Celebrate National Nutrition Month by putting your best “fork” forward

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — March is National Nutrition Month created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and this year is all about taking a healthy approach to 2017. “Put Your Best Fork Forward” focuses on making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

Put Your Best Fork Forward acts as a reminder that each bite counts. Making small shifts in our food choices can add up over time. In fact, the 2015-2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests starting with small changes in order to make healthier lasting changes you can enjoy.

This year’s theme inspires people to make those small changes in their eating habits — one forkful at a time. Put Your Best Fork Forward is meant to help people find their healthy eating style whether its planning meals to prepare at home or making selections when eating out.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is an organization for registered dietitians. Dietitians are trained nutrition professionals who meet the strict educational and experiential standards set forth by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. RDs must have a four-year degree, followed by a year-long internship and a national test.

Mim Gaines, a registered dietitian with Samford University, is featuring a pasta dish. It holds complex carbs and has hidden vegetables. There is also a cream base made of avocado, which serves as a healthy fat source but one with calories that you will need to be mindful of.


Avocado Pasta Salad adapted from Inspired Taste (Serves 4)


8 ounces dry whole wheat pasta

¼ teaspoon of salt

1 cup broccoli flowerets, steamed

1 medium tomato, diced

1 green onion, finely sliced

1 large ripe avocado

1/4 teaspoon finely grated garlic

Juice from 1/4 of a lemon

Fresh ground pepper, to taste


Bring 2 quarts of water and salt to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of hot pasta water then drain pasta.

While pasta is cooking, place broccoli flowerets in microwaveable safe dish; add two tablespoons of water.  Microwave for 3 minutes. Set aside.

Peel avocado. Discard seed and peel.  Mash avocado in a large bowl. Stir in the garlic and lemon juice then season with pepper, to taste.  Stir in a 1/4-cup of the reserved pasta water. Add pasta, broccoli florets, tomatoes, and green onion. Toss gently until the pasta is completely coated by the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more pasta water.

Makes four servings.

CALORIES 165.5  
carbohydrates 22.5 g  
     Sugar 1.5 g  
     Dietary fiber 6 g 5%
Protein 4 g  
Fat 7.25 g  
     Saturated fat 1 g  
sodium 158 mg 10%
Iron   3.75%
Calcium   2%
Vitamin a   12%
Vitamin c   49%

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