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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May

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

National Food Days

* Day changes yearly

National Food Weeks

National Food Months

DAY

Orange Juice Day (May 4)

glass of orange juice to illustrate information on Orange Juice Day

We typically think of orange juice as being a great source of vitamin C. Did you know it also contains folate and potassium?

Vitamin C-rich foods, such as orange juice, may enhance the absorption of non-heme iron, (the iron found in plant foods, not meat products) by the body.

Enjoy these recipes made with orange juice,from our website:

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No Diet Day (May 6)

bowl with a tape measure and an x across it to illustrate No Diet DayThis international holiday was initiated by Mary Evans Young in Great Britain. It is an annual celebration of body acceptance and body shape diversity. The day promotes healthy eating rather than dieting.

Begin a healthy eating plan with three simple steps, based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010.

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Shrimp Day (May 10)

shrimp

Shrimp are a very versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes from appetizers to main dishes. They are easy to prepare or for added ease, may be purchased pre-cooked.

Shrimp are one of the five most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury.

Though shrimp are higher in cholesterol than some types of seafood, they are low in fat, especially saturated fat. Because shrimp contain very little saturated fat, the American Heart Association includes them among their dietary recommendations.

The National Fisheries Institute provides several recipes and cooking directions for shrimp.

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Quiche Lorraine Day (May 20)

quiche lorraine

This dish originated in Alsace-Lorraine, which is now a region of France. Traditionally, it is an egg custard dish made with heavy cream and bacon. It may include other meats, vegetables and cheese.

Here is link to a lightened up version from Eating Well you might try, or refer to for ideas for lowering the fat in your own quiche recipe. 

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Brown-Bag-It Day (May 25)

brown bag sack lunchDid you know packing a lunch could save you over $500 per year? Learn more tips for saving money by watching the online video Supermarket Saving: 16 Tips that Total BIG Bucks! (Includes free, downloadable PowerPoint).

Enjoy a variety of packed lunches and keep them safe with these tips for Packed Lunch Pizzazz!

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WEEK

Herb Week (1st Week)

Adding fresh herbs to foods is a quick way to transform ordinary meals into extraordinary meals. They flavor foods when cutting back on salt, fat and sugar. Plus, herbs have antioxidants that may help protect against such diseases as cancer and heart disease


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Screen-Free Week (May 5-11, 2014) *

TVThe American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids under age 2 have no screen time, and that kids older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming. How much time do kids spend watching TV a day? Approximately 4.5 hours (Source: Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, "Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year Olds," January 2010).

According to Mayo Clinic, too much screen time has been linked to:

  • Obesity
  • Irregular Sleep
  • Behavioral Problems
  • Impaired Academic Performance
  • Violence
  • Less time for play

Resources:

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Women's Health Week (May 11- 17, 2014)*

National Women's Health Week logoNational Women's Health Week is an observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health. The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority.

It encourages women to take steps to improve their physical and mental health and lower their risk of certain diseases through healthy lifestyle practices.

To help you get started:

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Food Allergy Week (May 11 - 17, 2014)*

Food allergies and sensitivities are illnesses that affect certain individuals when eating various foods or food ingredients.

In all cases, the most common form of treatment is avoiding the food or food ingredient that elicits the adverse reaction. The degree of care needed to implement a successful avoidance diet can depend upon the nature of the illness.

Learn more about food allergies in the "Food Allergies" section of our website.

The above video from Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network provides suggestions on promoting awareness of food allergies.

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Frozen Yogurt Week (4th Week)

frozen yogurt with fruit used to illustrate information on Frozen Yogurt WeekFrozen yogurt can be a delicious addition to other foods. For example:

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MONTH

Asparagus Month

bunch of asparagus to illustrate information on National Asparagus DayTo learn more about asparagus and access some recipes, visit Aspargus: Nutrition. Selection. Storage from Fruits & Veggies - More Matters.

If you'd like to freeze asparagus when it's on sale or you have extra in your garden, learn how from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. (For best quality, plan to use frozen asparagus within 8 months.)

