By Tracy Weincouff, Registered Dietician

 March is National Nutrition Month! National Nutrition Month promotes nutrition education focusing on the importance of making sound food choices. The theme for this year’s National Nutrition Month is “Go Further with Food”. Go further with food by choosing foods that are healthful to our bodies and to the environment. You can “Go Further with Food” by shopping locally. Shopping locally supports local farmers while providing you with the freshest food. It’s a great way to add healthy foods to your diet. While you can find some local foods at grocery stores, the best place to find them is at farmer’s markets. Shopping locally also conserves natural resources because the food does not have to be shipped in from around the US or other countries.

 Another way to “Go Further with Food” is by preparing meals in advance. This can mean preparing several meals on one day to have for the week or it can mean to double the amount of a meal you make so you will have food left over for another meal. You can also freeze extra meals for later. This is a great way to eat healthy, save time and reduce food waste. Also storing food properly can reduce food waste. Reducing food waste, in turn, reduces your food bill. In the US approximately 30% of edible food is wasted. To help decrease food waste, check what you have on hand before going to the store. Only buy how much you will actually eat. Freeze foods that you won’t eat before they spoil. However, keep in mind that although it is important to eat the food you bought, you never want to eat spoiled food. Spoiled or rotten food should be discarded.

 Also during National Nutrition Month is Registered Dietitian Day. This day falls on March 14th and is to increase the awareness of Registered Dietitians and the types of services they offer. Registered Dietitians, also known as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, have received a degree in nutrition from an accredited university plus completed an internship and passed an exam. These professionals are committed to improving the health of their clients thru sound nutrition. Region 2 Area Agency on Aging in Brooklyn offers dietitian services.