The Medical University of South Carolina will be celebrating National Nutrition Month with a series of events at the MUSC Urban Farm.

“This year’s theme, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” recognizes that personal food preferences, lifestyle, culture, traditions and health concerns all impact our individual food choices,” says Amelia Votapka, a dietetic intern at MUSC and an organizer of the events.

Starting Friday, MUSC will be holding a kick-off event at the MUSC Urban Farm from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., which will include a cooking demo and activities for kids.

Each Wednesday is designated as a “Wellness Wednesday” and features cooking demonstrations, nutrition tips and tastings.

Each Thursday, the MUSC dietetic interns will host a series of “Lunch & Learns” at the MUSC Urban Farm.

Besides events at MUSC, Votapka and fellow intern Danielle Ballantyne offer the following suggestions for locals to follow healthy nutrition during the month.

Meatless Monday: Try eating vegetarian every Monday.

Eat breakfast: Make this your largest meal of the day to keep your metabolism running all day long.

Be adventurous: Try a new vegetable or fruit each week and aim to fill half of your plate with vegetables & fruits.

Make the switch: Swap your soda or sweet tea for water.

Snack smart: Try a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts instead of chips or crackers.

Save time & money: Pack your lunch & meal plan.

Dovetailing with National Nutrition Month is the sixth annual Registered Dietitian Day on March 13.

“This day celebrates registered dietitians as the food and nutrition experts and their commitment to helping people enjoy a healthy life,” Votapka says. “Registered dietitians are food and nutrition experts who have earned at least a bachelor’s degree, completed 1,200 hours of supervised practice through an accredited dietetic internship, and passed a national examination.”

She adds while some registered dietitians may refer to themselves as a “nutritionists,” not all nutritionists are RDs.

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