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March is National Nutrition Month

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National Nutrition Month was developed by the American Dietetic Association and its members as a way of highlighting the benefits of a good diet. It’s good we have an entire moth to host activities, because there’s a lot of new information every year to get out into the hands of consumers.

This year’s theme is “Nutrition from the Ground Up.” You can learn more at eatright.org. I’ve been able to get a sneak peek at things this year and here are some ideas to get you started:

grocery_store_tour.jpg• Coordinate store tours for seniors, persons with diabetes, parents of children, or people just looking to eat healthy. If you don’t have a registered dietitian on staff, check with your local healthcare facility and offer your store.

• Don't forget local school groups! It’s a great way for kids to see some unusual fruits and veggies, explore some new foods and learn from the experts how food gets from the farm to the table.

• Feature some endcap displays of whole grains, a display of fruits and veggies…in other words, stock the perimeters with healthy options. While you are at it, ask your vendors to support some taste-testings!

• Check out your prepared foods section and add options that feature organically grown or minimally processed foods.

• Tap into resources that may have some healthy eating materials for you. There are plenty of choices out there, and everyone is eager to tell their story. Check out materials for dairy, soy, produce, fish, meat and eggs. Look for ideas, recipes and materials your customers will enjoy.

• Combine forces with local healthcare agencies for a health fair and nutrition check-up. Offer blood pressure screenings (and tips for controlling sodium), diabetes education and bone scans. You offer the space and you’re well on the way to having an event.

Of course every month should be a time to celebrate the nutrition benefits of the foods we love, but this is a ready-made opportunity. Let’s not waste it!

(Photo Credit: Healthy Cass County)

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