Food, Nutrition, and Healthy by the Month

National Food Days, Weeks & Months

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Contributors:  Kayla Colgrove, MS, RD, UNL Extension in Gage County; Alice Henneman, MS, RD, UNL Extension in Lancaster County; and Lisa Franzen Castle, MS, RD, PhD, Panhandle Research and Extension Center.

Questions or comments? Email Kayla Colgrove, MS, RD, ACSM-CPT

Terms of Use for Photos and Educational Resources developed by UNL Extension. Guidelines may differ for items linked to on other sites. You are welcome to link to our calendar.

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April

Quick Links to Days, Weeks, and Months in Calendar

Click on a link to find TIPS, RECIPES, and RESOURCES related to that day, week or month. Or simply scroll down the page.

Questions about April Calendar? Email author, Kayla Colgrove, MS, RD, Extension Educator

National Food Days

* Day changes yearly

National Food Weeks

National Food Months

DAY

Walking Day (April 2, 2014)*


walkingAmerican Heart Association's National Walking Day is a nationwide call-to-action for Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Your company can help employees take the first step in becoming more active by participating. Join thousands across the nation as they wear their sneakers to work on April 2, 2014, and pledge to start a healthier lifestyle as part of this annual event.

Physical inactivity increases the risk of coronary heart disease. Luckily, this is a modifiable risk factor and improving it is as easy as going for a walk most days of the week. One of the most effective forms of exercise to achieve heart health is walking. Walking does not require any special skills. It is safe, free, requires no equipment and costs nothing to get started.

The American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). 30 minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember, however you will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 -15 minutes per day.of the week.

Resources:

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Fresh Tomato Day (April 6)

fresh tomato
Did you know the best place to store tomatoes is at room temperature (above 55 F) until they've fully ripened. A ripe tomato is red or reddish orange, depending on variety and yields to slight pressure.

Store them stem end up as the "shoulders" are the softest part and bruise most easily. Keep them out of direct sunlight. If you must store them a longer time, place them (after they've ripened fully) in the refrigerator.

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Empanada Day (April 8)

empanadaAn empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry that is fried or baked and served in many Latin American countries. The filling can consist of a variety of meats, vegetables and even fruits.

They can be fun to make as a group activity at a party or with children. Here is a really easy recipe from PBS Kids that can be used in designing your own empanada recipe.

For more complicated recipes, make the filling the night before or earlier in the day so it is cold when you stuff the dough. Using a store-bought pie crust can save you time.
 

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Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day (April 12)
 

Photo: Maggie Hoffman at http://flic.kr/p/6c8KNp Creative Commons license: Attribution

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Day of the Mushroom (April 16)
 

mushroomMushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium. One of the nutrients found in mushrooms that is receiving increased attention is vitamin D. The Mushroom Council gives more information about the vitamin D content of various mushrooms HERE.

 

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Garlic Day (April 19)
garlic
 
  • From Garden to Table: Garlic (Source: North Dakota State University Extension Service) Tells how to grow and safely store garlic. Plus gives several recipes using garlic!

 

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Easter (April 20, 2014)plate of Easter eggs
 

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Earth Day (April 22)
Earth Day image
 

 

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Picnic Day (April 23)family enjoying a picnic
 

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Zucchini Bread Day (April 25)

zucchini bread

Try making zucchini bread with whole wheat pastry flour (a low gluten flour milled from a soft wheat). Whole wheat pastry flour adds the fiber of whole flour and produces a light, tender product. Whole wheat pastry flour, however, doesn't work well in yeast bread recipes because of its low gluten content.

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Prime Rib Day (April 27)


The term "prime rib" typically refers to the cut of meat butchers call a standing rib roast. The origin of Prime Rib Day is unknown. Often served as part of a special occasion, it is an easy menu item to prepare.

See how easy it is to prepare any type of roast by viewing this video from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA).

Here are 2 examples of rib roast recipes from the NCBA

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Raisin Day (April 30)
 

raisin image courtesy of California Raisin Marketing BoardAccording to the Fresno Historical Society, the first Raisin Day was April 30, 1909.  For a quick trip back in history, view vintage Raisin Day Postcards on flickr.com

 

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WEEK

Public Health Week (1st week in April)

apple with tape measure
These Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 resources can help you enjoy and promote eating healthy and participating in physical activity during Public Health Week and throughout the year:

To learn more about National Public Health Week, check out http://www.nphw.org/ and their toolkit.

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Garden Week/Garden Month

person holding a plant for garden

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Egg Salad Week (April 21 - 27, 2013 - the full week right after Easter Sunday) *

egg salad sandwich

Egg Salad Week is the week after Easter because so many people like to make egg salad with their hard-cooked eggs.

Following these links for directions on hard-cooking eggs and several egg salad recipes from the American Egg Board:

 (Photo: ohdearbarb at http://flic.kr/p/51uaVK / Creative Commons license specifications for use)

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MONTH

Cancer Control Month
 

appleEating a healthy diet can help reduce your risk of cancer. For recipe ideas, check:

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Celery Month

 
celeryResources:

Snack Ideas Using Celery:

Photo: Public Domain Photos at http://flic.kr/p/8kb2U5 Creative Commons license: Attribution

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Pecan Month

pecans
Pecans are a source of protein, potassium, zinc, vitamin E, magnesium, carbohydrates, and folic acid. They contain mainly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat -- the type considered "heart healthy." A handful of nuts a day, such as pecans, can help you stay on a diet by contributing to satiety. This means they will help you feel full longer.

More information and recipes for pecans at:

(Photo courtesy of National Pecan Shellers Association)

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Soyfoods Month

edamame
The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of health claims about the role of soy protein in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) for foods containing soy protein. This is based on FDA's conclusion that when soy protein is included in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, it may reduce the risk of CHD by lowering blood cholesterol levels. Follow these links to tips and recipes to help you ENJOY SOY!

The picture to the right shows edamame. Edamme is the Japanese name for the young green pods of the soybean plant. They can be purchased fresh and frequently are available frozen all year in oriental food markets, health and natural food stores, and supermarkets. They are frequently served as a side dish or added to salads or soups. They must be cooked before eating.

(Photo: yamada3 at http://flic.kr/p/6M92m / Creative Commons license specifications for use)

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Stress Awareness Month


Use these resources from UNL Extension to help you lower stress levels through healthy eating and physical activity:

If your body was like a computer, would it crash? View the SHORT video to the right for ways to "reboot!"

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April Food Calendar

 

Food Calendar

UNL Extension's Calendar of Food Days, Weeks, and Months is a monthly, web-based food-themed calendar. It provides resources for selected national food-themed days, weeks, and months.

We hope this provides you inspiration for blogs, tweets, programs, and articles.

~Kayla Colgrove, MS, RD, ACSM-CPT

► For more timely food tips and inspiration, visit my blog, Making HealthieRDecisions

Healthy Bites Newsletter

Printer-friendly PDF handouts
By Lisa Franzen Castle, MS, RD, PhD Email author

 

UNL Food Features

(Updated August 29, 2014)

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