March is National Nutrition Month, and Mary Free Bed’s nutrition team is excited to celebrate all things wellness. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has selected “Put Your Best Fork Forward” as this year’s theme.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about putting your best fork forward? Bites of food! This theme acts as a reminder that each bite counts, and making small shifts in our food choices can add up over time. There is no singular diet that is right for every person. Instead, it is recommended to follow a healthful eating plan packed with tasty food and takes your unique lifestyle into account.
Dietitians can help you focus on the importance of making informed food choices, and bite-by-bite can help you establish lifelong healthy eating habits. This is true whether you’re preparing food at home or making selections when eating out.
A few Mary Free Bed registered dietitians offer their take on what it means to “put your best fork forward:”
Joanna Gritter: “To me, ‘put your best fork forward’ means trying to make good food choices the majority of the time. I often remind my patients that there’s no ‘perfect’ way to eat, and we shouldn’t have to eat salads all day just to feel healthy. It is what we do the majority of the time that counts. Choose whole foods, fruits and veggies, and cook at home as often as possible. But don’t beat yourself up when you can’t. Simply make the best decision for the choices you have at the time.”
Danielle Skinner: “I love the theme for this year’s National Nutrition Month. To me, this emphasizes paying closer attention to what we are bringing to our mouths. Focusing on the tools we use to eat helps us to be more mindful of what we are actually eating. Taking one bite at a time can also symbolize the importance of making small changes, one at a time. Often, a person becomes extremely motivated and attempts to make multiple changes at once, which is not always sustainable. Put your best fork forward and make healthy changes one forkful at a time.”
Jessi Boehme: “Put your best fork forward is a great theme for 2017. Did you know that we are faced with 200 – or more – food choices, on average, each day? Every time you pass by donuts in the break room, the fruit bowl on your kitchen table and the many food and restaurant advertisements out there, you have to make a conscious decision to eat or not to eat. We recognize that it is not always easy to say ‘yes’ to vegetables, just as it is not easy to say ‘no’ to a sweet treat. But thinking of change as one bite at a time can help remind you that each healthful bite or food decision is just as important as the next.”
Want more resources? Click to visit the National Nutrition Month website. You’ll find videos, tips, worksheets, coloring pages and more!
Mary Free Bed’s nutrition team hopes this month inspires you to think about the food you put on your fork. Mary Free Bed has resources to help you do just that. Outpatient Nutrition Services provides one-on-one education with a dietitian, and our Weight Management program can help you put your best fork forward, one bite at a time!