by Molly Jones
In March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly the American Dietetic Association encourages Americans to "get your plate in shape" in observance of National Nutrition Month. National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign that focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and creating healthy eating and physical activity habits.
The awareness effort started in March 1973 as a week-long event and grew to a month-long observance in the 1980s with increasing public interest in nutrition. In 1977 the mascot of good nutrition, Nutribird, a body shaped like a head of lettuce and a carrot beak, first appeared. Many dietitians and dietetic interns dressed in Nutribird costumes in the late'70s and early'80s to promote National Nutrition Week and share healthy eating messages with children and adults. However, the mascot quickly disappeared and is no longer used today because dietitians did not believe this was an appropriate image for them as professionals.
As National Nutrition Month continues to grow in popularity, food and nutrition professionals become more creative in finding ways to promote each year's theme. This year's theme "Get Your Plate in Shape" encourages consumers to make sure they are eating the recommended amounts of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods and dairy each day by thinking about what they put on their plate.
Throughout the month of March at MUSC, we have many events and opportunities for you to get involved with National Nutrition Month and learn how to get your plate in shape. Be sure to participate in the events (listed at the right) for a chance to win prizes such as cookbooks, restaurant gift certificates, local stone ground grits and even money to use in the MUSC cafeteria.
Registered Dietitian Day is also celebrated in March and is designed to recognize registered dietitians for their hard work and commitment to helping people enjoy healthier lives.
On March 14, be sure to express your appreciation to any of the MUSC registered dietitians, easily identified by their brown scrubs.
What's happening at MUSC
- March 1: Kickoff featuring "MUSC Good Eats" from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. at the library portico
- March 7: Wellness Wednesday from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. outside Ashley River Towers cafeteria
- March 8, 15, 22, 29: "Lunch & Learn" from 12:15 – 12:45 p.m., Room 103, Colbert Education Center & Library.
- March 14, 21, 28: Wellness Wednesday, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Children's Hospital lobby.
- March 14: Registered Dietitian Day
- March 1 - 30: Wellness & You Competition
- March 1 - 30: Color My Plate
Visit http://www.muschealth.com/nutrition/ for a detailed list of events and rules for the Wellness & You Competition.