March is National Nutrition Month, which is celebrated by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics by focusing attention on healthy food choices.
This year’s theme, Savor the Flavor of Eating Right, harnesses the idea of taking the time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food can add to our lives. Essentially, where how, when, why and where we eat are just as important as what we eat. ‘Savor the Flavor’ also encompasses the idea of marrying culinary excellence with healthy eating habits.
Harvest, the healthy dining venue in the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health (IFNH) on the Cook Campus, is a model for this concept. Harvest not only provides excellent food, it is used as a living laboratory by registered dietician and nutritionist Peggy Policastro, director of Behavioral Nutrition at the IFNH. Policastro believes people can be “nudged” towards healthy choices if the food is not only tasty but presented in a way that encourages healthy eating practices. Chefs Ian Keith and Rachel Reuben and Policastro work as a team of nutrition and culinary experts to ensure all customers who enter Harvest enjoy a tasty and nutritious meal.
If you are looking to incorporate the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans into your life, Harvest is your one-stop shopping necessity. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables from the bountiful selections of fruit and fresh vegetables found on the salad bar. The flavor profiles of entrees are enhanced with herbs and spices such as ginger, basil, oregano, curry or garlic instead of salt.
Plant-based proteins offer numerous health benefits and you can stock up on these by choosing a veggie-based pizzette at Harvest. The smoothies offered are a balanced, between-meal snack or lite lunch option.
The Dietary Guidelines also recommend a variety of seafood twice a week. Seafood is offered daily at Harvest, from wild caught salmon on ciabatta bread to fresh tuna at the Mongolian grill. ‘Eat well…Live well’ not only during National Nutrition Month, but every day of the year. For more information about National Nutrition Month and healthy cooking and eating tips, visit: www.eatright.org