March is National Nutrition Month

In conjunction with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is celebrating National Nutrition Month during the month of March. The National Nutrition Month® theme for 2017 is "Put Your Best Fork Forward." The theme focuses on inspiring and helping individuals develop long-lasting eating and exercise behaviors by making small changes over time.

"We live in a society that wants everything now," said Marcia Pessolano, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at DPH. "The truth is, nutrition is no different than anything else. If you want to live a long and healthy life, you have to work at it each day and practice healthy habits."

DPH recommends the following ideas to help you get on track:

  • One habit at a time: Research shows that if you focus on one habit at a time for 2-4 weeks you are more likely to be successful. Slow and steady wins the race. 
  • Eat slowly: It takes 20 minutes for your brain to realize you are full, so put your fork down in between bites. Take 20-30 chews per bite and turn off electronics. Instead, enjoy your meal with your family and friends.
  • Portion Control: Use a nine-inch plate and fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. The other half should consist of about one-quarter whole grains and one-quarter lean protein.
  • Stay Consistent: Consistency is key! Focus on eating healthy (e.g. whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and low fat dairy) most of the time, but don’t deprive yourself completely. Enjoy your favorite foods within reason.
  • Practice Mindfulness: Become more aware of your daily routines, habits, and behaviors. Start a journal to help you identify what you are doing well and what you can improve. Take your time and enjoy your food. Savor each bite and eat free of distractions (e.g. television, cell phones, etc.).

To learn more about nutrition and DPH programs visit the Department of Public Health’s Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention Program website:

For information about National Nutrition Month®, and to find an expert to help you get started, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website at