Home > Blog > National Nutrition Month 2024: Beyond The Table

March is National Nutrition Month, an annual campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to educate people on the importance of making informed food choices, as well as developing good eating and physical activity habits. 

This year, National Nutrition Month’s theme is “Beyond the Table,” which highlights how healthy choices go beyond just what we eat in a day. Our snacks, where and how we eat, where our foods are grown, and even how they are prepared all make a big impact on ourselves and our future.

“This includes how food is grown or raised, where and how it is made, as well as its safety,” says a recent tip sheet by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “It’s important to think about the foods we eat and the nutrition they provide, but is there more we could be doing to improve our health and the environment?”

Throughout the month of March, Project Open Hand will be highlighting our services and programming that reach “Beyond the Table,” as well as sharing educational resources to help consider when making your own healthy choices.

Here are a few key ways to help you reach “Beyond the Table” in 2024 from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

  1.  Focus on a healthy eating routine

    Making healthy food choices may seem difficult at times, especially when eating away from home, but it doesn’t have to be. Many eating places provide nutrition information right on the menu or online to help you choose healthier options. When purchasing food from a store, use a grocery list and pay attention to sales. You also can learn about resources in your community that offer access to healthy foods, such as food banks.
  2. Seek the help of a Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN)

    Registered dietitian nutritionists, also known as RDNs, are food and nutrition experts who help people live healthier lives. RDNs can help you explore ways Beyond the Table to reach your health goals. Make an appointment with an RDN who specializes in your specific needs to jumpstart your plan for personal wellness.
  3. Learn what’s involved in growing your food

    There are many ways you can learn about how your food is produced. Visit a local farm or farmers market and talk with the people who are growing and harvesting your food. Many farmers and food producers will be happy to answer your questions, let you sample products or provide recipes for foods that are new to you. Some local farms even have tours, so people can see how they operate.

    You also can grow your own fruits and vegetables at home. Want to try gardening but have limited space? Grow herbs or lettuce indoors. Tomatoes, peppers or strawberries may work, too, if you have a patio or porch with enough sunlight. Schools, churches and other places may offer community gardens where you can participate in the growing process and share in the harvest. 

    Not quite ready to get your hands in the dirt? Many local farms offer programs, which include “farm shares” of produce during a growing season. Depending on the farm, additional products such as eggs or meat might be included.

Read the full tip sheet on how to reach “Beyond the Table” by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics here.


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