March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward!” Part of leading a healthy life means eating a healthy diet and being physically active.
A recent CDC study highlights when, where, and how U.S. adults and children are eating a healthy diet. Those who are not getting enough fruits and veggies can take small steps towards meeting recommended amounts, including adding more fruit to your usual breakfast routine or adding vegetables to your meals.
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of many leading causes of illness and death, add important nutrients to your diet, and help with weight control.
The recent study shows that adults get most of their fruit during breakfast and snacking whether they eat recommended amounts or not. Those who are not getting enough could aim to add more at breakfast or through snacks such as eating a small apple or banana. On the other hand, children tend to eat fruit throughout the day. Children who need more could add extra fruit to their breakfast, lunch, or snack routines.
Dinnertime tends to be when adults and children eat most of their vegetables. However, for those who are not eating enough vegetables, try adding vegetables to your lunchtime salad or sandwich (e.g., tomato slices or baby carrots) or mixing them into what you are having for dinner (e.g., adding broccoli into your pasta).
You can also take a look at the latest edition of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These recommendations were developed to provide a better understanding of food and nutrition so that you can make informed decisions about healthy foods and drinks. It also gives you the flexibility to make healthier food choices that are right for you and your family. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is available at dietaryguidelines.gov.