Healthy eating and living a nutritious lifestyle is the focus of a National Nutrition Month celebration at Cox Monett Hospital this month.
Raine Holly, who serves as Cox Monett's food nutrition director, is spearheading Nutrition Month activities targeting both hospital employees and community members.
Holly, who is a registered and licensed dietician, has planned various activities aimed at raising awareness about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
Beginning on Monday, Cox Monett Hospital will be offering the Lean Gourmet menu at the hospital cafeteria. Community members are encouraged to enjoy a healthy lunch at the hospital at a 35 percent discount. A complete menu listing for each day accompanies this article.
"This is a special menu we've created for that week," said Holly.
The healthy menu choices will be served between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Monday, March 15 through Friday, March 19. Members of the public who wish to take advantage of low lunch prices and healthy fare can enter the cafeteria through the hospital's main entrance.
At noon on March 18, Holly and her staff will be feeding the Monett Police Department a healthy lunch in honor of National Nutrition Month.
"This is also part of our community outreach effort," said Holly. "We'll be serving a cold lunch, including sandwiches, fruit and a sugar-free, fat-free dessert that they are going to love."
The theme for this year's National Nutrition Month observance is "Nutrition from the Ground Up," which focuses on fruits and vegetables and locally grown produce.
By promoting National Nutrition Month, Holly hopes the public will become more aware of the programs Cox Monett offers to help people get healthy and stay healthy. Some of these programs include the Journeys weight management program, the Committed to Kids program, spin classes and diabetes education classes.
"I would like to see the hospital become the hub for nutrition in the community," said Holly. "I would like to see the hospital cafeteria become a consideration for people going out to lunch."
As the hospital's food nutrition director, Holly plans the meals served in the cafeteria and to patients. She also provides nutritional screenings for every patient that is admitted to the hospital and is available to answer questions about nutrition from the general public.
"A quote I like describes a registered dietician as someone who separates facts from fads and translates nutritional science into information you can use," said Holly.
For more information about National Nutrition Month or the nutrition programs offered by Cox Monett Hospital, call Holly at 235-3144.
The National Nutrition Month campaign was launched in 1973 as a way to promote healthful eating by providing nutrition guidance and focusing attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.