National Nutrition Month: It’s Time to Feed Your Body, Feed Your Soul


This month is National Nutrition Month.  As much as I would like to reiterate a lot of the great tips as it pertains to nutrition that you might see floating around the internet, I would rather share some of the things I do regularly to eat foods that can not only feed your body but also your soul. 

#1: Avoid the Avoidable

One of the ways that you can do this is simply by avoiding foods that you know you have trouble with. For example, sweets have always been something even during my pregnancies that I have sincere love for. I know it can cause damage to my core and blood sugar levels. But in reality, I absolutely had to be careful to avoid things like gestational diabetes and my risk due to family history of diabetes.

National Nutrition Month: It's time to Feed Your Body, Feed Your Soul Esther McCant Contributor Miami Moms Blog
 Photo: Spoon with no sugar text by Marco Verch under Creative Commons 2.0


I avoid an overload of sugar in my diet by ensuring that I try not to buy sweets that are baked already. Ignoring the sugar aisle as much as possible when I am shopping especially the BOGO sales. I also subconsciously create a barrier by choosing to buy only high-quality and healthier ingredients to DIY my desserts. I’ve managed to take a love for cookies and turned it into an opportunity to have more almonds in my diet by using gluten-free almond flour instead.

Another way that I avoid carbs is by placing any carbs in my home on the highest pantry shelves available. Since the carbs are harder to reach, they are harder to see at eye level. Therefore I see, reach and eat them less often. Things you may want to keep at the top of the shelf are candies from birthday parties, chocolate or pasta, bread (I’m now gluten intolerant at 33 so there goes that!) and rice (often difficult for Caribbean cultures to let go).


When you’re able to say “no” to avoid things that can harm you, you may find much more confidence to do it in other areas of your life. Using your agency is empowering and infectious. You may find that you influence those in your home to do the same–which makes you feel really good about your choices.

#2: Add More Good Food Into Your Diet

Do you remember the “5 A Day Campaign” where Americans were encouraged to eat at least 3 veggies and 2 fruits? Well, although it served as a good start for beginners incorporating more produce into their diets, it was not as successful at preventing the epidemic we face in the US. Chronic disease and diet-related illnesses are at unbelievable highs with more than 4 in 10 Americans at an unhealthy weight.


So what are some simple things you can do? Make sure your veggies take over your plate by 50% or more. Fill them with dark, leafy greens or legumes instead of the white rice and starchy carbs. Your body needs the greens’ cancer-fighting properties and nutrients among many other health benefits.

Color your plate with veggies like bell peppers and carrots and watch how much more nutrient-sense and appetizing it becomes for you and your family. I remember slipping some greens like spinach and zucchini into some homemade spaghetti sauce. It’s hard to believe I lived so long without it. They always take the dish to another level of delish and nutritious! If you’re concerned about spending more on fresh produce, WIC can help with just under $20 worth for moms, dads, and families with children under 5 years old.

National Nutrition Month: It's time to Feed Your Body, Feed Your Soul Esther McCant Contributor Miami Moms Blog
Can you find the six colors that take over this veggie-filled dish?

Remember what your gut wants and feed it with good bacteria. The gut biome has been tied to improving immune system performance. Try probiotics like sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), kombucha (which I pick up every other week) and water kefir (for those who may not tolerate the dairy version too well).

Challenge yourself to try a new recipe twice a month. I used my Pinterest boards to help me with inspiration, cooking competition shows and weekly ads. They guide me on what I should purchase or experiment with next. Don’t worry if your family may not approve. Some of your misses will become hits with practice.


When you’re able to make the choice to choose what is best for you and you feed that to your body consistently, you’ll reap the rewards of that in how energized you feel and how your numbers change on the scale, in inches, or during your doctor’s visits. Feeling better elevates your mood and the manner in which you serve others especially your family and community.

#3: Allow Your Children to Be Part of Your Nutrition Goals

After successfully breastfeeding my children 13 months or longer, I can honestly say that they have always been a part of my ability to meet my nutrition goals. From the time I was pregnant until the time that I started offering solids, my babies have influenced my decision-making.


I recall learning about how I could increase my iron through nutrition. I had to reduce my risk of any issues pertaining to hemorrhage and felt empowered by my midwife to take those necessary steps. As an anemic woman of color, I thought that there was nothing I could do. Thankfully, I got the reins back. I started making sure that my kids got the iron they needed in their diets. One way I did that was by inviting them into the kitchen to learn and watch what I do with the greens.

National Nutrition Month: It's time to Feed Your Body, Feed Your Soul Esther McCant Contributor Miami Moms Blog
When they make it, they take it! A quick snack with the kids inspires creativity and healthy eating.

(Honest note: At times, it’s more frustrating to have one or four boys in the kitchen. But on the days when I have the patience and prep done ahead of time, it serves as another reminder for me to model healthy habits. It also teaches them a life skill that can literally save and enhance the quality of their lives. So I suck it up and let them be boys.)

Sometimes, my boys are a part of the grocery run (those are usually 15 minutes longer than usual!).  Most times they bring groceries in for me and get excited to see what we’re eating that week. They love helping me meal prep, washing veggies and being my taste testers for chopped celery and carrots. And yes, they always ask, “What’s up, Doc?” in their best version of Bugs Bunny. They enjoy baking because it turns into mini science experiments as we’re homeschooling

Veggie art Esther McCant Contributor Miami Moms Blog
My eldest son often makes art unprompted with veggies from lunch at home.


It is such a joy and gift to experience and watch your legacy–your children–get inspired to eat healthily. You’re watching little people take steps closer to their potential. They have a fighting chance to contribute to our society in a much more meaningful way because health is wealth.

Did you know that you can serve and connect with local organizations that impact nutrition and overall wellness? Just visit the Consortium For A Healthier Miami-Dade website and join me on the Healthy Baby Taskforce.