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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SEPTEMBER

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.

National Food Days

National Food Weeks

National Food Months

DAY

Macadamia Nut Day (September 4)

macadamia nut field
Nuts, in moderation are felt to convey health, especially heart health, benefits.

Flickr image of a macadamia nut field courtesy of alirjd per Creative Commons license

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Cheese Pizza Day (September 5)

Cheese pizza image representing Cheese Pizza Day

Tips for making healthy, delicious pizzas include:

  • Use whole-wheat pizza dough (available in many supermarkets) or make your own by substituting whole wheat flour for half the flour in your pizza dough recipe.
  • Use low-fat mozzarella cheese.
  • Heap on the veggies, such as green, red, and/or yellow pepper slices; broccoli; mushrooms; onions; zucchini, artichoke hearts; etc.

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Acorn Squash Day (September 7)

acorn squash

Acorn squash is considered a winter squash and is harvested at a mature age when its skin is hard and inedible. It is always served cooked. Stored properly, it can keep up to 3 months.

The Fruits & Veggies More Matters website gives directions for selecting and storing acorn squash as well as Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Acorn Squash.  Different  types of winter squash often can be substituted for each other in recipes.

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Celiac Disease Awareness Day (September 13)

gluten-free bread image representing celiac disease awareness day

Did you know? One of the grains people with celiac disease can eat is flour processed from food sorghum varieties.

Whole grain sorghum flour is a wholesome, hearty grain that provides important fiber and has a mild flavor that won't compete with the delicate flavors of other food.

Learn more about baking with sorghum and get the recipe for this gluten-free bread and several other recipes and fact sheets using sorghum. Obtain additional information about celiac disease on the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) website.

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Peanut Day (September 13)

peanut image representing peanut day
Did you know? Peanuts technically aren't a nut but a legume. Unlike tree nuts, they actually grow underground.

A single ounce of raw peanuts or dry roasted peanuts (a scant 1/4 cup) weighs in at around 160 calories, according to the Peanut Institute. Peanuts are packed with protein and contributes to satiety which may help us eat less.

As a legume, they also are a source of dietary fiber. Peanuts are high in heart healthy unsaturated fat.. Vitamin E, niacin, folate and manganese are among are among the nutrients found in peanuts.
 
Celebrate peanut day with a handful of peanuts of try this Munchie Mix recipe from our Youth / 4-H section.

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Eat a Hoagie Day (September 14)

hoagie image representing eat a hoagie day

According to Wikipedia, the term hoagie originated in the Philadelphia area.  There are several theories as to the origin of the name, "hoagie."  A hoagie, according to the Free Dictionary is "a large sandwich made of a long crusty roll split lengthwise and filled with meats and cheese (and tomato and onion and lettuce and condiments)."

Enjoy your hoagie today and load it up with lots of veggies for a nutrient-packed celebration of "Eat a Hoagie Day."

Flickr image courtesy of Jeffreyyaki per CC license

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Linguine Day (September 15)

Linguine image representing linguine day

Did you know? The name linguine means "little tongues" in Italian?

According to the National Pasta Association, linguine is "a great shape to compliment a variety of sauces." And, "also a good choice for salads and stir-fry dishes."

Find recipes and tips for cooking with linguine and other types of pasta on the National Pasta Association website.

Photo of Linguine with Spicy Thai Shrimp Sauce  Recipe, made with linguine, courtesy of the National Pasta Association.

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Guacamole Day (September 16)

image of a bowl of guacamole to represent national guacamole day

Try Guacamole on the Go for a quick, basic guacamole recipe. Tastes great and you don't need to purchase lime or cilantro to make it.

To get started, here's how to peel and pit an avocado.

Learn how to select and store avocados plus Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Avocados from Fruits & Veggies More Matters.

Two tablespoons or 2 -3 thin slices of fresh avocado weigh in at just 50 calories.

For more information and recipes for avocados, visit avocado.org

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Better Breakfast Day (September 26)

bowl of breakfast cereal
Here's a quick tip for a better breakfast: Wrap some cheese in a tortilla, microwave 20 seconds and fill cups with orange juice.

