I’m excited about this year’s theme: “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle.” This simple message reminds people of all ages, genders, cultures, and lifestyles, the truth behind the message RDNs and NDTRs teach: healthy food = good nutrition = healthy body = better life.
Look at what’s happening nationally:
- Our First Lady, Michelle Obama, continues to focus on raising a healthier generation of kids with her Let’s Move challenge. Many will positively influence their parents.
- Eating local, fresh foods and gardening becomes trendier every year with folks of all ages
- Boomers lead the way in choosing memory boosting foods. Here is a list.
- 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, “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” underscores the important role of food and nutrition professionals in bringing these national movements to our senior living communities. We need to mindful of best practices and approaches in encouraging 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
“National Nutrition Month®” always reminds me that RDNs, NDTRs 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.