Happy National Nutrition Month

5 min read

Celebrate National Nutrition Month With OLIPOP

Posted Mar 07, 2024 Updated Mar 07, 2024

Spring is in the air and so is National Nutrition Month® (NNM)! Join us as we celebrate a month dedicated to learning all about healthy eating (and drinking!). In this blog, we’re talking about National Nutrition Month®, what it means to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and what this year’s theme, “Beyond the Table”, means to us. We’ll also share 5 easy RDN-approved tips to stay healthy this month and every month. 

What Is National Nutrition Month?

Each year during March, we celebrate National Nutrition Month®, an annual public health campaign set forth by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to help raise awareness about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits. It all started in 1973 as National Nutrition Week. However, due to the growing interest in nutrition, it became a month-long observance starting in 1980. 

National Nutrition Month 2024: Beyond The Table

Each year National Nutrition Month® has a theme, and this year’s theme is “Beyond the Table”. The term “Beyond the Table” can mean different things to different people. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, this year’s theme highlights the farm-to-fork aspect of nutrition, from food production and distribution to picking up your food at the grocery store. It also describes the various ways we eat, whether that’s around the dinner table, on the go, in a restaurant, and so on. 

As an RDN, this year’s theme reminds me about how we eat day to day, our food environment, and that we don’t always get to sit down at a table to enjoy the nourishment from our foods. Sometimes we have to eat on the run — and that is completely okay! Our food environment is so complex, but when we’re empowered to make nutrient-dense choices with our food and beverage selections, our nutrient needs can be met no matter where we eat.

I asked Amy Goodson, a fellow RDN, what the term “Beyond the Table” meant to her. This is what she said: 

“When I think of sitting down at a table to eat, I think of food as nourishment to my body, but the reality is, food is so much more! Food helps fuel activity and fitness, it can help decrease the risk of disease, it can help you feel better and improve your mood, it can create community and shared experiences with friends and family, it can create careers for individuals as chefs and culinary professionals, it can be the base of education and creativity, it can bring people joy, it can remind us of past experiences and past times, etc. Food truly serves as a centerpiece of our day-to-day lives and can be used to improve our overall well-being if we let it. So, is food nourishment? Yes, but beyond the table, it has the ability in so many interesting, creative, fulfilling ways weaving many of life's experiences together”.

What Is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)?

As RDNs, we’re tasked with promoting nutrition and the beyond-the-table aspects of food to consumers. But what is an RDN and how can we help you? RDNs are food and nutrition experts who help spread the news about National Nutrition Month® by encouraging consumers to choose nutrient-dense foods and aim for physical activity each day. 

Never interacted with an RDN before? You can find us in various settings such as hospitals or outpatient clinics, private practice, retail/grocery stores, the food industry, and more. (Pst you can also find us offering nutrition advice in our OLIPOP blog!)

You may want to consider seeing an RDN if you have questions about your nutrition. We’re great resources to turn to because we go through extensive education and training to get that title. RDNs need at least a four-year degree as well as over 1,000 hours of supervised practice in multiple settings. We also need to pass a board certification exam. In 2024, this degree requirement changed from a bachelor’s to a graduate degree. So you can ensure the advice you are getting is from a well-trained RDN!

In the spirit of NNM, the Academy also honors RDNs on Wednesday, March 13th for Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day. OLIPOP has been such a proud supporter of the RDN community since the inception of our brand. We value the RDN expert voice, and helping consumers make day-to-day choices that support health and wellness. 

What Do You Enjoy Most About Being an RDN?

We asked three RDNs about what they enjoyed most about being in this profession. Here is what we found out:

Amy Goodson MS, RDN: “My favorite part of being a registered dietitian nutritionist is that the sky's the limit when it comes to job and business opportunities. Personally, I like doing lots of different things and utilizing various skills in my business. One day I might be speaking to RDNs, one day working on a sports nutrition course for athletes, one day doing a TV segment for heart health month, one day taping a podcast, etc. There are so many opportunities to get science-based nutrition information out to the public, and that is exciting to me. Plus, the opportunities are growing! Where RDNs originally started in hospitals and food service facilities, now RDNs can work in all types of environments and roles, positively impacting health, fitness, media, policy, and more! The demand for health and wellness information truly has created a stage for RDNs to rise up and shine, making the field an exciting and rewarding one to be a part of”!

Jenna Werner, RDN: “It brings me so much joy to help people figure out how to truly feel their best, to learn how to make health less stressful, and to learn sustainable and practical ways to support their health. I love that dietitians can now work in so many diverse spaces and take some of the fear out of health and eating in general! I love working with people and I love that as a dietitian my job makes peoples' lives better!”

Kaytee Hadley, RDN: “I feel so grateful that I’m able to support folks in their gut healing journey, to be heard, get answers, and find healing! Seeing what happens when each person can be free of the symptoms that have been holding them back for years (often even decades!) and get their life back is the most incredible part of what I do.”

How to Celebrate National Nutrition Month: Tips From an RDN

In celebration of National Nutrition Month®, we polled our fellow RDNs to ask them what small changes they’d suggest for improving day-to-day nutrition and overall health. Here are some week-to-week tips that you may want to try in honor of this food and health-focused month. These tips align with the weekly messages for National Nutrition Month® as set by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Tip #1: Eat With the Environment in Mind

  • Enjoy more plant-based meals and snacks
  • Buy foods in season and shop locally when possible
  • Start a backyard garden to grow food at home
  • Buy foods with minimal packaging

Tip #2: See an RDN

  • Receive personalized nutrition information from an RDN to help meet your health goals
  • Ask your doctor for a referral to an RDN
  • Learn how your nutrient needs change throughout the lifecycle

Tip #3: Stay Nourished and Save Money

  • Plan your meals and snacks
  • Check the back labels of food and drinks to watch out for hidden added sugars
  • See what food(s) you have at home before purchasing more
  • Use a grocery list and shop sales when purchasing food
  • Learn about community resources such as SNAP, WIC, and local food banks

Tip #4: Eat a Variety of Foods From All Food Groups

  • Include your favorite cultural foods and traditions
  • Eat a diverse range of foods in various forms including fresh, frozen, canned, and dried
  • Avoid fad diets that promote unnecessary restrictions
  • Practice gratitude for your body by giving it the fuel it needs

Tip #5: Make Tasty Foods at Home

  • Learn cooking and meal preparation skills
  • Try new flavors and foods from around the world
  • Find creative ways to use leftovers rather than tossing them
  • Create happy memories by eating with friends and family when possible

Happy National Nutrition Month® from the OLIPOP team! We hope that we inspire you to make nutrient-dense food and beverage choices this month and every month. And thank you RDNs for all that you do, we are so proud to celebrate you! For more recipes and information on National Nutrition Month®, we encourage you to visit the Academy website and their amazing resource hub for recipes and more. Enjoy and have a nutritious month ahead!

Cheat Sheet
  • March is National Nutrition Month, a month-long nutrition education campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 1973.
  • National Nutrition Month is all about learning how to make informed food choices with a focus on nutrition.
  • This year’s National Nutrition Month theme is “Beyond The Table” and it’s all about farm-to-fork, the various ways we eat, and how food is far more than just fuel.
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