National Nutrition Month® is a time to promote the benefits of eating a healthy, balanced diet. As you work to make healthy living easier where people live, learn, work, and play, nutrition is an important area to focus on. Helping community members access healthy foods and encouraging them to make small changes to their daily routines can make a big difference for the overall health of the community.
This grab and go packet will help you get started promoting National Nutrition Month®.
In this packet, you will find:
Top 6 Actions Communities Can Take To Improve Nutrition
There are many ways you can promote National Nutrition Month®.
Talking Points: Making the Case for Healthy Eating
When communicating with various audiences, it’s important to talk clearly about the issues. Here are some talking points to get you started. Tailor these messages to specific audiences or concerns in your community.
Why eat healthy?
Tailor Messages to Your Audiences
When communicating about nutrition with community members, focus on:
When communicating about nutrition with community leaders, employers and partners, focus on:
Sources for the facts
Top 10 Tips for Nutritious Eating
It is important to give community members practical steps they can incorporate into their everyday lives. Provided below is a list of tips you can distribute to individuals in the community to help them develop a healthier lifestyle.
The following list contains 10 easy ways to develop a healthier lifestyle:
Healthier Mexican Food Alternatives
|Traditional Foods||Healthier Substitutions|
|Tacos or enchiladas made with beef||Chicken, shrimp, ground turkey|
|Guacamole dip||Black beans, salsa|
|White rice||Brown rice|
|Lard or butter for cooking foods||Baking, steaming, broiling or grilling|
|Canned beans||Dried beans|
|Canned refried beans||Fat-free refried beans|
|Full-fat Cheeses||Queso fresco, reduced-fat cheeses|
|Sour Cream||Reduced- or no-fat sour cream, Greek yogurt|
|White flour tortillas||Wheat or corn tortillas|
Source: American Diabetes Association, My Food Advisor® Recipes for Healthy Living, http://www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/tips/2012-05/do-latino-foods-and-diabetes.html
Community Gardens and House Plants
A healthy diet includes a large amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. There are multiple ways individuals can assure they have access to fruits and vegetables, including having a garden or being a member of a community garden. If individuals do not have the space or do not want to make the commitment to a garden, they may consider having a few small plants in their house. Additionally, it is important to remember that some fruits and vegetables are not in season year-round. By buying fruits and vegetables that are in season, individuals are more likely to eat produce that is rich in vitamins and minerals and it will save them money as well!
Many people who live in cities or highly populated areas have little to no access to a yard. Therefore, community gardens are a great way to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Most community gardens have the option of buying an individual plot where you can plant and harvest produce that you prefer. Community gardens are a great way to bring people from all areas of the community together. By working and harvesting crops at a community garden, you can increase the availability of fresh produce, educate the community about the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and raise community morale.
Find a community garden near you by looking at the website of the American Community Gardening Association. The website provides a list of gardens that can be found by searching for address, city, or zip code. If you cannot find a community garden near you, the website also offers information about starting your own!
If individuals do not want to make the commitment to a community garden, there are a few options of plants that can easily be grown in a home. Some of the options do not require a large amount of sunlight.
The following is a list of plants that are easy to grow inside your house:
Just be sure to do your research so you know what type of environment works best for each plant!
Seasonal Produce Chart
As previously mentioned, consumers can save money by buying fruits and vegetables when they are in season. The following is a table that lists when some fruits and vegetables are in season. This list may be distributed at local grocery stores, schools, businesses, and health care facilities for educational purposes.
|SEASON||FRUIT OR VEGETABLE IN SEASON|
Apricots, Artichokes, Asparagus, Avocados, Bell Peppers, Collard Greens, Grapefruit, Green Peas, Guavas, Mangos, Oranges, Papayas, Rhubarb, Strawberries
|Apricots, Avocados, Bell Peppers, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Corn, Grapes, Green Beans, Green Peas, Honeydew, Mangos, Nectarines, Okra, Papayas, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Watermelon, Yellow Squash, Zucchini
|Fall||Acorn Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Grapes, Green Beans, Honeydew, Kiwi, Okra, Pears, Pomegranates, Pumpkins, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnips
|Avocados, Brussels Sprouts, Collard Greens, Grapefruit, Guava, Kiwi, Oranges, Tangerines, Turnips
|Year-Round||Apples, Bananas, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Green Onion, Kale, Leeks, Lemons, Lettuce, Limes, Mushrooms, Onions, Pineapples, Potatoes, Radishes, Spinach
Tweets – National Nutrition Month®
The following are examples of tweets that can be used by community leaders and individuals. Remember to check the National Nutrition Month® website each year for details about the month.
Facebook – National Nutrition Month®
The following list contains examples of posts that could be made by health professionals in order to promote National Nutrition Month®.
