March is National Nutrition Month

3/12/2014

A major part of living healthy is eating the right kinds of food to give your body the essential nutrients it needs. We also need to temper this with limiting the kinds of food that cause unnecessary weight gain. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' National Nutrition Month® is a great time for us to assess our dietary and nutritional needs for optimum health.

Children and adults have specific dietary needs although the total number of calories a person needs each day varies depending on several factors, including age, gender, height, weight, and activity level. To maintain a healthy weight, calorie intake must be sufficient but not exceed calories burned. Carbohydrates, protein, and fat are the main sources of calories. Most foods and beverages contain combinations of these macronutrients in varying amounts.

TRICARE covers well-child care from birth to age six. This includes height and weight assessments as well as health guidance and counseling (including breast feeding and nutrition). While nutritionist/dietician services for adults are not covered by TRICARE, many military hospitals and clinics have Nutrition Clinics where you can schedule an appointment with a registered dietician or attend nutrition classes.

While there certainly is a lot to learn about nutrition, in time you can become very knowledgeable. The sooner you get started, the sooner you will learn how to feed yourself and your family the healthiest foods. This could mean fewer sick days, lower health care costs, healthier bodies and stronger minds. For more information about nutrition and dietary health, visit www.nutrition.gov. For information about TRICARE health plans, visit www.tricare.mil/plans.

Last Updated 11/7/2014