Encourage Everyone: 'Go Further With Food'
Whether it's starting the day off right with a healthy breakfast or fueling before an athletic event, the foods you choose can make a real difference. Preparing your foods to go further by planning meals and snacks in advance can also help reduce food loss and waste. For National Nutrition Month® 2018, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics urges everyone to "Go Further with Food."
Each March, the Academy focuses nationwide attention on healthful eating through National Nutrition Month.
While millions of Americans worry about how to feed their families, the amount of safe food wasted in the United States is on the rise. By making small changes to the way we think about eating, we can help reduce food waste.
By communicating healthful eating messages that emphasize balancing food and beverages within an individual's energy needs, rather than focusing on any one specific food or meal. It is the Academy's position that improving overall well-being requires a lifelong commitment to healthful lifestyle behaviors, emphasizing lasting and enjoyable eating practices and regular physical activity.
One way to "Go Further with Food" is by preparing meals in advance to enjoy throughout the week.
Preparing several meals on the weekends can provide balanced meals that can easily be reheated throughout the week. It's also a great way to eat healthfully, save time during the week and reduce food waste.
After you choose a day to prepare meals, decide which recipes you want to use and create a grocery list. When possible, choose meals made with ingredients you already have at home to get the most out of your food.
Cooking in bulk saves money and allows you to portion and freeze meals for later. Instead of reheating an entire dish, only reheat a single meal. After reheating food in the microwave or the oven, use a thermometer to ensure leftovers reach a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Far too often, good food goes bad before we get the chance to eat it. Before going to the grocery store, check inside your refrigerator. Eat what you already have at home before buying more. About 31 percent of all edible food is wasted in the U.S., and American households throw away nearly 28 percent of fruits and vegetables.
To reduce waste, also date all frozen items and use the oldest food first. Freezing extra food, such as fruits or meats to extend shelf life, and wrapping freezer items in heavy freezer paper, plastic wrap, freezer bags or foil.
Knowing how to read a date label is also key to making sure good food isn't wasted. The "sell by" date lets the store know when it should stop selling a package to manage inventory; "best if used by" is the last date recommended for the customer's use of a product at its peak quality.
Although it's important to try to use food you've bought, if you have any doubts about it being safe to eat, throw it away.
As part of National Nutrition Month, the Academy's website includes articles, recipes, videos and educational resources to spread the message of good nutrition and the importance of an overall healthy lifestyle for people of all ages, genders and backgrounds.