National Nutrition Month and Eating Disorders

Thursday, Mar 17  •  

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National Nutrition Month is an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign, celebrated each year during March, focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. There are many different ways to make sure we’re eating well, and it can be tough to know where to start. Below, we’ll explore some of the basics of good nutrition, and look at how we can apply them in our own lives.

Connected Eating

Leah Graves, one of the original founders of the Academy for Eating Disorders, describes eating as a way to connect with our bodies, as well as with others. She states, “There’s a great cultural significance to breaking bread together, but in the U.S. we have a diet mentality that intrudes into our meals – with good and bad dos and don’ts – instead of them being a place to take nourishment, to support our ability to be in the world and connect with others.” 

Graves explains that connected eating defines when the body’s signals work together. In other words, consuming food for nourishment and stopping when full. If you ever watch a child eat, they rely on connected eating to function. They eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full, without the pressures of outside sources. 

At Avalon Hills, we assist our clients in reaching a point where they are able to eat intuitively. This means they are listening to their biological cues of hunger and building a healthy relationship with food. By reconnecting with your own body, listening to its signals, honoring its needs, and making choices to support those needs, your body is more likely to receive the nourishment it needs.

All Foods Fit

As described by Groves, “There aren’t good or bad foods. There is just a choice to make. Different choices are optimal at different times”. There is a time and a place for fun foods that have been looked down upon by diet-focused media. When people try to completely avoid these foods or follow rigid rules, they often end up overconsuming the very foods they try to avoid. Following the idea that all foods fit allows you to determine what is best for your body all while working in fun foods, creating more balanced and reasonable meals. 

Although National Nutrition Month may seem wholesome as it encourages being mindful about the food that is put in one’s body, it can be triggering for patients who are challenged with disordered behaviors involving their eating habits. Being aware that this sort of movement can harm one’s progress when it comes to recovery from an eating disorder is vital. 

If you know someone who is struggling with an eating disorder and/or struggles through National Nutrition Month, there are a few ways you can help them through the month.

  • Reiterate the value of your loved one’s current treatment program. 
  • Encourage your loved ones by celebrating their progress. 
  • Explain that proper nutrition for them during their recovery process may look a little different than what is nationally advertised.
  • Offer additional support and resources during campaigns like National Nutrition Month.

If additional support is needed, please give us a call at Avalon Hills! 866-954-0723

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