March 22, 2023

healthy food items inside a heart-shaped serving dish

Sometimes just thinking about what is for dinner feels complicated enough. But there are simple ways to start adapting our diet for sustainability.

March is National Nutrition Month. Each year the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics selects a theme that drives their monthly campaign. The goal is to help people “learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.”

This year’s theme is “Fuel for the Future.” It is about learning how to fuel our bodies with nutritious foods while ensuring sustainability for our environment.

So, how do we eat sustainability? What does “eat with the environment in mind?” mean? Sometimes just thinking about what is for dinner feels complicated enough. But there are simple ways to start adapting our diet for sustainability.

Here are 4 tips for a healthier you and a healthier planet.

Buy foods in season and shop locally.

Consider shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables in season and from local sources. These options have a lower carbon footprint since they are not being packed and shipped from miles away. Local Farmer’s Markets will begin to open late Spring in various locations.

Enjoy more plant-based meals and snacks.

Have you tried a “meatless Monday”? This is a wonderful way to begin eating more plant based. One idea could be to replace the typical beef in chili with some extra bean varieties.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are always an easy, healthy go to! Try sliced apples with peanut butter (or nut butter substitute) or cut bell peppers or carrots and pair them with some hummus.

Reduce food waste.

Meal planning not only helps make sure we are getting better, nutritious meals but can also help with budget and reducing food waste.

Try planning your meals around what you already have at home and then supplement it with your next grocery run.

You might have chicken and lettuce that need to be used along with a can black beans. You could make a taco salad with just a few additional ingredients from the store.

Do you have wilted vegetables that you cannot use? Try boiling them down to create veggie stock. Freeze the stock in ice cube trays to have them on hand and ready to go the next time you make a soup or sauce.

Start a container or backyard garden to grow food at home.

You do not have to have a “green thumb” to start a home garden. Start small with a container garden that can sit in a windowsill. One great option is a mason jar. Fill it with gardening soil and pick a few fresh herbs to start with — basil, parsley or mint.

Fresh herbs are great to cook with, but you can also freeze them and use them in the future.

Want to take it to the next level? Level up to a backyard garden. You can grow the food options you love most — tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and more. This is a terrific opportunity to add more fresh fruits and veggies to your diet, save on your grocery budget and preserve the environment.

We hope these tips are helpful and give you some ideas on how to “Fuel for the Future.” Looking for some more tips as you engage with National Nutrition month? Check out some related content here.

Weekly Recipe

Sweet and Sour Pork Fried Rice

Catherine Kirkhoff

Authored By

Catherine Kirkhoff

Director of Kinetiq Health

Catherine works with our client services team and wellness vendors to empower clients to implement, manage and measure their health and wellness initiatives. She manages the day-to-day activities of the team of analysts and clinicians driving Kinetiq Health program strategy for Apex clients.

Before joining Apex, Catherine worked in public health for six years as a curriculum coordinator for the Marion County Public Health Department. During that time, she earned her CHES and CLS certifications and provided health education throughout the community and schools in Marion County.

Meet Catherine