Make Healthy Choices a Habit During National Nutrition Month®
March 2, 2016
March is National Nutrition Month®, a time to return to the basics of healthy eating. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics created National Nutrition Month® to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
For pregnant women, or those thinking about becoming pregnant, National Nutrition Month® is a great time to make changes that support their health and the health of their babies.
Savor the Flavor of Eating Right
This year’s theme, “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right,” is a reminder to eat flavorful and healthy foods, as well as to take time to enjoy the social benefits a tasty meal offers. We all know that what you eat is important, but the place, time or reason is just as important. This month take time to enjoy the tradition and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences that food can add to your life.
Food is also fuel for our bodies. Women who eat healthy foods can help their bodies stay strong during pregnancy. Their food choices also impact the growth and development of their babies.
While you’re pregnant, it’s especially important to develop a mindful eating pattern that includes nutritious and flavorful foods. Your plan should include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy, and lean proteins. Limiting added sugars, salt and saturated fats is also important. It’s OK to splurge now and then, but overall be mindful of moderation.
Get Your Body Moving
National Nutrition Month® is not only about food. Exercise is also part of the nutrition equation. Remember to include physical activity for at least 30 minutes every day. For pregnant women, this could be a walk around the block, bike ride, swim or another cardiovascular activity that gets the blood pumping and heart rate up. While starting a new or intensive exercise program is not recommended for pregnant women, moderate exercise is typically beneficial for mothers and babies. Listen to your body and keep physical activity at a pace where you can carry on a conversation while exercising.
Expert Advice on Nutrition
It’s important that you consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. Women who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant should consult with their doctor or a registered dietitian about an exercise or nutrition program that is right for them. While a balanced diet is preferred, some women may have trouble meeting their daily recommended intakes for certain vitamins and minerals. Talk to your doctor to see if a prenatal vitamin may be right for you to help fill nutritional gaps.