I’m excited about this year’s theme for National Nutrition Month®: “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day.” This simple message puts consumers in charge of the choices they make. People of all ages, genders, cultures, and lifestyles are grasping the message RDs and DTRs teach: healthy food = good nutrition = healthy body = better life.
Look at what’s happening nationally:
- There’s a national push to ban sugared drinks in schools
- Our First Lady, Michelle Obama, is focusing on raising a healthier generation of kids with her Let’s Move challenge
- Eating local, fresh foods and gardening becomes trendier every year with folks of all ages
- More families are recognizing the importance of shopping and eating together, for the health of their bodies, their budgets, and their family bonds
To me, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” underscores the important role of food and nutrition professionals in bringing these national movements to our senior living communities. We need to encourage healthy choices by:
- Teaching residents–using fun, positive techniques–about foods that can improve health
- Preparing healthy dishes in tasty ways that honor residents’ food preferences
- Creating hospitable dining environments where staff help meet residents’ emotional needs and both truly enjoy mealtimes
“Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” also reminds me that RDs, DTRs and CDMs need to lead by example. If we want to be taken seriously by residents and co-workers, we need to walk our talk when it comes to eating healthier and moving more.
Making healthy food choices every day is not a fad, it is a learned skill that begins at home. Long term, eating healthier can result in a healthier body and happier relationships.