It was hard to miss – smack dab in the center of the MU quad stood a large white tent with more than a dozen vendors providing healthy eating tips, hosting activities and sampling food for the 5th annual National Nutrition Month at Oregon State in March.
Hosted by the College of Public Health and Human Sciences’ Nutrition and Dietetics Club (NDC) and in conjunction with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ National Nutrition Month in March, the event promoted healthy eating on campus with a focus on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption with this year’s theme “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle.”
“It’s a nutrition education campaign to increase awareness of making informed food choices and promoting overall health,” said Nutrition and Dietetics Club Vice President and Nutrition student Jessica Hummel. “The focus on fruit and vegetable consumption was chosen by the NDC after hearing about data showing OSU students on average consume less than the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables.”
Representatives from PacficSource Health Plans and Bob’s Red Mill, Trader Joe’s, University Housing & Dining Services, Student Health Services, BeWell, the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health and more came out to help spread the word about healthy eating through interactive activities, free samples, cookbooks and educational materials.
“Learning about the importance of healthy eating allows us to make informed food choices, which can positively impact our overall health,” Jessica says. “This can help lead to maintaining a healthy weight as well as reducing risks of chronic diseases.”
Approximately 500 students, staff and faculty members stopped by the event and left inspired to increase their fruit and vegetable intake.
“I spoke with a student who expressed difficulty in consuming enough fruits and vegetables during the day and felt like she could make better choices with her snacks throughout the day,” Jessica said. “I recommended easy snacks such as baby carrots with hummus or apple slices with nut butter that she could easily pack in her backpack and snack on in between classes. She was excited to try out my suggestions.”
The NDC plans on hosting the event every year in early March. Those who were unable to stop by this year can find healthy tips by visiting the Moore Family Center’s website, the MFC Blog and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.
View the slideshow above to see the National Nutrition Month event in action.