March is National Nutrition Month®! 2018’s theme is Go Further with Food. It encourages us to achieve the numerous benefits healthy eating habits offer, while also urging us to find ways to cut back on food waste.
Food waste is when edible food goes uneaten. Wasted food = wasted money and nutrients! The following tips can help make your food last and cut back on food waste.
- Consider the foods you have on hand when planning meals before buying more at the store.
- Buy only the amount that can be eaten or frozen within a few days and plan ways to use leftovers later in the week.
- Get creative with leftovers. Transform meals into soups, salads, or sandwiches. Cut up leftover meats and veggies and use them as a topping for salads or cooked grains like rice, pasta, or quinoa! Wrap in a tortilla or stuff into a pita for a satisfying sandwich.
- Place foods that spoil quickly within sight.
- Store produce properly. Check out this article on EatRight.org.
- Be mindful of portion sizes using MyPlate. Eat and drink the amount that’s right for you.
- Continue to use good food safety practices. Regardless of the date stamped on the food or drink packaging, don’t risk eating or drinking anything that you suspect has spoiled. In some cases a food will not look or smell any different. That’s why it’s important to eat leftovers within 3 to 4 days (or freeze for up to 3 to 4 months).
- Donate extra foods that are still safe to eat to a local food pantry.
- Consult a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) to get sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences, and health-related needs. Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ database to find a RDN in your area. RDN’s are the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically-based food and nutrition information.
For more about National Nutrition Month® food, fitness, and health visit EatRight.org