March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Shape up your plate.” What a great time for you and your family to focus on a few healthy eating habits! The new healthy eating icon, a plate and cup with the food groups shown by colors, is starting to look familiar. MyPlate replaced the pyramid last June and so far the audiences I have shared it with consider it a positive change.
Simply put, the MyPlate guide to healthy eating promotes making half of your plate fruits and vegetables. A generous portion of grain, (preferably whole), a small amount of protein, and a serving of dairy round out the plan. Oh, and did I mention that the plate we eat off of is supposed to be nine inches in diameter?
Another simple healthy eating habit includes starting each day with a powerful, nutrient dense breakfast. Our grandparents knew this was important, our parents knew this was important, and somewhere along the way we lost this information in the crazy pace of our lives. Studies show that people who eat a solid, healthy, balanced breakfast are healthier, have fewer cravings throughout their day and make wiser food choices.
A couple of nutrition educational programs to provide a healthy interpretation of the MyPlate guidelines are scheduled during the month of March. The program, “More Plants on the Plate” will be presented twice, March 14th at noon at the Great Bend Activity Center, 2715 18th Street, and March 16th, at 1 p.m. at the Great Bend Senior Center. The information will be the same and there will be recipes to sample at both locations. The handout is one that I developed a couple of years ago, but with editing by our Extension publication editors, it looks completely different.
Another opportunity to learn about how good nutrition can affect ones health is a program discussing “Bone Health and Vitamin D.” This educational program is set for Monday, March 26th, at 7 p.m. at the Turnbull room at Clara Barton Hospital. Members of the 21st Century Family Community Education Unit will be on hand to host the event. I am combining two related topics that are getting a lot of press time lately. Several recipes that provide a good amount of calcium will be available to sample.
Mark your calendars for one or both of these educational programs and make healthy eating a priority during National Nutrition Month.
Donna Krug is the Family and Consumer Science Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Barton County. You may reach her at (620)793-1910 or email@example.com