Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? National Nutrition Month has been celebrated for more than 50 years, and this year’s theme is — Fuel for the Future. This year, join in by choosing healthy foods for not only yourself, but for the health and future of the planet!
Here are some simple tips to nourish yourself through each phase of life while staying on a budget and caring for our environment.
Eat a variety of foods from all food groups — Eating foods from all food groups ensures that your diet is well-balanced. Fruits, vegetables, proteins (both animal and plant-based), grains, and dairy all have a place in a healthy diet.
Do not be afraid to eat multiple forms of foods such as frozen, canned, and dried foods in addition to fresh foods. Frozen, canned, and dried fruits and vegetables are still packed with nutrition but remember to look for no-sugar added or no-salt added options.
Enjoy more plant-based protein, meals, and snacks — Did you know that production of animal-based proteins, especially beef, contribute to most of the greenhouse gases caused by food production? Incorporating more plant based whole-foods can help to reduce our carbon footprint.
Plant-based whole foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber which provide multiple health benefits. Plant based proteins such as beans and other legumes are usually very budget friendly and are an easy staple to keep in your pantry.
Buy foods that are in season and shop locally when possible — There is a reason tomatoes taste better in the summer! By following the seasonal eating pattern for fruits and vegetables, you will typically find better prices and may get better quality foods.
Also, be on the lookout for local farmers markets which are more popular during the spring, summer, and fall months. For more information on seasonal eating, visit seasonalfoodguide.org.
Grow your own food at home — You can grow your own food at home without having to plant an entire garden. Start small with planting in containers like flowerpots and small garden beds. Foods that are simple to grow at home in a small container include tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and greens like spinach and lettuce.
Plan your meals and snacks before heading to the grocery store and see what food you have at home before purchasing more — Having a good idea about what meals you will have through the week will help keep you within your grocery budget and stay on track with your nutrition goals.
Also, doing a quick inventory of your pantry before heading to the grocery store can help reduce food waste by using what we have on hand before buying more. Shop Simple with MyPlate is a great app that can help you save money while making healthy choices.