National Nutrition Month®: A Journey “Beyond the Table”

March brings more than just the promise of spring; it’s also the time for National Nutrition Month®, an annual campaign spearheaded by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This month-long observance, which began as National Nutrition Week in 1973 and expanded to a month in 1980 due to growing interest in nutrition, invites everyone to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits. The theme for 2024, “Beyond the Table,” invites us to explore the journey of our food from its source to our plates, emphasizing the importance of making informed choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

Week 1: Stay Nourished on Any Budget

The first week of National Nutrition Month® focuses on debunking the myth that nutritious food must be expensive. It’s possible to eat healthily without breaking the bank, and this week is all about learning how. Tips for saving on healthy meals include developing cooking and meal planning skills, using a grocery list to shop sales, and exploring community resources such as SNAP, WIC, and local food banks. Ensuring food safety at home is also vital. This week emphasizes that with a little knowledge and planning, nutrition can be both affordable and delicious.


Week 2: See a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

The second week shines a spotlight on the role of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. RDNs are the food and nutrition experts, board-certified and credentialed by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. They work in various settings, from hospitals to schools, and help individuals tailor their diets to meet specific health goals. This week encourages everyone to consider consulting an RDN for personalized nutrition advice and underscores the diverse roles these professionals play in promoting health and well-being.


Week 3: Eat a Variety of Foods from All Food Groups

“Diversity” is the keyword for the third week. It’s about encouraging the consumption of a wide range of foods from all food groups. Eating a variety of foods ensures a full range of nutrients, and this can be as simple as “eating the rainbow” – incorporating different colors of fruits and vegetables into your diet. This week also encourages trying new ingredients and including cultural foods and traditions in your meals. It’s a celebration of the rich tapestry of flavors and nutrients that a diverse diet offers.


Week 4: Eat with the Environment in Mind

The final week of National Nutrition Month® is dedicated to environmental consciousness in our eating habits. This includes using leftovers creatively, exploring plant-based diets, and opting for locally grown foods. It also encourages growing your own food, whether through traditional gardening or more modern methods like hydroponic gardens. This week reminds us that our food choices don’t just affect our health but also have a broader impact on the environment.


Supporting Educational Resources

Each week is supported by a range of educational resources and presentations. For example, the first week’s focus on budget-friendly nutrition is complemented by resources on meal planning, while the second week’s spotlight on RDNs is supported by materials on mindful eating. These resources provide valuable tools and tips for implementing the weekly themes in everyday life.

The Role of Health Promotion Coordinators and Registered Dietitians

Throughout National Nutrition Month®, Health Promotion Coordinators, Wellness/Fitness staff members, and on-site Registered Dietitians are available to provide more information and guidance. These professionals can help answer questions and provide direction in making healthier food choices and adopting physical activity habits.

National Nutrition Month® is more than just a campaign; it’s a movement towards a healthier, more informed society. The 2024 theme, “Beyond the Table,” encourages us to look deeper into the origins of our food and the impact of our choices on our health and the environment. It’s a call to action for everyone to explore and embrace the world of nutrition and make informed decisions for a healthier future.

For more information, please visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ official website for National Nutrition Month® at

Millennium Health and Fitness