The Busy Dietitian’s Guide to National Nutrition Month® 2021

Between daily best practice and keeping up with COVID guidelines, it can feel impossible to connect with a national campaign. Nutrition expert Annika Weeks NDTR breaks down easy ways for busy professionals to participate in National Nutrition Month® this March.


Dietitians can go from taste testing recipes to using complex chemistry, all in a day's work. With so much going on during the day, easy ways to celebrate National Nutrition Month® are needed.


Read on for easy ways nutrition and food professionals can celebrate National Nutrition Month®. Plus, ideas for busy dietitians who want to get involved.


What is National Nutrition Month®?

National Nutrition Month® actually started out as National Nutrition Week in the 1970s. It was launched with much fanfare for the time -- including presidential proclamations, radio and TV broadcast announcements, and bumper stickers.


By the 1980s, popularity had grown so much that the American Dietetic Association (now called the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) expanded the event to last all month long.


Since its inception, Academy members and consumers alike have embraced the opportunity to celebrate nutrition. I’ve included a brief timeline of important events below, but you can find a complete history, including some groovy campaign images from the past, at the Academy’s History of National Nutrition Month® page.




Who can celebrate National Nutrition Month®?

Everyone is invited to learn and celebrate National Nutrition Month®. It’s all about making more informed choices when it comes to healthy eating. Throughout the month, other wellness topics are also discussed, such as physical activity habits and how to stay nourished when working out.



What is this year’s National Nutrition Month® theme?

The theme this year is Personalize Your Plate. Key points regarding this theme:

  • Nutrition and health are not a one-size-fits-all approach

  • Each person is unique, with different bodies, goals, backgrounds, and tastes

  • A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) can tailor a healthful eating plan to meet unique needs



How has COVID-19 affected the National Nutrition Month® celebrations and events?

Many of this year’s opportunities to participate are virtual or online. The Academy has a list of 40 Ideas to Get Involved in National Nutrition Month®, and everyone can still find ways to connect even if in-person meetings aren’t possible.


For example, here are a list of virtual or online activities to participate in during March:

  • Virtual cooking demo (can host on social media)

  • Virtual story time through the local library

  • Virtual presentation at a local park district or senior center

  • A “nutrition question of the day” series sent by email

  • Socially distanced or virtual sports nutrition education session

  • Conduct a series of exercise classes with coworkers online and invite a local instructor to lead the class

  • Work with a local grocery store/supermarket to offer a virtual nutrition education session on “how to eat healthy on a budget”

  • Host an online class or contest focused on recreating meals with leftover food


What are some quick, low-cost ways to participate in National Nutrition Month®?

Social media posts are a free and easy way to extend the outreach of this national campaign and promote the transformative power of nutrition. Simply sharing a couple points of your perspective and experience in the field can help others understand how small yet significant shifts in eating patterns make all the difference.


We often teach that all-or-nothing thinking is harmful when it comes to food, but we also need to remember it when it comes to our own efforts. If you are a dietitian or nutrition professional, don’t feel pressured to post every single day during National Nutrition Month®. It’s okay if you don’t even post at all!


I’ve also created a free calendar to help busy dietitian’s keep track of the Academy’s campaign. Download it below!


Click here for to get your FREE download*

* After subscribing, check your inbox to immediately download (check your spam, too -- just in case 😘). If you have any problems at all getting your free download, please feel free to contact me by clicking here!


What is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Day?

RDN Day is on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, this year and is traditionally celebrated the second Wednesday in March. The day is designed to promote the Academy and RDNs to the public, media, and consumers as the valuable sources of expertise that they are!


RDNs, alongside registered nutrition and dietetic technicians (NDTRs), provide credible, timely, evidence-based, and informative counsel to the public. Since 2008, this day has commemorated the work of nutrition professionals in advocating for nutrition status advancements, both on national and global levels.


Essentially this is a day dedicated to RDNs, NDTRs, and their supporting staff as a way to honor the commitment they make each day to help consumers live healthier.


For more information and inspiration on RDN Day, visit the following Academy resources:


Does the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have any other resources for National Nutrition Month®?

The Academy has many resources for National Nutrition Month®, including:

In addition, the Academy has provided social press kits for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. This makes it simple and easy to share the campaign across any network you choose.


The Bottom Line for Busy Dietitians

Tony Robbins said it best: “It’s not the lack of resources, it’s your lack of resourcefulness that stops you.” There are many simple, easy, and free ways to get involved during National Nutrition Month® -- there is no secret, just pick one and get started!


Don’t adopt an all-or-nothing mindset about the campaign. Simply use the time, influence, and whatever other resources you do have to start where you are and do what you can. And remember -- you are not alone!


Pros Who Know

Sarah Koszyk


Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN recently published an article on Dietitian Collaborations and how they can boost your career. The article includes 15 benefits, challenges, and tips as well as success stories in the world of modern-day collaborations.


Between dietitian and nutrition professionals taking to the media as well as the upcoming opportunities of National Nutrition Month®, there’s no time like the present to team up. Expand the wonderful world of eating through pairing, partnering, or sharing your unique talents and expertise with someone else and their audience.



References

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. About Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day. Eatright.org. 2021. https://www.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month/registered-dietitian-nutritionist-day


Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. History of National Nutrition Month®. Eatright.org. 2021. https://www.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month/history-timeline


Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions About National Nutrition Month®. Eatright.org. 2021. https://www.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month/most-asked-questions-about-national-nutrition-month



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