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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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Would you like to be notified when our Calendar of Food Days, Weeks, and Months has been updated? Subscribe to our listserv at http://food.unl.edu/subscribe-to-food-calendar.


February

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 February Calendar? Email author, Kayla Colgrove, MS, RD, Extension Educator

National Food Days

* Day changes yearly

National Food Weeks

National Food Months

 

DAY

Super Bowl (February 2, 2014) *

football
Develop a winning Super Bowl "food game plan" by thinking like a football player on the playing field. Only, instead of the opposing team, your field is filled with food and refreshments. Check out, "Your Super Bowl Game Plan for Healthy Eating" to learn about the eight winning strategies.

Super Bowl Sunday is filled with food, festivities and fun — not to mention football. Serve your family foods that are tasty, filling, and nutritious. http://bit.ly/zGnx05

Looking for a Super Bowl dip that you can feel confident is healthy and delicious for your family? This whipped delight is a great replacement for high-fat dips. http://bit.ly/x6s3pG

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Homemade Soup Day (February 4)

Should a large pot of soup sit on the range until it cools, or should it be refrigerated hot? Check out the answer under the Common Questions from USDA.

10 Titillating Soup Ideas by Nancy Urbanic, Extension Associate

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Oatmeal Monday (Second Monday each year - February 10, 2014) *

bowl of oatmeal

Wikipedia describes Oatmeal Monday as a "traditional holiday observed the ancient universities of Scotland on the second Monday of February."

The students' frugal diet consisted mainly of oatmeal made into porridge. Periodically, they were given a long weekend to replenish their oatmeal supplies. Eventually, this was just established as just this one official Oatmeal Monday.

Enjoy these oatmeal recipes on Oatmeal Monday and throughout the year!

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(Photo: anjuli_ayer at http://flic.kr/p/82ekvK
Creative Commons Attribution/Noncommercial license)

Happy Valentine's Day! (February 14)
 

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Almond Day (February 16)
 

almondMost of the fat in almonds and other nuts is heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. Eaten in moderation, nuts can be an important part of a healthy diet. Almonds also are a source of Vitamin E.

More information and recipes for almonds at:

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Pistachio Day (February 26)
 
pistachios

Though nuts are higher in fat than some foods, most of the fat is heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. Eaten in moderation, nuts can be an important part of a healthy diet. More information and recipes for pistachios at:

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(Photo courtesy of the Western Pistachio Association)

Strawberry Day (February 27)

person eating a strawberry

A half cup of strawberries has about 25 calories and adds important vitamin C, fiber, and potassium to our diet.

California produces the majority of the strawberries in the United States. For more information on selection, storing, and strawberry recipes:

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Chili Day (last Thursday of February each year -- February 27, 2014) *
 

chiliThe common denominator of various chili's is they are hot and spicy. Beans and tomatoes are frequently included. The beans choice may include pinto beans, kidney beans, great northern beans or navy beans.

Some chili recipes omit the beans while others omit adding meat. Meat choices may include such choices as beef, pork, turkey, venison or bison. From there, the list of ingredients may become very creative, including such foods as coffee, honey, dark chocolate, bananas and others.

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(Photo: Anne Davis at http://flic.kr/p/95tb8a
Creative Commons Attribution/Noncommercial license)

WEEK

Great American Pizza Bake (2nd Week)

pizza
Sometimes pizza gets a bad rep for not being healthy. When you make homemade pizza, you are able to control the ingredients on it. Pizza can incorporate all food groups by adding fruit, vegetables, lean meat, low-fat cheeses, and whole grain crust and decreases the amount of saturated fat and salt.

Try these pizza recipes:

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National Pancake Week (4th week)
 
  • Light-as-a-Feather Whole Wheat Pancakes (Source: Wheat Foods Council)pancake with fruit topping 
     
  • Apple Slice Pancakes (Source: Kansas State Extension)
     
  • Better Baking Mix pdf (Source: Washington State University Extension)
    Make this mix with part whole wheat flour and use for pancakes, muffins, biscuits, and more.
     
  • TIP: Make your own blueberry pancakes by folding into the batter 1/2 to 1 cup fresh or pourable frozen blueberries per each cup of flour. For added fruit flavor, top with fruit sauce of berry jam instead of syrup and butter.
     
