Every March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics observes National Nutrition Month, a national campaign that focuses on the importance of making informed food choices. Research shows taste tops nutrition as the main reason why one food is purchased over another, and the foods people enjoy are likely the ones they eat the most. But healthy doesn’t have to mean bland. To help health-conscious consumers create tasty, nutritious meals that they will relish, the academy’s theme this year is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.”
Drawing from local foods and the area’s cultural and racial diversity, the Area Agency on Aging 1-B is embracing that theme. The Southfield-based nonprofit, which serves seniors in six counties in southeast Michigan, is distributing healthy recipes (go to hourdetroit.com for a Bean and Vegetable Salad with Rice recipe) at local senior centers throughout March; the dish will also be delivered to Meals on Wheels participants.
At Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, Cooking Matters Manager and registered dietitian Sarah Mills is planning a health fair for Gleaners agency partners and staff. She says it’s important for staff to understand why they should make their health a priority because it’ll also help better serve people who seek assistance from the food bank.
For Akua Woolbright, every day is National Nutrition Month. The community health and wellness educator at Detroit’s Whole Foods Market heads up the store’s new nutrition and culinary education center. Events have included a series on Woolbright’s Four Pillars to Healthy Eating as well as demos by local chefs such as the Epicurean Group’s Frank Turner.
Grace Derocha, a registered dietitian who oversees the Detroit Area Agency on Aging’s diabetes self-management program, says March is a good time to get back on the healthy track after well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions lose steam.
The campaign will also reintroduce people to what food really tastes like. “What has happened over the years is there is too much processed food, extra fat, and extra sugar that the actual taste is lost,” Derocha says.
For more information on NNM, go to eatright.org.