Celebrate the World of Flavors in Your Diet!
By: Carolyn Kamian
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, RDN
Did you know that registered dietitians have a favorite month of the year? Believe it or not, we do! The month of March is recognized as National Nutrition Month® by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
While this month initially started out as an annual week of recognition, the Academy increased the campaign to a month-long event in 1980. The 2022 theme for National Nutrition Month® is “Celebrate a World of Flavors.” Considering the ethnically diverse population of San Francisco and our clientele, Meals on Wheels San Francisco has tried to include a variety of cuisines on our menu calendar. You will see everything from Western favorites like Salisbury steak with mashed potatoes to Asian-inspired chicken chow mein, and other comfort food favorites like pasta with marinara sauce (to name a few!).
In line with this year’s theme, consider the importance of including an array of foods in your diet by trying flavors from around the world, while also including your favorite cultural foods or traditions.
Each week of National Nutrition Month® has a guide to plan awareness and action for the month. See below for each week’s theme and ideas to achieve them:
Week 1: Eat a variety of nutritious foods
- Eat from all food groups! A quick tip when building your plate is to make ½ fruits and vegetables, ¼ protein, and ¼ starch.
- Check the nutrition facts label on pre-prepared foods if you need to monitor nutrients such as carbohydrates, sodium, or fats.
Week 2: See a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
- Included as part of the Meals on Wheels service are complimentary nutrition counseling sessions with one of our three RDNs: Nancy, Charles, and Carolyn. RDNs can provide information and suggestions for various health conditions or goals, including weight loss/gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. Learn more about us!
- To get started, feel free to give us a call at (415) 920-1111 and ask for the nutrition department.
Week 3: Plan your meals and snacks
- Meals on Wheels San Francisco sends all senior meals recipients a copy of our quarterly menu calendar along with their meals. This helps them use this as a guide to planning their meals for the week.
- Plan what times are best for your meals and snacks during the day to encourage eating on a regular schedule.
- If you have a friend, family member, or care provider who brings you food, create a shopping list with a variety of healthy snacks. Think of fruits and vegetables as a rainbow and choose a mix of colors for the most nutritional benefits.
Week 4: Create tasty foods at home
- Enhance meals to your liking with herbs and spices from your spice cabinet
- Have a specific craving? Request a friend, family member, or care provider to cook a meal inspired by your favorite restaurant or your culture, and “celebrate a world of flavors!”
Did You Know?
- Yearly, Meals on Wheels San Francisco prepares and delivers more than 2 million meals to thousands of older San Franciscans in need.
- More than 5,000 homebound seniors and older adults with disabilities receive our meals, nutrition counseling, and social work services.
- Nearly 70% of Meals on Wheels recipients live alone and for many, our drivers are the only person they will see for the entire day.