  • TIP:  Though pancakes taste best fresh from the griddle, they can be held briefly as you make others by placing them in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 200 F oven.

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MONTH

American Heart Month

image of a heart
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Here are some great resources for American Heart Month:

  • Health Experts recommend lowering our salt intake to help our hearts. Test Your Salt Savvy!
  • Learn more about health benefits of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids pdf.
  • For heart-healthy recipe ideas, visit the American Heart Association's Nutrition Center.
  • Check out the Walk Nebraska Newsletter Walk for Your Heart to learn about the importance of physical activity and heart health.
  • Your best weapons to fight cardiovascular disease are to know your risks, understand warning signs, and have a healthy diet and lifestyle. Check out the latest Healthy Bites Newsletter on American Heart Month! http://bit.ly/zauRC0
  • Would you like to know more about heart-healthy foods? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Tip of the Day talks about Heart-Healthy Foods.

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Bake for Family Fun Month

family bake night
Baking is a great family activity, so celebrate and have fun by baking with your family in February. The Home Baking Association put together recipes, baking activities, and resources to help families create new baking memories and traditions.

Here are more cooking with kids resources:

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Berry Fresh Month
 

assorted berriesMany berries can be eaten raw and range from 50 to 100 calories per serving when eaten raw. They are high in vitamin c, potassium, and fiber.

For tips on selecting, storing and preparing berries, visit fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org and type "berries" into the search feature in the upper right corner of the web page.

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Canned Food Month
 

can of green beansResearch has shown canned foods can be as high in nutrients as and sometimes higher than fresh foods.

Are canned foods still safe after a year? Two years? Longer? USDA gives the answer under their Common Questions section.

Other canned food resources:

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Celebration of Chocolate Month
 

dark chocolate candy barEnjoy Chocolate! The news keeps getting better about chocolate.

A small amount of a delicious piece of chocolate at the end of a meal may help you control your appetite, according to Dr. Barbara Rolls, author of Volumetrics: Feel Full on Fewer Calories.

Learn more about Chocolate - A Functional Food?

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Cherry Month
 

cherryLearn how to store and prepare cherries from fruits & veggies more matters.

Nebraska's Nutrition Education Program created a handout on canned cherries. This handout talks about nutrition information, storage, uses, and includes two recipes on the second page.

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Hot Breakfast Month
 

hot amaranth cerealThis campaign emphasizes the importance of starting each day by eating a healthy breakfast. While breakfast can be healthy without being hot, the colder days of February are a great time to enjoy a hot breakfast.

Breakfast literally means "break the fast" after not eating since the night before. People who eat breakfast usually perform better in school and on the job.

Breakfast tips:

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(Photo: LollyKnit at http://flic.kr/p/4rwbrX
Creative Commons Attribution/Noncommercial license)

Grapefruit Month
 

grapefruitGrapefruit got its name because of the way it grows in clusters, like grapes, on trees. Eating grapefruit is a tangy, flavorful way to add vitamin C to our diets. Most of our grapefruit comes from Florida.

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(Photo: arsheffield at http://flic.kr/p/7DC4qB
Creative Commons Attribution/Noncommercial license)

Potato Lover's Month
 

assorted potatoesPotatoes are fat free, sodium free, high in vitamin C, a good source of fiber and high in potassium. One medium potato (5.3 ounces) has 100 calories. 

Enjoy these quick and easy recipes made with potatoes:

More recipes and potato information from the United States Potato Board.

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(Photo courtesy of United States Potato Board)

Snack Food Month
 

yogurt topped with fresh fruitYou don't have to be a kid to enjoy these simple, healthy snacks from our Youth / 4-H section

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Sweet Potato Month
 

Sweet PotatoSweet potatoes are fat free, sodium free, high in vitamins A and C and a good source of fiber and potassium. A medium, 5" long, 2" diameter sweet potato only has about 130 calories. Check these links for more ideas for cooking with sweet potatoes.

Selected recipes / information sheets on sweet potatoes from food.unl.edu

More recipes and information sources:

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(Photo courtesy of Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission)

 

February 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 1, 2014)

Newsletters:

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