More resources:

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Barbecue Month

grilling a hamburger to a safe 160 degreesCheck tips on firing up the grill this month at:

Image courtesy of National Cattlemen's Beef Association

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Beef Month

herd of cattleHealthy Bites Newsletter: "Tasty and Healthy Meals with Beef"

Beef is a good source of zinc, iron and protein. Did you know there are 29 cuts of beef that meet the government labeling guidelines for lean?

For tips and recipes on preparing beef, click below:

FYI - State/National Facts about Beef from the Nebraska Beef Council

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Celiac Awareness Month

Special Treat Gluten-Free CupcakesCeliac disease is triggered by ingesting certain proteins, commonly referred to as "gluten," which are naturally present in some cereal grains. While celiac disease can't be cured, its symptoms can be controlled through diet. Celiac disease is a genetic disorder and may occur in children as well as adults. Approximately one in 133 people may have celiac disease; the majority of these individuals have not been diagnosed.

When someone with celiac disease eats gluten, an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine is set off. In turn, the small intestine loses its ability to absorb the nutrients in food, leading to malnutrition and other complications. The symptoms vary widely among people. An extensive list of symptoms is given on the Celiac Sprue Association website. Though gluten is commonly associated with wheat, foods made with barley and rye must also be avoided. The use of oats is questionable at this time. For a comprehensive list of all the grains and flours currently considered consistent, questionable or not consistent with a gluten-free diet, check out the Celiac Sprue Association website.

Additional Resources:

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Egg Month

eggEggs are a source of complete protein and are "nutrient-dense," containing only 75 calories while providing over 20 nutrients. Two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, are both abundant in egg yolks. These carotenoids help prevent the increasingly common eye disorder of age related macular degeneration that can lead to blindness.

Did you know ... today's eggs are lower in cholesterol and higher in vitamin D? Recent nutritional data from USDA researchers indicates the yolk of a large egg contains 41 IU of Vitamin D which is 64 percent more than in 2002. Cholesterol is down 14 percent to 185 milligrams from a previous level of 220 milligrams.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend individuals consume less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day and state:

Independent of other dietary factors, evidence suggests that one egg (i.e., egg yolk) per day does not result in increased blood cholesterol levels, nor does it increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in healthy people. Consuming less than 300 mg per day of cholesterol can help maintain normal blood cholesterol levels. Consuming less than 200 mg per day can further help individuals at high risk of cardiovascular disease.

More eggs resources:

For additional egg information, check the American Egg Board's Incredible, Edible Egg Website

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Hamburger Month (May 28th is National Hamburger Day)

hamburgerHamburgers from the grill -- delicious! Remember to Grill It Safely!

For as assortment of hamburger recipes from "Classic Beef Cheeseburgers," to "Olympian Burgers," to Calypso Beef Burgers, "visit the Nebraska Beef Council Website and type hamburger in the "Keyword or Ingredient" search feature.

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Mediterranean Diet Month

Mediterranean diet A Mediterranean-style diet has been associated with lower rates of chronic diseases. It emphases eating abundant amounts of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. There is also a focus on choosing healthy fats.

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Osteoporosis Prevention Month

  • spine to illustrate accompanying information on National Osteoporosis Month10 million Americans are estimated to have osteoporosis.
  • 24% of hip fracture patients age 50 and older die in the year following their fracture.
  • 20% of those with osteoporosis are men.

Getting enough calcium, vitamin D and regular exercise is important to your bones. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables also promotes bone health.

For more information about helping prevent and treat osteoporosis, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation website.

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salad to represent salad monthSalad Month

Learn how you can make salads from the different MyPyramid food groups at:

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Salsa Month

a bowl of salsa to illustration information on National Salsa MonthDid you know salsa is now more popular than ketchup? Enjoy these salsa recipes and resources:

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Strawberry Month

a strawberry to illustrate information on National Strawberry Month Did you know strawberries are full of nutrition with everything from "folate to fiber to phytochemicals?" Plus, they have only 50 calories per cup! For more information about strawberries and recipes, go to:

For more strawberry information, visit the California Strawberry Commission website

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May 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

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By Lisa Franzen Castle, MS, RD, PhD Email author

 


UNL Food Features

(Updated August 29, 2014)

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