Let’s Move “Beyond the Table”

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March is National Nutrition Month!

Carrie Powell Dinsmore, RDN, LDN

March is a particularly exciting month for dietitians as we celebrate National Nutrition Month (NMM) and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day (RDN Day) on March 13, 2024. Since 1973, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has sponsored National Nutrition Month with a theme. This year’s theme is: Beyond the Table!

Father and son eating at dinner table
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During National Nutrition Month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics invites you to learn more about your food choices and habits that affect your health. Beyond the Table invites us to look at how we eat, what we eat, and where our foods come from. For example, think about our summers in Pennsylvania and seasonal produce. Think about the farmer down the road selling local beef versus the beef you buy in the store. Both are excellent sources of nutrition, but the paths these foods take to get to your plate are different. Think about how you store and keep your food safe. Think about the food you purchase and how you could reduce food waste.

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are involved in many aspects of food safety and production as well as nutritional wellness and food budgeting. RDNs can help you navigate your nutrition and health-related needs through a nutrition care process. Many insurances cover visits with a RDN, but check with your plan to see if you need a physician referral or if you could refer yourself. Did you know that our Mind-Body Wellness Center offers nutrition counseling with registered dietitian nutritionists? We also have clinical dietitians who work within our hospital and food service programs as well as a population health dietitian who works with patients managing chronic disease.

For our families and caregivers raising children, did you know that Meadville Medical Center also has a WIC Program? Individuals who use this program receive nutrition education, supplemental nutritious foods, and even breastfeeding support (if desired). Pregnant and postpartum persons, infants and children up to the age of 5 may apply for this program.

Click here to see if you qualify for WIC and sign-up online! We will contact you for an appointment.
Buying food at a farmer's market
Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto.com

The USDA and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture have rules in place to ensure food arrives to you safely. Whether you purchase foods locally, at the grocery store, or in a restaurant, there are many checks and balances to keep food safe. The Department of Agriculture provides food inspections for restaurants, school foods, local vendors, grocery stores, as well as manufacturing plants. If you ever question the quality and safety of your food, you can report your concerns here.

When you think about Beyond the Table, think about the choices you have and the foods you eat. Think about your budget and what foods you enjoy. If you are concerned about your diet and nutrition needs, registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) can help you find food choices that fit your budget and nutrition needs.  Visit our nutrition services or speak with your medical provider– we’d love to help you!

Carrie Powell Dinsmore is a registered dietitian at Meadville Medical Center and director of NWPA WIC. The national WIC organization celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2024! For more information about our local WIC services, visit: nwpawic.com and follow MMC and NWPA WIC on Facebook for more celebrations during National Nutrition Month!

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