New York State Department of Health Encourages Healthy Eating Choices During the 50th Annual National Nutrition Month

The Department Offers Tips for Eating Right and Supports Programs that Provide More Access to Healthy Food Options for More New Yorkers

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 29, 2023) – The New York State Department of Health invites everyone to learn more about healthy eating as we recognize March as National Nutrition Month. The annual campaign was created 50 years ago, in 1973, by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to help people make better food choices, develop healthy eating habits, and become more physically active. This year's theme is "Fuel for the Future."

"The foundation for good overall health starts with the food we eat to fuel our bodies every day," Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said."We must continue to prioritize nutrition security and access to healthy and affordable food options. The Department will continue to promote and invest in important nutrition programs, so all New Yorkers have access to healthy food and beverages that promote well-being and prevent disease."

Healthy Eating Tips:

  • Enjoy more fresh fruits and vegetables, especially items that are in season (check your local farmer's market).
  • Drink fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Eat more whole grains.
  • Choose broiled or grilled rather than fried items, like fish and chicken.
  • Include more lean meats and healthy fats.
  • Incorporate exercise along with a balanced diet.

Healthy eating is about more than just food choices. It's also about having access to healthy foods, as nutritional insecurity has long been associated with poor health outcomes. Healthy diets help children grow properly and reduce the risk for chronic disease. In adults, healthy eating habits can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. According to the CDC, seven of the ten leading causes of death in the United States are linked to poor diets.

National Nutrition Month is an opportunity for the Department to continue to build upon and improve programs that help increase access to abundant, affordable, and healthy food options for New Yorkers in need. The mission of the Department's Division of Nutrition is to create an environment that empowers New Yorkers to make healthy eating and physical activity choices.

The Department's Division of Nutrition administers food and nutrition programs that serve the following New Yorkers: Expectant mothers with inadequate diets, which can adversely affect the physical and mental development of their children; young children who require sound diets to grow into healthy adults; and nutritionally deprived adults who are more susceptible to a wide range of diseases including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Earlier this month, Governor Hochul's office announced a new client feedback initiative that will improve understanding of the challenges New Yorkers face enrolling in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, also known as WIC. The Department will partner with Code for America to pilot a live, online chat program that will gather client feedback to improve the WIC program and enrollment statewide.

The Department operates several nutrition programs to reach underserved populations who often don't have equal access to abundant, affordable, healthy food options. In July 2022, the Department announced it received more than $158 million in federal reimbursement funding to support the State's 2021 Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). This program helps providers serve nutritious and safely prepared meals and snacks to children and adults in day care settings. More information on the Department's Child and Adult Care Food Program can be found here.

The Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program, along with the Nourish New York Initiative support the provision of more than 400 million emergency meals that are provided through a network of approximately 2,600 Emergency Food Relief Organizations (EFRO). Learn more about the Department's Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program here.

The Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables program provides low-income families with practical, cost-effective tips for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.