Click here for  more quick tips, sample breakfast menus, and breakfast recipes from Julie Garden-Robinson, Food & Nutrition Specialist, North Dakota State University Extension Service.

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Coffee Day (September 29)

image of a cup of coffee to represent coffee day

While the new Choose MyPlate icon doesn't include a coffee cup, there is increasing evidence of the health benefits of coffee.

Read this short article by Donald Hensrud, MD on what the research says about the health benefits of coffee.

While a plain cup of coffee has about 2 calories, the calories in additions to coffee and specialty coffee drinks can add up. Registered dietitian Katherine Zeratsky, Mayo Clinic, offers this advice on avoiding unwanted calories in coffee.

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Hot Mulled Cider Day (September 30)

image of a cup of cider to represent hot mulled cider day

There are two types of cider made from apples. One type, referred to as "cider" or "hard cider" is a fermented beverage made from apple juice. Cider varies in alcohol content from 2% to 8.5% by volume. The other type is an unsweetened, non-alcoholic beverage made from apples. It is referred to as "apple cider, "sweet cider," or "soft cider."

Enjoy this mulled spiced "apple cider" recipe from University of Illinois Extension.

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WEEK
Waffle Week (1st week)

waffle with fruit

Tips for enjoying healthy, delicious waffles include:

  • Top them with fruit.
  • Use a whole grain waffle mix or substitute whole wheat flour for half the flour in your recipe. Or purchase whole grain waffles.
  • Limit the number or size of waffles you eat.

Here is how to keep waffles warm if you are preparing several at a time.

Flickr image courtesy of Lemon_Solo per CC license

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Vegetarian Awareness Week (2nd week)

vegetarian meal

Learn more about Choose MyPlate tips and resources for vegetarian diets. Nutrients to focus on are protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B-12.

Flickr image courtesy of Jean-Francois Chenier per CC license

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MONTH
Breakfast Month

healthy breakfast

For many people, breakfast is a low priority or not one at all. If you think you are saving time or cutting calories by skipping breakfast, think again.

Learn more about the benefits of breakfast and healthy breakfast ideas.

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Chicken Month

grilled chicken breasts

Check our Meat Preparation section for preparation, handling safety and cookery methods for chicken.

Make this Chicken Strata a la King recipe the night before and bake the next day.

For a change of pace, try this Barbequed Chicken Pizza recipe from our Youth / 4-H section.

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Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

teenage boyOver the past 30 years, the childhood obesity rate in America has almost tripled. According to the CDC, in 2010, approximately 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years were already obese. Children and teenagers who are obese are more likely to become obese adults. Overweight and obese youth are at greater risk of developing serious adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.

Resources:

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Cholesterol Education Month

image of a human heart

More than 65 million Americans have high blood cholesterol, a serious condition that increases risk for heart disease. High blood cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms, so many are unaware their levels are too high.

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Food Safety Education Month

National Food Safety Education Month

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Fruits & Veggies--More Matters Month®

fruit and vegetables

Check the following for tips, recipes, and resources:

Flickr image courtesy of The Meeting Place North per CC license

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Mushroom Month

mushrooms

Mushrooms 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.

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Papaya Month

papaya

The papaya is a melon like fruit with yellow-orange flesh enclosed in a thin skin that varies in color from green to orange to rose. Papayas are a good source of vitamins A and C. 

Learn now to select and store papayas and Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Papayas from Fruits & Veggies More Matters.

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Potato Month

Photo by Alice Henneman

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Rice Month

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Whole Grains Month

various examples of whole grains

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Wild Rice Month

wild rice salad

September is both Rice Month and Wild Rice Month. Technically wild rice isn't a rice but the seed of a type of aquatic grass. It has a pronounced flavor and is often consumed in combination with other rices or grains.

The Whole Grains Council includes a section about wild rice, which includes recipes!

The recipe for this beautiful wild rice salad in the picture to the right is from the Indiana Public Media website.

Flickr image courtesy of Indiana Public Media per CC license

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September 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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