Did You Know? March is National Nutrition Month!

Every March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) hosts National Nutrition Month to help highlight the importance of making healthy food choices.  This year's theme is "Get Your Plate in Shape"
By now, hopefully you have seen the USDA's new food icon, MyPlate, which replaced the food pyramid last year.  MyPlate shows the five food groups on a plate, making it easier to see the variety and portion size of each food group.  This month we hope you and your family can fine-tune your plate by following these simple tips. 
  1. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables:  Any way works!  Choose fresh, frozen, canned or dried.  Make sure to eat a variety of colors.
  2. Choose whole grains: Make at least half your grains whole.  Whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, quinoa, and barley, provide more nutrition than processed, white grain products.
  3. Lighten up your dairy:  Select fat-free or low-fat dairy products to lower calories and fat intake.  Great choices include low-fat yogurt, 1% or non-fat milk, and low-fat cheeses like mozzarella and swiss. 
  4. Smart protein choices: Choose lean meats or plant-based proteins.  Good choices include: chicken, turkey, fish, beans, eggs, tofu or nuts.  Avoid greasy or fried foods.
For more information and free National Nutrition Month materials, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and ChooseMyPlate
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This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP. The University of Maryland Extension will not discriminate against any person because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry or national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more about Maryland’s Food Supplement Program (SNAP), contact the Maryland Department of Human Resources at 1-800-332-6347 or apply online at https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/.
© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall