Personalize Your Plate
Melanie Ng

Personalize Your Plate

It’s National Nutrition Month®! This is a time for food and nutrition experts to teach us how to make healthy food and exercise goals. When we eat healthfully and stay active, we feel our best!

 This year’s theme is Personalize Your Plate. Personalize Your Plate focuses on creating healthy meals that meet your personal and cultural food preferences. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition. It is possible to be healthy while still enjoying food you love and grew up eating!  

Each week in March highlights a handful of healthy habits. We are all unique with what works best for our bodies. National Nutrition Month® is a great time to try out a new nutrition goal! Let’s go through each week’s suggested goals. [1] Feel free to click on the links to our own UGA SNAP-Ed blog posts to learn more! 

National Nutrition Month logo with cheese, fish, apple, carrot, and bread icons above text that reads "Personalize your plate"

Week 1: Eat a variety of nutrition foods every day! 

  • Include healthful foods from all food groups. For a list of foods from each food group, check out this Food Talk Features Series blog. 
  • Hydrate healthfully with our Hydration Check-In tips and tricks. 
  • Learn how to read nutrition facts labels. We have a blog all about Food Label Facts! 
  • Avoid distractions while eating. This includes turning off the TV and putting away your phone during meals. 
  • Take time to enjoy your food. Take a peek at tip #5 in our 6 Healthful Holiday Tips blog—useful year-round! 

Colorful fruits, vegetables, eggs, and grains surround meat, poultry, and fish

 

Week 2: Plan your meals each week! 

  • Use a grocery list to shop for healthful foods. Our Meal Planning Steps for Success and Smart Grocery Shopping blogs may be helpful! 
  • Be menu-savvy when dining out. Look for items with fruit or vegetable sides, lean proteins, or whole grains. Or simply use other meals that day to reach your nutrition goals. 
  • Choose healthful recipes to make during the week. When you’re tired, you probably want easy options. Our blog on What to Eat When You’re Exhausted has great ideas! 
  • Enjoy healthful eating at school and at work. These Quick and Easy After School Snacks also work great for during school and work! 
  • Plan healthful eating while traveling. If you’re on the go, you can plan to bring along some prepared food in a cooler. We have a list of our top 6 Smart Gas Station Snacks and 6 Smart Snacks on the Go for you to scroll through, too! 

hands holding phone and writing in a planner with sticky tabs

 

Week 3: Learn skills to create tasty meals! 

  • Keep healthful ingredients on hand. See if you can stock some of these Pantry Staples. 
  • Practice proper home food safety. For all things food safety, check out this blog. Now might be the perfect time to clean out your fridge with our Fridge Edit! 
  • Share meals together as a family when possible. You and your family will enjoy the time to catch up. For ideas on what to talk aboutsee our blog on Mealtime Questions for a Mindful Meal. 
  • Reduce food waste. Learn how to Make Food Last 
  • Try new flavors and foods. Explore new flavors using our Guide to Herbs! Be adventurous and try a food you’ve never eaten before! 

Family Sitting At Table Eating and laughingMeal Together

 

Week 4: Visit a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)! 

  • Ask your doctor for a referral to an RDN.  
  • Meet RDNs in a variety of settings throughout the community. WIC and other programs usually have dietitians overseeing sessions so that you know you’re getting the latest information! You may also run into a dietitian at your local health clinic, grocery store, or gym. 
  • Find an RDN who is specialized to serve your unique needs. Interested in finding dietitians that will help with a specific condition? Search for dietitians by expertise through the EatRight Find an Expert tool.  
  • Receive personalized nutrition advice to meet your goals!  

Two women sitting across from each other as one shows something on her phone. Bowl of fruit in background.

 

Thinking about setting some goals for your nutrition and health this month? Read through this Goal Setting 101 blog to set yourself up for success! 

 

Written by Melanie Ng, Ph.D. Student | Edited by Leslie Davis, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES and the Nutrition Education Team 

Posted: March 1, 2021 

[1] EatRight- National Nutrition Month 

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