What Do Your Residents and Tenants Bring to the Table?

March marks the kickoff of National Nutrition Month (NMM), a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The observance hones in on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating habits, which is something that affects both the property management staff and their clients. To promote the benefits of this holiday, try sharing some of the below information with your residents and tenants:

1) Learn Your Portion Size: Restaurants are notorious for over-serving their customers calorically, which can influence the habit of making too much food at home. In fact, there seems to be a lot of confusion about what a portion size actually finediningistock_000004157938large-resized-600constitutes – often times, what someone perceives as ‘one serving’ is actually two or three!  One way to combat this issue is to eat meals off of a smaller plate (studies show people like to have their plates 70% full, regardless of size, and will eat accordingly). Another is to visualize how the food on your plate would relate to an everyday object. One serving of meat, for example, is 3 ounces, which is roughly the size of a deck of cards. If you need more comparisons, there is a handy portion size guide here.

2) Substitute a Healthier Alternative:  There are many ways to improve the nutrition of a meal by simply replacing the unhealthy ingredients with a better alternative. Although the obvious way to accomplish this is to choose food with lower sodium or less fat, some things can be swapped out for another item entirely. Did you know that you can use applesauce instead of butter when baking cookies? As a starting point, Greatist.com has an excellent infographic of cooking substitutions you can share with your clients.

3) Don’t Be Afraid to Add Veggies: Vegetables are nutritionally dense, and only a fraction of the calories compared to your favorite junk food. If you aren’t really sure how to start eating more, try adding a little bit here and there to your meals. Spinach and tomatoes taste great in a cheese omelet, and broccoli or asparagus work well with pasta alfredo. If you’re a fan of fruit smoothies, a lot of milder veggies, like carrots, can be added before you blend everything together without affecting the taste.

4) Make Sure You Aren’t Thirsty: If you just ate a few hours ago, and feel hunger creeping in, try drinking a big glass of water before you make a snack. Sometimes the brain mixes up the signals from the stomach – especially if you already aren’t getting your daily water intake.

So how can you inspire your tenants and residents to jump-start positive eating habits? Try hosting a “healthy potluck” night, or a nutrition education session. You can also post flyers around the property featuring helpful information about calorie requirements, healthy cooking tips, and other useful tidbits. If you’re lucky enough to have a self-service portal like Resident Connect or Tenant Connect in place, you can email a newsletter to all your clients, or post something on your welcome page reminding everyone that March is a time to celebrate positive eating habits.

Do you have any other ways to celebrate National Nutrition Month? Share them in the comments!

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