FEATURE: Savor the Flavor of Eating Right
Written by Abbey Reiser | Reviewed by Adiana Castro, MS, RDN, CDN, CLT
Every March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sponsors “National Nutrition Month,” a nutrition education and information campaign that emphasizes the significance of making smart food choices and developing healthy eating and exercise habits.
This year, the theme of National Nutrition Month is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right,” which encourages each of us to devote time to enjoying and appreciating food traditions and the pleasures, great flavors, and social experiences associated with food. Below are a few ways that you can “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right” during National Nutrition Month and beyond.
Appreciate Family Dinners and Food Traditions
In addition to serving as a major source of fuel and pleasure, food also contains a social component. During family dinners, holidays, and social gatherings, food almost always plays a significant role. When families plan, prepare, and enjoy balanced meals together, healthier eating habits are promoted and family relationships are strengthened. Making family meals a priority and appreciating food traditions gives families the opportunity to savor the flavor of eating right.
Eating foods more slowly and appreciating flavors can also promote healthier eating habits. Try to devote time to appreciating the smells, textures, flavors, and the overall eating experience. In today’s society, our busy schedules often lead to the development of fast-paced, mindless eating habits. In order to savor the flavor of your food, try to eat more slowly by taking one bite at a time and paying attention to the specific characteristics of the food that you are consuming. Slowing down when eating also allows your stomach to inform your brain that you are satiated, which helps you to eat less, and thus promotes weight management.
It is equally important to be aware of how, when, why, and where you eat as it is to be aware of what you eat. Developing a mindful eating pattern allows you to recharge your body and mind and leads to an overall healthier lifestyle. Reflect on the location of most of your meals. Eating in front of the TV or at your desk while you are working are common practices that often produce mindless eating environments. Rather than multitasking during your meals, try to find a nice place where you can devote a few minutes to mindful eating.
For more information on how to “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right,” visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This website also contains helpful articles, videos, and educational resources that elaborate on making informed food choices and living an overall healthy lifestyle. You can also stay up-to-date on National Nutrition Month through the Academy’s Facebook and Twitter using the #NationalNutritionMonth hashtag.