March is National Nutrition Month! This year the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has chosen the theme of ‘Savor the Flavor of Eating Right’. Eating healthy (and eating in general) should be an enjoyable experience that we take our time doing and enjoying, rather than trying to rush our meals or multitask while we’re eating. Though there will always be times where we will need to grab something quickly and go or get something on the run, the best thing we can do to start developing healthy eating habits is to slow down and ‘savor’ our foods, just like the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests.
So, how do we go about learning to truly savor our food? And how does this help us develop healthier habits?
- Eat as a family. Food serves a central role in our lives. Eating as a family can help strengthen family relationships and help all members of the family enjoy the tradition of eating together and enjoying social gatherings. Getting everyone involved in the meal process can help young ones learn that meal time is important and that preparing food together can be fun!
- Appreciate your food. Enjoy your food slowly and focus on taste and texture. Eating slowly allows you to better enjoy your food as well as give your stomach time to tell your brain you’re full, which might lead you to eat less.
- Be a mindful eater. Pay attention to how, when, and why you eat. Get rid of distractions and take a time-out from multitasking so that you can pay attention to how much you’re eating and whether your body is signaling you to stop. It is very easy to eat large quantities or make less healthy choices when we are distracted or making food choices based on boredom or emotions.
Using these tips, you too can learn to be a more mindful, healthy eater! Food is about so much more than just the physical items in front of you – it is emotional too, which is why we need to take time to slow down and enjoy those food moments so that we can truly ‘savor’ them.