National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education campaign launched each March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign expanded from National Nutrition Week to National Nutrition Month in 1980 to reflect growing professional support and increased public interest in nutrition. The goal of the campaign is to reiterate the basics of healthy eating and to celebrate the expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists.

Each year a theme captures current nutrition-related culture and trends. The 2017 theme — “Put Your Best Fork Forward” — reminds us that each bite counts and small changes over time can greatly improve our health.

Try these tips to put your best fork forward:

  • Eat breakfast daily. Breakfast gives us the energy to start our day. Breakfast does not have to be typical breakfast foods — try a breakfast burrito or a yogurt parfait.
  • Eat a variety of foods. Eating different types of food allows you to obtain the broad range of nutrients your body needs. Try to include food from all five foods groups, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy.
  • Limit sugar-sweetened drinks. Drinks with added sugar can increase calorie consumption while adding limited nutrients.
  • Get to know the food label. Reading food labels can help you monitor portions and your intake of fat, sodium and sugar. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming no more than 10 percent of your daily calories from added sugars, and no more than 10 percent of your daily calories from saturated fats. The Dietary Guidelines also recommend consuming no more than 2,300 mg of sodium daily.
  • Be active. Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. If you are not currently active, start small with short walks or by increasing activities, such as gardening. Aim to build your physical activity time up to a minimum of 2.5 hours weekly or 30 minutes five days per week.