened seltzer water. In order to make sure you are drinking enough water, keep a refillable bottle at your desk and set alarms to remind you to rehydrate.
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