The National Nutrition Week is held every year from the 1st of September until the 7th of September. This celebration aims to raise awareness about the importance of nutrition to overall health and well-being. Through this celebration, campaigns are held so as to educate people about maintaining a healthy diet.
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About National Nutrition Week
The National Nutrition Week aims to make people aware of a balanced diet and the food groups they eat so that they can be knowledgeable about eating healthy. To be specific, a healthy diet should include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk products, seeds, nuts, fish, meat, etc. The National Nutrition Week increases peoples’ awareness about these important nutrition facts by conducting pieces of training, education, seminars, roadshows, various competitions, and many other kinds of campaigns.
The following are the objectives of the celebration:
- To take into account the various dietary and nutrition problems faced by communities at present.
- To know the proper techniques of preventing nutritional problems by research.
- To look closely at the condition of countries on nutrition and diet.
- To plan the appropriate nutritional programs that must be focused on by the government so that it can make its citizens healthier.
- To raise awareness about nutrition and health through orientations and campaigns.
- To explain why nutrition is important not only to adults but also to children.
History & Creation
The National Nutrition Week started in 1982 so as to encourage healthier living and good health by nutrition education. A country will not become productive and more developed if its citizens (the source of human capital) are not healthy and are always sickly. Hence, Food and Nutrition boards and committees all over the world spearhead programs that can promote good nutrition all over the country.
The promotion of good nutrition is especially important for mothers and their babies. Various high-level studies and research support the finding that children that are not properly nourished will become stunted, wasted, and malnourished. These adversely affect their growth, intellect, and performance as adults. Since this is a prime problem, much attention is focused on promoting good nutrition during the National Nutrition Week.
The National Nutrition Week is always held on the first week or the first seven days of September every year.
The following are the main reasons why you should celebrate the National Nutrition Week:
To Become Healthier
The first main reason why you should celebrate this week is that you can become healthier. You might now know that you may be eating unhealthy foods. The campaigns and educational programs held during this week can teach you how to eat a balanced and healthy diet. You can then use all the things you learned to make yourself a healthy individual. You can also share all your learnings with your friends and family so that they can be healthier as well.
To Promote a Healthy Community
Another good reason why you should celebrate National Nutrition Week is that you can grab the opportunity to promote a healthier community. You might not be aware that malnutrition is still a prime problem in some countries and places, especially in some Asian and African countries. If you can, you may volunteer in various activities that improve the nutrition of people in poor and developing countries.
Celebrations & Activities
The following are the activities usually done by people to make their celebration of the National Nutrition Week as best as it can be:
Main Activities in the Week-long Celebration
The week-long campaign usually involves various activities that are maintained yearly. There are pieces of training on the preparation of nutrition food, educational programs informing people on how to eat properly, lecturing mothers about how they can maintain themselves healthier for their children, nutritional roadshows, and seminars. More often than not, organizations and groups involved in the celebration distribute Nutrition Week kits filled with resources and information that can help people maintain themselves healthy through eating.
Other Prime Activities
Other activities, aside from promoting healthier foods, are also conducted during the celebration of the National Nutrition Week. One is the awareness campaign on bad foods such as sugary drinks and junk foods. There are also activities like poster competitions, cooking contests, counseling for diet, measuring nutrition metrics such as weight, height, and the BMI, lecture on disease preventions, and many more. All these activities are included in the celebration of the week and they all aim to make people aware about the goodness of maintaining themselves healthy so that they can live longer and better contribute to the productivity of the economy.
The following is a list of specific activities held for the celebration of the National Nutrition Week:
- Promotion of nutritional education and training programs.
- Awareness campaigns on nutrition spearheaded by the government and non-government organizations focusing on health and nutrition.
- Increasing the motivation of people to become more nutritionally aware.
- Training for the preservation of nutritious foods including vegetables and fruits.
- Training on food standardization and analysis.
- Passage of nutritional policies and orders by the government.
Nutrition Week Themes
The following are the themes of all the National Nutrition Weeks celebrated before:
- The 2011 theme was “Feeding smart from the start”.
- The 2012 theme was “Nutrition Awareness – Key to Healthy Nation”.
- The 2013 theme was “Project Dinnertime – Cook. Eat. Enjoy”.
- The 2014 theme was “Poshak Aahar Desh ka Aadhar”.
- The 2015 theme was “Better Nutrition: Key to Development”.
- The 2016 theme was “Life cycle approach for better Nutrition”.
- The 2017 theme was “Optimal Infant & Young Child Feeding Practices: Better Child Health”.
- The theme was was “Go Further with Food”.
Health Nutrition Tips
The following are the best tips, most recommended by experts, for maintaining a healthy diet and nutrition for oneself:
Eat Cereals and Whole Grain
One recommendation is for you to eat prepared staple foods including cereals, starchy roots, and starchy fruits at least once a day. Cereals include wheat, barley, sorghum, millet, maize, and rice. Starchy roots include cassava, yams, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Starchy fruits include plantains. These foods are your sources of energy and also provide you with the necessary vitamins and minerals needed by your body. With that, you can prevent yourself from catching diseases, whether serious or not.
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Another recommended food to eat is anything that is high in protein. This includes legumes like groundnuts, beans, lentils, peas, and fermented and organic soybeans. Proteins can help the body develop and repair damaged cells. It can also build up strong muscles.
Consume Dairy Products
Dairy products are also good for the body. When you have the opportunity to eat them, do so. Dairy products like milk, egg, butter, and cheese are good for the body. They can strengthen the immune system and the muscles. When they are obtained from grass-fed animals, they become even better.
Include Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet
It is not a surprise to anyone that vegetables and fruits will always remain to be a part of a healthy diet. These consumables supply us with essential minerals and vitamins that help our body well-functioning and also keep our immune system strong.
Drink a Sufficient Amount of Water
Another recommendation that perhaps everyone has heard of is to drink a sufficient amount of water. The recommended amount is at least 10 glasses a day.
Breathing Exercise Before Meals
Experts also suggest everyone to take about seven to ten deep slow breaths before eating any meal. According to them, this exercise prepares the body for the food you are about to its. It also gears your body up into parasympathetic mode so that it can have optimal digestion and nutrient assimilation.
Carbohydrates begin to digest in the mouth and not in the stomach. Hence, any food that you eat should be chewed by you properly. Don’t just eat and swallow your foods. Make sure to chew them properly. This step is important and should not be taken lightly.