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National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month® is an annual education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign, celebrated each year during the month of March, focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. During National Nutrition Month®, help the Academy achieve its vision of a world where all people thrive through the transformative power of food and nutrition. Research has shown that healthy eating patterns, which include the recommended amounts from each food group, can have a positive effect on our health.

Healthy eating patterns have been associated with a reduced risk of:

  • Cardiovascular disease (heart disease)

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Some types of cancer

  • Overweight and obesity

While all food groups are important, we are going to emphasize fruits and vegetables today – which MyPlate recommends should make up half of our plate at each meal. Sadly, many Americans don’t get enough servings of produce. It is estimated that only 25% of people in the United States include adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables in their diets (source).

Fruit and vegetable key points:

  • Nutrition powerhouses: provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, good source of dietary fiber, low in calories, and adds flavor and texture!

  • Daily recommendations: Fruit: 1 to 2 cups. Vegetables: 1 ½ to 3 cups.

  • Forms: fresh, frozen, canned, and dried varieties of produce all count towards your daily produce goals.

  • Describe how your plate compares to MyPlate at your family dinner table: How many food groups does it include? Do fruits and vegetables make up half the plate? Are there any food groups missing? Are there any changes you would make in the future?

Any easy way reach your produce intake goals is with this Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Whole Meal Salad


  • 2 cups salad greens (romaine, spinach, or mixture)

  • 1 cup chopped vegetables such as cucumber, frozen peas (thawed), onion, tomatoes, carrots, fresh mushrooms or bell peppers

  • 1 egg (cooked and sliced)

  • 1 ounce chicken, beef, or pork (cooked and chopped) or ¼ cup canned beans, drained

  • 1 tablespoon shredded cheese, chopped dried fruit, or chopped nuts

  • 2 tablespoons low fat salad dressing


  1. Arrange greens on large plate or bowl.

  2. Add vegetables.

  3. Add egg, meat, or beans.

  4. Sprinkle with cheese, dried fruit, or nuts.

  5. Drizzle dressing over top.


  • Nutrition analysis was done using romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh mushrooms, egg, cheddar cheese, and Italian salad dressing.

  • Pair the salad with a whole grain roll and cup of nonfat milk for a balanced meal.

Serves: 1 | $1.62 per serving

Nutrition information (per serving): 220 calories, 14g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 195mg cholesterol, 410mg sodium, 12g total carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 8g sugar, 11g protein

Recipe courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website:



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