National Nutrition Month
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
Want to know why we are excited here at SML?
It’s because we have validation for what we always preach with our advice on healthy eating habits!
March is National Nutrition Month!
Nutrition is defined as “the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth,” (Webster Dictionary, 2011). Our history of obtaining food is one of hunting and gathering- think Paleo diet. We are hard -wired to hunt for food and to eat when we can. Today’s world puts a whole new spin on nutrition. No longer do we have to work physically hard to put food in our mouths. It is everywhere, and sometimes too attainable, especially the food that does not add to our overall health. Some people have defined our current culture’s nutritional standard as “over-nutrition” because we overeat, and not for the purpose of health. This result is too much growth, in the form of obesity. As health-less food has increased, true nutrition has decreased. We therefore see an exponential rise in obesity, diabetes, and other complications.
Then, the pendulum swings. People begin to under-eat, and still not eat the right foods. A focus on reducing fat has caused a dieting phenomenon that still does not focus on eating the right foods for health! The focus becomes consuming fewer calories at whatever the cost, and sometimes ignores the best foods. This type of dieting does not create health and growth, but rather yo-yo body weight, metabolic complications, and still some increases in disease and complications.
If we start with what is true and what is good, we begin to find nutrition that leads to personal health and growth in terms of personal wellness.
Start here: eatright.org
Here you will find information on eating good food for life, and maintaining a healthy weight with appropriate portions in natural foods. A special section is designed for children (eatright.org/kids/). Kids can find attainable recipes and fun and healthy tips. Our children are bombarded with unhealthy images and marketing that targets them toward unhealthy options. A bit of truth here can go a long way.
A pioneer in the field of healthier kids is Jaime Oliver, the famed television chef. His Ministry of Food and Food Revolution chapters are campaigns to encourage children to eat better, starting with our responsibility to make healthy food options easy to get. For example, public schools in the last 20-30 years have stopped being nutritional outlets for kids and began money-making campaigns with junk food manufacturers. The message sent to the kids then, from their very institutions of learning, was that heavily sugared, fried, battered, salted, unnatural foods were good choices. Oliver’s campaign spawned a television series on school lunches, and has therefore made people take an honest look at how they are allowing their children to eat and learn to eat for life.
American First Lady Michelle Obama has stood up and taken notice, as well. Her “Let’s Move” campaign began on the notion that kids need to move more. Since it began, Obama has started moving her focus also to the children’s school lunches. Through the guidance of Obama’s Let’s Move Team, the US Department of Agriculture recently released new rules over daily lunch nutritional value. Now, schools must contain more whole grains, vegetables, and fruits than before, and reduce fat and sodium. Schools are now responsible for keeping calories appropriate for the ages of their students. Part of the program also allows schools to sign up with local chefs to learn about preparing healthy foods. The purpose is to educate our children to be healthier adults, and then the cycle can shift to eating for health and nutrition.