Healthy ways Personalize your Plate for Nutrition Month

The nutrition program at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) is celebrating National Nutrition Month 2021 by sharing tips about healthy food and lifestyle choices.

Observed each March, National Nutrition Month is sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Speaking during a recent webinar to mark the occasion, SCES Dietitian Andrea Svartstrom said the annual campaign promotes good food choices and healthy routines.

“It’s a great time to focus on healthy eating, learn more about nutrition, set healthy goals for yourself, and see what works best for you,” she said.

The theme for National Nutrition Month 2021 is Personalize Your Plate, and Svartstrom said that reflects how there is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health. (Click to watch the whole webinar).

The session was co-hosted by Dietitian Candace Quigley of Mystic Valley Elder Services, who advised finding the right blend of foods and goals that work. The tips they offered included:

  • Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables
  • Establish a healthy eating routine that includes a mix of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy.
  • Try fruit with breakfast, as a snack, or as an alternative to sugary deserts
  • Experiment with new vegetables, or try new ways to prepare old favorites. They also make a healthy snack.
  • When possible, go with whole grain or whole wheat for bread and pasta. Swap out brown rice for white.
  • For protein, try eating seafood twice a week, and include plant-based sources such as beans, nuts and seeds.
  • With dairy, go for low fat or fat-free versions of milk, yogurt, cheese or calcium fortified soymilk.
  • Limit saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars

The presentation also outlined benefits of a healthy eating routine and suggestions for setting health goals to get started. Earlier this month, Svartstrom also provided several recipes to help people try new and healthy foods.

Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services provides a range of nutrition services, which include Meals on Wheels, education and counseling for nutrition clients, and reduced-price nutrition supplements.


Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services is a non-profit agency that supports the independence and well-being of older adults in Somerville and Cambridge. For more information about SCES nutrition programs, or free advice and guidance on questions of aging, caregiving or disability, call our Aging Information Center at 617-628-2601 or email For more information about National Nutrition Month 2021, visit