March is National Nutrition Month

Published 12:16 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March is National Nutrition Month. Good nutrition is the key to good mental and physical health. Eating a balanced diet is an important part of good health for everyone.

The kind and amount of food you eat affects the way you feel and how your body works. We can achieve and maintain good health by eating five or more fruits and vegetables a day, choose food low in fat and high in fiber and increase our physical activity.

A great place to start with good nutrition is with breakfast. The key to a healthy day is to start it off with a well-balanced breakfast.

The nutrients found in a healthful breakfast helps get your brain and body functioning at its best. It should include a serving of milk, whole-grain bread or cereal, a meat or meat alternate and of course, a fruit or vegetable.

Literally, the word breakfast means to break the fast from the previous night. Traditionally in America, the first meal of the day included eggs, bacon, toast, juice and milk. Our busy change of pace has also brought offerings of frozen waffles or pancakes, cereal or cereal bars, and of course, fast food.

The importance of breakfast cannot be stressed enough. Research has shown there is a solid connection between eating a healthy breakfast and success in school. Eating breakfast may also help adults maintain their weight, take in less fat and cholesterol, and have better concentration and memory recall.

Eating a whole-grain cereal, milk and citrus juice can provide 100 percent of the vitamin C your body needs, 33 percent of the calcium, thiamine and riboflavin, and a good supply of fiber, iron and other needed nutrients for the day. It’s difficult for breakfast skippers to make up these nutrients throughout the day.

For more information on healthy eating contact us at the Clark County Extension Office, 744-4682 and be sure to visit us on the web at http://ces.ca.uky.edu/clark and check out the recipe for Amazing Pancakes and our physical activity tips.

Jennifer Howard is the Clark County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences.