National Nutrition Month (NNM) is an annual campaign focusing on nutrition education and providing health information, which is complied by the American Dietetic Association (ADA). The National Nutrition Month campaign focuses on making healthy food choices, developing sound eating habits, and being physically active everyday. The ADA makes a point to highlight specific nutrition facts for the older adults and kids.
Special Nutrient Needs for Older Adults
- Calcium and Vitamin D. More vitamin D and calcium are needed as we age to help maintain bone health. The best way to assure you are getting enough is to include three servings of vitamin D-fortified, low-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt each day. Other calcium-rich foods sources include: fortified cereals and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables and canned fish with soft bones. (If you take a calcium supplement or multivitamin, choose one that contains vitamin D.)
- Vitamin B12. Many adults over 50 years old don’t get enough vitamin B12. Easy ways to increase your intake is by consuming fortified cereal, lean meat and some fish and seafood (all are sources of vitamin B12). (Ask your doctor or dietitian if you need a vitamin B12 supplement.)
- Fiber. Eat more fiber-rich foods to help stay regular, control your weight, and help reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Best way to get your daily amount of fiber is to choose whole-grain breads & cereals, include more beans and peas and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (the peel/skin of the fruit or veggies is fiber-rich!).
- Potassium. Increasing your intake of potassium as well as reducing sodium (salt) may help to lower your risk of high blood pressure. To guarantee you’re getting plenty potassium, eat fruits, vegetables, low-fat or fat-free milk, and yogurt. To help cut down on salt try to prepare foods with little or no added salt.
Healthy Eating Habits for Kids
- Remember that healthy eating and physical activity doesn’t become habits overnight. Therefore parents can help establish a healthy lifestyle for their children by improving their eating habits and being more active now to make these changes part of their daily routine!
- Make the most of family mealtime. Eating together enables the parent to serve as a role model (eating healthy by example), therefore helping the children to develop a healthy attitude toward food.
- Active kids need planned, healthy snacks. Think of these snacks as mini-meals, which should provide nutrient-rich foods. Keep a variety of nutritious ready-to-eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy foods within reach for quick, nutritious snacking.
Information taken from the ADA website.
March 18th, 2009