Celebrated every March, National Nutrition Month is a great opportunity to focus on the importance of making informed food decisions and develop sound eating habits. A campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, this year’s theme of "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right" is all about discovering what nutrient-rich foods add to the plate – including flavor!
“With more than two out of three adults struggling with their weight, it’s evident that eating well doesn’t always come easy,” states Kati Mora, MS, RD, nutrition communications manager for the United Dairy Industry of Michigan. “That’s why I love the attention a campaign like National Nutrition Month brings to the food we eat. It’s an opportunity to highlight not only foods that are nutrient-rich, but provide real-life advice for how to bring them to the front and center of any meal plan.”
Most Americans are currently falling short on a variety of foods important for good health. In fact, according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, about three-fourths of the population has an eating pattern that is low in vegetables, fruits, dairy, and oils. Unfortunately, these foods not only provide health benefits, but can enhance the flavor, texture, and appeal of a variety of meals.
Along with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Michigan dairy farm families are also committed to promoting a culture of health and wellness this month. Dairy foods like milk, cheese and yogurt fit easily into a well-balanced meal plan and are considered to be one of the top food sources for essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and potassium. These foods are a great option, especially for individuals who are looking for budget-friendly, low-maintenance options.
“Dairy foods on their own provide a great source of nutrients; however, they can also make it easier to incorporate other important food groups as well,” claims Mora. “A few of my favorite recommendations include milk combined with fruits and vegetables in a smoothie, cottage cheese with fruits and nuts at breakfast, and yogurt combined with seasonings for a quick and simple dip to accompany fresh and crunchy vegetables.”
For individuals looking to celebrate National Nutrition Month, flavorful recipes can be found on the Milk Means More website. In addition, a Delicious Dairy Flavors recipe book can be downloaded directly from the website.