HAWC offers classes, healthy eating tips

  • Published
  • By Marita Radloff
  • HAWC registered dietitian nutritionist
March is National Nutrition Month, a nutrition campaign created annually by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

Registered dietitian nutritionists and healthcare professionals use March as a platform to emphasize the importance of making educated food choices and creating healthy eating habits. The theme for 2016 is "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right." 

The academy strives to communicate healthy eating messages that emphasize balancing food and beverages with each person's energy needs, rather than focusing on one specific food or meal. 

To relay that message, RDNs promote creating healthy lifestyle behaviors rather than restrictive diets or eating patterns. 

That's also the Health and Wellness Center's main goal. HAWC classes - such as Better Body, Better Life - promote finding ways to incorporate healthy habits into your routine to make lasting lifestyle changes. 

This year's theme encourages enjoying food traditions and appreciating the great flavors food can provide. This month's theme emphasizes taking time to enjoy healthy foods.

Throughout the month, the HAWC will provide tips and recipes on how to add flavor to favorite foods, and some new ones too. Below are some tips to kick the month off in a healthier way.

Social time and food traditions
Food is intrinsically linked to social outings and traditions. Whether it's a birthday dinner, a holiday or social gathering, food often plays a central role. 

Research shows that family meals promote healthier eating and strengthen family relationships. So next time you're rushing to get dinner on the table, remember to sit and enjoy it with your loved ones to foster healthy habits for the next generation.

Appreciate foods flavors
Take time to appreciate flavors, textures and the overall eating experience when you can. 

In today's busy world, it's easy to fall into the habit of working through lunch, or catching up on social media while eating mindlessly. 

Next time you notice this, take time to put the phone down and appreciate the flavor of each bite by chewing slowly and putting your fork down between each bite. That will help you eat less because your stomach will have adequate time to tell your brain that it's full.

Try One New Recipe a Week

Tired of the same old dinner, or looking to incorporate more healthy recipes into your rotation? 

Use websites to find new recipes, and get the kids involved in the grocery shopping, preparation and cooking so they're more willing to try something new. Even the pickiest of eaters are more likely to sample a food they've helped prepare.

Editor's note: All of these topics are covered in the HAWC's next 12-week Better Body, Better Life program starting April 4. The program is open to all employees and family members 18 and older. To register, stop by Bldg. 827 or call 478-222-6907.

Check out the HAWC's Facebook page for events, and look for more tips and a new recipe every week this month in the Rev-Up.