REGION- March is National Nutrition Month. Fueling our bodies in a way that can be maintained for future generations is a great way to safeguard the impact that our food system has on the environment. It is also a great way to incorporate nutritionally dense, local, and fresh foods into our daily intake.
A CMDHD WIC Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN or RD) can help you create healthy habits that are sustainable for you and for the planet. You may be asking yourself: “What is sustainability?” In agriculture, sustainability refers to the specific farming practices that use fewer natural resources and produce food in ways that do not harm the environment.
As consumers, we can support these farming practices by choosing to eat sustainably. Keep reading to explore recommendations for WIC participants or for any family that is looking to make healthy and sustainable changes:
- Eat with the environment in mind: Enjoy more plant-based meals and snacks such as vegetables; fruits; nuts; seeds; whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, and rice; and legumes like beans, chickpeas, and lentils.
- Purchase food with minimal packaging or reuse containers at markets.
- Buy food in season and shop locally when possible.
- Ask your WIC office about participating in Project FRESH this summer.
- Start a container or backyard garden to grow food at home.
- See a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. CMDHD provides RDN services at no cost to our WIC clients – families that participate can call for a nutrition counseling appointment with a RDN at your local CMDHD office.
- Find an RDN who specializes in your unique needs to answer questions or help with healthy eating.
- Learn how nutritional needs may change with your age.
- Receive personalized nutrition information to meet your health goals.
- Stay nourished and save money.
- Plan your meals and snacks.
- See what food you have at home before purchasing more.
- Use a grocery list and shop sales when buying food.
- Learn more about how to make your WIC benefits work for you and ask about www.wichealth.org for delicious recipes utilizing your WIC foods.
- Eat a variety of foods from all food groups.
- Include your favorite foods from your culture or family traditions.
- Eat foods in various forms including fresh, frozen, canned, and dried.
- Avoid fad diets that promote restrictions of some food groups.
- Practice gratitude for your body by giving it the fuel it needs.
- Make tasty food at home.
- Learn cooking and meal preparation skills.
- Try new flavors and foods from around the world.
- Find creative ways to use leftovers or freeze them in small portions rather than tossing them.
- Create happy memories by eating with friends and family when possible.
Be sure to contact your local CMDHD office to learn more or to schedule an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. WIC is a federally funded program that serves qualified low-income pregnant and postpartum individuals, infants, and children (up to age 5), by providing nutritious food, nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion, and support, as well as referrals to health care and other services.
WIC foods are selected to meet nutrient needs such as calcium, iron, folic acid, and vitamins A & C.
For more information about WIC, please visit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services at www.michigan.gov/wic or contact your local CMDHD office at (989) 314-7570.