March is National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month 2020:  Go Further with Food

Food is a main part of culture and celebrations; however, we must not forget that food also nourishes the body, mind, and soul.  Without good nutrition, our bodies do not work as well as they should which impacts how we think and feel. 

Since what we eat can have a direct impact on health and how we feel, every March is National Nutrition Month, and draws attention to the importance of good nutrition for all ages, genders, and backgrounds. 

National Nutrition Month is sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the theme of National Nutrition Month 2020 is 'Go Further with Food.' 

Follow these tips to Go Further with Food...

1. Eat Breakfast Start your morning with a healthy breakfast that includes lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables. Breakfast presents the opportunity to fuel your body with energy to make the most of your day.

2. Make Half of Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables Fruits and veggies add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber to your plate. Additionally, fruits and veggies contain phytonutrients that promote health.  Each day aim to eat 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables.  By filling half of your plates with fruits and veggies, you will easily reach this goal!

3. Watch Portion Sizes
Get out the measuring cups and see how close your portions are to the recommended serving size.  Here are examples of the serving sizes of common foods:

Fruits - 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup/one whole, about the size of a fist, fresh
Veggies - 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup fresh
Pasta - 1/2 cup cooked
Rice - 1/3 to 1/2 cup cooked
Meat - 3 ounces, about the size of the palm
Cheese - one ounce, about the size of a domino
Milk - 8 ounces or one standard measuring cup
Yogurt - 6 ounces or 3/4 cup

You can always check packaged food for the serving size.  Note there can be multiple servings in smaller packages.  These portions may seem small on larger plates.  A plate that measures 9 inches in diameter (across the center) is recommended.  When using smaller plates, your plate will seem more full and can have the safe effect for the food you are eating. 

To keep it simple: when serving up meals and snacks, remember to use half of your plate for fruits and vegetables and the other half for grains, lean protein foods, and dairy like milk, yogurt, or cheese. 

4. Plan meals based on the foods you have on hand and get creative with leftovers by transforming meals into soups, salads or sandwiches by cutting up leftover meats and veggies. Food is only nutritious if eaten!  Check out our recipe database for new ideas that your family is sure to love.

5. Donate extra foods that are still safe to eat to a local food pantry or shelter
Help others go further with food by donating foods when opportunities present. 

Going further is possible when you eat a variety of foods that give your body the nutrition it needs to perform at its best.  Be sure to shop VG's Grocery for the best selection of foods to nourish and fuel your body this year and beyond. 


Stephanie Edson Wellness Specialist SpartanNash
Stephanie is an award-winning registered dietitian who believes in empowering every individual to make nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle. She believes in the power of food as medicine and loves sharing about nutrition with others.