Sample Announcement for Newsletter or Blog
Cut and paste this text into your newsletter, listserv, or media release. Add relevant details and quotes from your organization.
March is National Nutrition Month®
[Organization] is celebrating National Nutrition Month® by promoting the many benefits of eating a healthy and balanced diet. National Nutrition Month® highlights the importance of nutritious food options in keeping our community strong and healthy. Beginning in March, we encourage everyone to act by trying new, healthy foods and recipes!
Eating healthy does not have to be expensive — there are many low-cost or no-cost alternatives – choose whole-grain bread instead of white bread or add chopped vegetables to pasta sauce. And simple changes can make a big difference — eating healthy can help lower the risk of many chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
It’s important to start children with healthy eating habits. Children who start eating healthy food at a young age are more likely to enjoy healthy foods and stay healthy throughout their lives.
To get started, check out these activities offered by [Organization]<insert link to community activity listing>. Together we can help build a healthy future for our community!
For more information, contact [insert contact information]
Sample News/Press Release
For Immediate Release – March 1, 2017
CELEBRATE NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH IN MARCH BY EATING NUTRITIOUSLY
It’s time to make one positive change for health this month —
10 Tips for Healthy Eating
[CITY, STATE] – One out of three adults and nearly one out of six children are overweight or obese. March is National Nutrition Month® which offers an opportunity for Americans to jump start eating nutritiously, says the [Name of organization].
“Often, eating a healthy diet and making lifestyle changes can seem like an overwhelming and daunting task,” [said organization representative]. “Thankfully there are tools and strategies that people can use to incorporate nutrition and healthy eating in a seamless manner.
National Nutrition Month® presents an opportunity for everyone to learn more about nutrition and try new and healthy foods.
Eating healthy foods can help you manage individuals lower the risk of many chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. And the younger people develop healthy food habits, the more likely they are to stay healthy throughout their lives.
SOPHE offers people 10 tips to help eat nutritiously:
“We want to help communities, families and individuals overcome the barriers to good health,” [organization representative]. “We want to make healthy living easier where people live, learn, work, and play.”
Currently, the [Name of organization] is a partnering in the National Implementation and Dissemination for Chronic Disease Prevention nationwide project. There are 97 projects in communities across the nation assisting people and communities in living healthier lives.
This infographic was designed by the United States Department of Agriculture. It can be used to help you visualize what a healthy plate of food should look like. First and foremost, it is important to have a balance of the main categories of food including fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. Second, it is important to have a large emphasis on the vegetables which tend to be the most nutrient dense category. Also keep in mind that a serving of protein should only be approximately 5-7 ounces
This infographic was designed by the United States Department of Agriculture. It can be used to help you visualize what a healthy plate of food should look like. First and foremost, it is important to have a balance of the main categories of food including fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. Second, it is important to have a large emphasis on the vegetables which tend to be the most nutrient-dense category. Also keep in mind that a serving of protein should only be approximately 5-7 ounces.
The shared messaging ads were developed by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) for National Implementation and Dissemination for Chronic Disease Prevention project cohorts. Many of the layouts are customizable to allow you to include your organization’s name and/or website.
American Heart Association
The American Heart Association has helpful tips for substituting traditional Mexican foods like tortillas with healthier options. Incorporate these tips in your media alerts or at cooking demonstrations.
American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association offers tips for celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, including recipe ideas, infographics and live interviews in Spanish.
National Nutrition Month® Toolkit
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has developed a toolkit to help you plan a successful National Nutrition Month® event. Get ideas for how to celebrate National Nutrition Month® in your community.
How to Plan a National Health Observance
The U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion developed a guide to help you plan a successful National Nutrition Month® event. Use these tips to help you plan, promote, and implement a great event.
Healthy Eating Resources
For more practical information on healthy eating visit:
Eat Healthy from healthfinder.gov
Check out a variety of resources on eating healthy — including quick tips, questions for the doctor, shopping lists, conversation starters, and more.
The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) is designed to help public health professionals support Americans in achieving healthier eating patterns. Read the latest version of the DGA.
SuperTracker Nutrition and Fitness Tool
SuperTracker helps users plan, analyze, and track nutrition and physical activity. Learn more about SuperTracker.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A collection of free and low-cost, audience-tested advertising and support materials produced by state and local health departments, nonprofit organizations, and federal agencies. These materials are designed to create awareness about obesity and other chronic conditions and to promote healthy living.
Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
Here you can find data, statistics, and toolkits about being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight.
Infographic: Eat well. Spend less.
Use this infographic as a visual reminder of nutritious and healthy eating. Download http://tinyurl.com/jocpn59 or http://www.sophe.org/images/NNM-infographic-PNG32.png
This toolkit was created by the Society for Public Health Education to help guide efforts to make healthy living easier where people live, learn, work, and play — with a particular focus on increasing access to healthy foods.