National Nutrition Month® 2023
How to Celebrate National Nutrition Month® 2023
March is National Nutrition Month®. The theme for 2023 is “Fuel for the Future”. This month we explore how the food we eat can nourish ourselves and our families in an environmentally sustainable and budget-friendly way. Check out 5 ways to celebrate National Nutrition Month® this year.
- Eat with the environment in mind.
Food is grown and transported – potentially thousands of miles – before it ever reaches your plate. A great way to “fuel for the future” is to protect the environment through your food choices and purchases. Not sure where to begin? Add more nutritious, plant-based foods into your meal rotation, like these Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas or Chocolatey Banana and Lentil Muffins. Buy locally sourced, seasonal foods from your local farmers’ market. Some farmers’ markets accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and Double Up Bucks to help you purchase fresh, local foods, even on a tight budget. You can also try growing your own food. What’s more local than your own backyard, front porch, or even windowsill? Some low-maintenance, easy-to-grow produce includes leafy greens, herbs, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
Do you live in Knox County and want to start a home garden to grow your own produce? Check out Beardsley Farms Seed and Plant Distribution through the end of April to get free seeds and/or plants.
Did you know…Second Harvest partners with local farmers to source some of our food items? Some of the fresh produce and meats distributed through our partner agencies are grown or raised right here in East Tennessee!
- Stay nourished and save money.
Fueling for the future can also look like sticking to a food budget. This can be done by planning which nutritious meals you’ll eat each week. Look at the ingredients you already have at home and plan meals and snacks around those foods before buying more. To help you stick to your meal plan, use a shopping list and shop sales when buying groceries. Check out the supermarket ads each week to find the best prices. If you need extra food support, utilize community resources like SNAP, the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program, and local food pantries and distributions.
Did you know…Second Harvest can help sign you up for SNAP? Contact our Empowerment Services Coordinator, Laura, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 865-243-8218 for more information.
Find your nearest Tennessee WIC clinic here.
Find a food pantry or distribution near you on our Find A Food Pantry page.
- Eat a variety of foods from all food groups.
The most obvious way to “fuel for the future” is to eat nutritious foods from all food groups. This looks like eating foods in their various forms, including fresh, frozen, canned, and dried – all versions can be nutritious and support a healthy lifestyle. This also looks like incorporating your favorite cultural foods and traditions. No one foodway is better than another, and all foods can coexist and support health. Practice gratitude for your body by giving it the fuel it needs and avoid fad diets that encourage unnecessary restrictions. You only get one body, and your future self will thank you for loving and taking care of it by fueling it appropriately.
Did you know…Second Harvest offers fresh and shelf-stable culturally relevant foods through our partner agencies? We strive to continue improving our inventory, so always feel free to connect with us an provide feedback.
- Make tasty foods at home.
It’s difficult to “fuel for the future” without the ability to turn ingredients into a nutritious meal. Learning new cooking skills can empower you to prepare all kinds of meals that can help support your health goals. Unlock a whole new world of flavors by incorporating ingredients from around the globe. Check out the blog from last year’s National Nutrition Month® for inspiration. Instead of tossing out your leftovers, overripe produce, and stale bread – which wastes both food and money – find creative ways to give them new life. Check out this for Turkey and Rice Casserole and these ways to use overripe produce and stale bread.
Food is more than something meant to keep us fed. It’s also a way for us to connect with others. Create new memories by preparing and sharing meals with friends and family when possible. Use this resource to find age-appropriate ways to involve kids in the kitchen.
Did you know…Second Harvest has a YouTube channel with videos highlighting food prep tips? Cook along with our Nutrition Access Program Manager, Courtney, or learn some new meal prep tips on our YouTube channel.
- See a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).
An RDN goes through years of school and training to become the nutrition expert. If you need extra nutrition support, ask your doctor for a referral to an RDN. An RDN can help you make a personalized nutrition plan to help you meet your health goals. Whether you need support for heart health, diabetes, eating disorder recovery, weight management, food allergies, and more, there is an RDN for you.
Did you know…Second Harvest has a RDN on staff? Our Nutrition Access Program Manager, Courtney, helps influence food purchasing and distribution to make sure nutritious food is available for our neighbors regardless of medical and cultural food preferences.
Thanks for celebrating National Nutrition Month® with us!
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