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

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March

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

National Food Days

* Day changes yearly

National Food Weeks

National Food Months

 

DAY

Peanut Butter Lover's Day (March 1) / Peanut Month


peanutsPeanut butter is a convenient and inexpensive staple to keep in your kitchen. The DASH diet to lower blood pressure found a healthy diet included 4 to 5 servings of nuts, seeds and legumes weekly. For some sample DASH menus containing peanuts and peanut butter, check Your Guide to Lowering Blood Pressure (pdf format). A tablespoon of peanut butter has about 95 calories; enjoy in moderation.

For some unique recipes made with peanuts and peanut butter, check these Web sites:

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Cereal Day (March 7)

Woman eating cereal
This holiday originated to commemorate the anniversary of the invention of corn flakes by William and John Kellogg in the late 19th century.

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St. Patrick's Day (March 17)


cloverGo for the GREEN on St. Patrick's Day. Get healthy with green fruits and veggies:

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(Image courtesy of Food and Health Communications)

Ag Day (March 18, 2015) *

farm houseNational Ag Day was created to recognize and celebrate the contribution of agriculture in our everyday lives. It is coordinated by the Ag Council of America.

1 in 3 jobs in Nebraska are tied to agriculture or agribusiness. Cash receipts from farm marketings contributed over $24 billion to Nebraska's economy in 2012 and 6.2 percent of the U.S. total. Nebraska ranks #1 in the nation in red meat, Great Northern beans, and popcorn production. (More Nebraska ag facts, Feb. 2014...)

Download the FREE GrowIt app from the University of Nebraska's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. It is a lively free app that gives kids their first lessons in how agriculture produces the things they love to eat – and even their crayons.

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World Water Day (March 22)


picture from World Water Day photo streamWorld Water Day is an international day declared by the UN General Assembly.  Water is a basic requirement for life. World Water Day focuses on promoting concrete activities regarding the world's water resources.

NebGuides from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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(Photo: Paolo Margari at photo link / Creative Commons license: Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works)

American Diabetes Alert Day (March 24, 2015, fourth Tuesday in March)*


diabetesThere are 25.8 million people in the United States, or 8.3% of the population, who have diabetes. Take the Diabetes Risk Test from the American Diabetes Association to find out if you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Check out the American Diabetes Association website to find out more information about the American Diabetes Association Alert Day.

Control Diabetes for Life is an educational program that is offered by UNL Extension 1-3 times a year in various locations in Nebraska. Check out Control Diabetes for Life's website to watch archived sessions.

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Pecan Day (March 25)

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:

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(Photo courtesy of National Pecan Shellers Association)

Spinach Day (March 26)
 

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(Photo: Greg Wagoner  at http://flic.kr/p/6rzk5v / Creative Commons license: Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works)

WEEK

National School Breakfast Week (March 2-6, 2015, 1st full week in March)*


breakfast foodThe theme for the 2015 National School Breakfast week is "Make the Grade with School Breakfast." National School Breakfast Week is celebrated during the first full week in March. It helps to raise awareness about the importance of a healthy breakfast for children in school. Check out these resources to help you with breakfast week:

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Salt Awareness Week (March 16 - 22, 2015)*


salt and pepperThe 2010 Dietary Guidelines emphasize reducing sodium. The key recommendation is to reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) and further reduce intake to 1,500 mg among persons who are 51 and older and those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. The 1,500 mg recommendation applies to about half of the U.S. population, including children, and the majority of adults.

Additional Resources:

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National Agriculture Week (March 22-28, 2015)*

 
farmingCheck out these great resources for National Agriculture Week:

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MONTH

Colon Cancer Awareness Month


fruitColon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death for both men and women. When should you get screened for colon cancer? Encourage everyone over the age of 50 to get screened regularly for colon cancer.

Additional Resources:

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Flour Month

flour sifter
Learn more about different types of flours and substitutions from The Cook's Thesaurus:

Check our guidelines on storing flour:

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Frozen Food Month


smoothie made with frozen berriesFrozen foods picked and frozen at the peak of maturity can equal fresh foods in nutritional quality. They're washed and ready to go -- pour from the bag only what you need.

SMOOTHIE RECIPE: Make the smoothie on the right by blending 1 cup unsweetened frozen raspberries, 3/4 cup 100% orange juice, and 1/2 cup fruit-flavored, low-fat yogurt (such as peach).

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National Nutrition Month®

apple made from an assortment of colored fruits and vegetables
The theme for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) 2015 National Nutrition Month is "Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle."

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Noodle Month

bowl of noodles
Pasta, including noodles, is low in sodium. Look for either enriched or whole grain noodles. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommend making half your grain choices (cereals, pasta, rice, bread, etc.) whole grain.

For more information and recipes for cooking with pasta, visit the National Pasta Association website.

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(Photo courtesy of the National Pasta Association)

Sauce Month


alfredo sauceBe careful when choosing a sauce to add to your meal. Cream based and cheese sauces are usually high in saturated fat and calories, so make sure to eat these sauces in moderation. For a healthier option, use lowfat or nonfat cream, lowfat or nonfat cheese, tomato based sauce, or salsa to decrease saturated fat and calories. Check out these great resources for National Sauce Month:

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March 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 December 4, 2014)

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