(Washington, D.C., February 28, 2011) – March is National Nutrition Month®, an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the American Dietetic Association (ADA). The International Food Information Council Foundation is pleased to partner with ADA on this effort to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. This year’s theme, “Eat Right with Color,” reinforces the importance of making room for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and dairy on consumer’s plates. And the good news is that there are lots of options in grocery stores and restaurants to help people consume a colorful diet.
“A great start to a colorful diet includes fruits and vegetables, but you don’t have to stop there,” says Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, FADA, Senior Vice President of Nutrition & Food Safety, International Food Information Council Foundation and former President of the American Dietetic Association. “Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables can offer equal nutrition compared to fresh, and other packaged foods such as brown rice, yogurt, cereal, soup and juice can also play an important role in a healthful diet.”
Nutrition Insights to Help You “Eat Right with Color”
√ Dive into Color with Functional Foods-- Functional Foods are foods that may provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition. Examples can include fruits, vegetables, whole grains as well as fortified foods and beverages. Whether it’s the deep red in cherries, bright orange in an apricot or the deep green of spinach, the color of certain fruits and vegetables is often connected to the health benefit of the food. Plan meals around a vegetable dish like a soup, stir-fry or veggie kabobs, and try snacking on fruit for dessert.
√ Add Variety Everyday—The end of summer does not have to mean the end of your favorite seasonal produce. Food processing and technology make it possible for us to enjoy seasonal foods year round. For example, find fresh tomatoes in the produce section of the grocery store (even in the winter!) or add jarred sun-dried or canned diced tomatoes to your favorite recipe. The choices are endless.
√ Keep a Food Diary—Track the calories you eat and drink, as well as how much you move. Research has found successful weight “losers” tend to regularly track their weight, food intake and activity. Regularly write down what and how much you eat and drink. Aim to record at least three days of intake and activity; the longer your journal, the more information you will give yourself about your daily routine. At the end of each day, add up the number of calories you ate that day. Is it higher or lower than what you need?
√ Be a Life-Long Learner— There are many misperceptions about food. Know that all foods can be a part of a healthful diet. In fact, the more science-based information you have about your food and how it’s grown and produced, the more you can apply this knowledge to achieve a healthful lifestyle.
FoodInsight.org will feature numerous resources for National Nutrition Month throughout March, including blog posts, videos and other materials. You can also follow us on Twitter (@IFICMedia & @FoodInsight) and “like us” on Facebook at Food Insight to keep up on our National Nutrition Month activities.
Additional Resources to Help Build a Healthful Lifestyle
For more on the International Food Information Council Foundation’s resources or any other questions, please contact the Foundation media team at 202-296-6540, Mittenthal@ific.org or Matthews@ific.org.