Florida Recognizes March As National Nutrition Month

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The Florida Department of Health (DOH) recognizes March as National Nutrition Month, which is sponsored annually by the American Dietetic Association. This year's theme is “Eat Right.” The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices that are healthy and cost-effective and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

“We should focus on eating right at any age,” DOH Division Director of Family Health Services Annette Phelps, A.R.N.P., M.S.N., said. “It is never too late to take steps to a healthy lifestyle.”

The American Dietetic Association suggests these tips to help make healthy changes in your lifestyle:

Make a plan: Adopt a few specific changes, such as adding one piece of fruit to your diet each day. Another idea is to search online for easy one-pot healthy recipes. These changes are not difficult and can make a huge difference for your health and save you money.

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Focus on your food: Plan your meals so that you do not make unhealthy decisions based on convenience.

Make calories count: Make meal choices that focus on nutrient rich foods. The majority of your food choices should be packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients.

Be active: The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that all Americans should engage in regular physical activity to improve overall health and to reduce risk of health problems.

Play it safe: Even the right food choices can affect your health if you do not follow food safety rules. Always clean your hands and surfaces in contact with food, keep raw and cooked foods separate, cook foods to a proper temperature, and chill leftovers promptly to avoid illness.

Be aware of special needs: Nutritional needs change depending on your age and overall health. Check with a registered dietitian to determine what your specific nutritional needs are.

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