As we continue to celebrate National Nutrition Month throughout March, Chartwells Registered Dietitian Allison Haring teaches us a few of her tips and tricks to savor the flavor all year long!
March is National Nutrition Month! As a registered dietitian this means I get to celebrate my love for food and nutrition all month long.
I was especially excited about this year's National Nutrition Month theme, "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right". Eating right is so much more than seeking out the healthy nutrients that are found in the foods and beverages we choose to put into our bodies. To gain all the benefits of proper nutrition we also have to ENJOY the food we eat. This year's theme of savor the flavor places emphasis on appreciating food traditions, enjoying the social experiences built around food, and celebrating the pleasure of great flavor that food adds to our lives.
Savoring the flavor of eating right means to:
- Enjoy the entire eating experience – who we are with, what we are eating, and being fully aware of our dining environment.
- Appreciate food traditions – delight in the flavors that make up your culture or your family's food traditions; whether it's a large dinner every Sunday night or trying new dishes at cooking classes with your closest friends every Thursday.
- Develop a healthy and mindful eating pattern – choose nutritious and flavorful foods, while decreasing added sugar, sodium, and unnecessary amounts of fat.
There are ways to add flavor to our food without sabotaging our nutritious diets! Here are some of my favorite tips:
- Instead of adding salt to vegetables try different combinations of herbs and spices – try fresh sage and thyme on roasted potatoes or fresh ginger and garlic on stir-fried asparagus!
- Sprinkle cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice on fruit for some extra sweetness.
- Use red pepper flakes in any dish to bring on the heat and a unique flavor.
- Use fresh garlic and garlic powder instead of adding salt – you can use garlic in practically anything!
- Make homemade soup with low-sodium broth and use herbs and spices for flavor instead.
- Top salads with basil and oregano – you may find you don't even need salad dressing anymore!
There are so many substitutions like this that help pack food with flavor and make them healthier for our bodies. It is so important to savor the flavor of the foods that we love and to make sure they are still good for us. So, remember during March – National Nutrition Month – and all year long, to take the time to appreciate the flavor of your food, the experiences, and the food traditions that make you happy!
Check out our Homemade Salsa Fresca recipe that showcases how to flavor food in a healthy and mindful way. Enjoy!
Written by Allison Haring, CFT, MS, RD, Great Lakes Regional Dietitian