Health District Joins Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics During National Nutrition Month
Several SRHD programs encourage residents to ‘Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day’
For more information, contact Kim papich, SRHD Public Information Officer (509) 324-1539
SPOKANE, Wash. – March 4, 2013 – Spokane Regional Health District is proud to join the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics during March in celebrating National Nutrition Month. This year’s National Nutrition Month theme is “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” and encourages consumers to develop a healthful eating plan that incorporates individual food choices and preferences.
“We’re thrilled with the work that numerous local agencies, groups and individuals are already doing around sound eating and physical activity habits,” said Kyle Unland, RD, division director for Spokane Regional Health District’s (SRHD) Healthy Communities program. “National Nutrition Month is a great opportunity for more members of the community to join us and help us do even more.”
The health district has several programs that employ numerous registered dietitians that work collaboratively with staff and partner agencies to ensure residents make informed food choices. In hopes that the healthy choice becomes the easy choice for all residents, staff also work to improve healthy food access for all people regardless of income.
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program – SRHD’s WIC staff provide early nutrition intervention during times of critical growth and development to improve the health status of pregnant and breastfeeding women, postpartum women, and children under the age of five. All staff provide participant-centered education that sets the stage for prevention by focusing educational efforts toward positive health behaviors that aim to mitigate health problems later in life, including diabetes and obesity. The WIC food package, which includes dairy, whole grains, eggs, and fresh fruits and vegetables, also helps to reduce the incidence of diabetes, cancer, asthma, and obesity by including foods high in nutrients. SRHD WIC RDs prepare nutritional intervention and care plans for clients with pre-existing conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and other high risk conditions. SRHD WIC provides services to over 12, 000 clients each month in Spokane County.
- Healthy Communities program – In terms of nutrition, SRHD’s Healthy Communities program works with community partners, agencies and coalitions to create healthy food and beverage environments. Several current initiatives include healthy vending, smarter lunchroom and cafeteria design and healthier child care settings. They’re also joining with numerous partners to host The Power of Our Regional Food Economy: 2013 Conference on April 19 in Spokane’s University District. The day-long collaboration will illustrate the business case for developing a road map for area professionals interested in growing their bottom line, while at the same time fostering our regional food economy—a true systems approach to the food sector.
- Neighborhoods Matter – SRHD’s Neighborhoods Matter program is a targeted community-driven approach to reduce the health disparities impacting maternal, child and family health. Its governance council identified community kitchens as an activity that could help reduce disparities. Community kitchens are community-based cooking programs where small groups of neighbors come together to prepare meals and take food home to their families. In a community kitchen, everyone participates by picking the recipes, cooking the food and cleaning the kitchen. Community kitchens are great opportunities for meeting other neighbors and learning more about food and nutrition.
- Nurse Family Partnership – One of the ways nurses in SRHD’s Nurse Family Partnership program work to improve pregnancy outcomes is by addressing nutritional requirements during pregnancy and helping clients maintain a healthy weight. Clients are first-time, low-income mothers who nurses visit in the home until the child is two years old.
Here are a few ways to “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” from the food and nutrition experts at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
- Personalize your eating style: The easiest way to get the nutrients your body needs is to eat healthy foods you enjoy. Finding good-for-you foods that please your palette makes eating healthfully special and exciting.
- Eat for your lifestyle: Athletic, vegetarian/vegan, corporate and family lifestyles all have special nutritional needs, but eating right can be easy and tasty with attention to those foods that best help get you through the day.<>
- Incorporate cultural and ethnic traditions: Foods from around the globe often incorporate an abundance of unique, flavorful and nourishing ingredients. Keep traditions alive and bring the world to your family’s table.
- Keep health concerns in mind: A healthful eating plan can help prevent and treat a variety of health concerns. With modification and moderation, you can still enjoy many of your favorite foods while meeting your nutritional needs and health goals.
- Make MyPlate your plate: Fill half of your plate with your favorite fruits and vegetables; keep protein portions lean and about three ounces; make at least half of your grain choices whole grains; and be sure to include low-fat or fat-free dairy.
Initiated in 1973 as a week-long event, “National Nutrition Week” became a month-long observance in 1980 in response to growing public interest in nutrition. Additionally, to commemorate the dedication of RDs as advocates for advancing the nutritional health of Americans and people around the world, the second Wednesday of March has been designated “Registered Dietitian Day.” In 2013, RD Day is celebrated on March 13.
As part of this public education campaign, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ National Nutrition Month website includes a variety of helpful tips, fun games, promotional tools and nutrition education resources, all designed to spread the message of good nutrition around the “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” theme.
Information can also be found at www.srhd.org. SRHD’s Web site offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.