National Nutrition Month: Eating a Well-Balanced Diet

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro
  • Every March we celebrate National Nutrition Month. This year the focus is on making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

    National Nutrition Month emerged from National Nutrition Week which started back in 1973. Registered Dietitian Day was added found years ago to commemorate the dedication of registered dietitians as advocates for advancing the nutritional status of American's and people worldwide.

    ‘Eat Right with Color' is the theme this year. What does this mean for you?
    This means look at your food choices and be sure you are selecting a colorful variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and dairy. Your plate should have a ‘rainbow' of colors to ensure you are providing your body with the wide variety of nutrients it needs for optimal health.

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    The colors of fruits and vegetables offer a ‘clue' to the vitamins and minerals that fruit or vegetable contains. Different colors provide more quantities of certain nutrients, which is why you need a variety of all colors.

    The recently released 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans also emphasized the importance of a colorful plate to serve as the foundation for a healthy eating plan.

    Now, just because you know you need to include a variety of fruits and vegetables to every meal doesn't mean it's actually easy to implement. You need to plan ahead so you have fruits and vegetables in your cupboards and refrigerator as options. When eating out your need to remember to order a well-balanced meal rich in fruits and vegetables.

    Making the guidelines work for your lifestyle and daily routine will be easier if you can sit down with someone and actually outline the steps you need to take to ensure you make the additions on a regular basis. This is where working with a registered dietitian can be an invaluable asset to your health. A registered dietitian will translate the guidelines into easy steps relevant to your situation, so you have a healthy eating plan created just for you. A registered dietitian will assess your eating habits and show you where to start making small changes. These improvements will add up to significant health benefits over time.


    Be sure to sign up for the special report 'How to Make Heart Healthy Changes into Lifelong Habits' provided courtesy of Health Central dietitian Lisa Nelson at

Published On: March 07, 2011