Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Personalize Your Plate during National Nutrition Month® 2021

CUTLINE – Pictured is Lawanna Johnson, Director of HCHC Food and Nutrition; Kim Dempsey, Chief Clinical Dietitian; and Henry County Mayor John Penn Ridgeway signing a proclamation for National Nutrition Month and National Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day on March 10.

Paris, TN — Developing a healthful eating pattern is not a one-size-fits all endeavor. The key is tailoring your favorite foods to meet your individual nutrient needs.

In March, Henry County Medical Center is focusing attention on healthful eating through National Nutrition Month®. This year’s theme, Personalize Your Plate, promotes creating nutritious meals to meet individuals’ cultural and personal food preferences.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the theme for this year’s National Nutrition Month,” Kim Dempsey, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES, Chief Clinical Dietitian at HCMC.  “Personalized nutrition advice in the form of recommendations that reflect and incorporate the best nutritional treatment for the individual, while considering their unique disease state, culture, lifestyle, time constraints, preferences, abilities, and more is what sets us apart as nutrition professionals.  The role of the RDN is to meet people where they are with their health, and help them move where they want to be, using nutrition and lifestyle modification.”

During National Nutrition Month®, HCMC encourages everyone to make informed food choices and develop sound eating and physical activity habits they can follow all year long. HCMC also encourages seeking the advice of registered dietitian nutritionists – the food and nutrition experts who can help develop individualized eating and activity plans to meet people’s health goals.

“Variety is the spice of life and that’s how people should view their meals,” said registered dietitian nutritionist Su-Nui Escobar, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Miami, Fla.  Spice up your menus with the foods and flavors you enjoy and add new flavors to spark excitement in your cooking. “Developing healthful eating habits does not require drastic lifestyle changes. A registered dietitian nutritionist can help you incorporate the foods you enjoy into your life.”

Registered dietitian nutritionists help clients fine-tune traditional recipes, provide alternative cooking methods and other healthful advice for incorporating family-favorite foods into everyday meals.

HCMC is proud to have Kim Dempsey, Chief Clinical Dietitian and Diabetes Care and Education Specialist available for our patients’ needs.  To schedule an appointment with her with a physician’s order, you can call 731-644-8575.  Henry County Healthcare Center also has its own registered dietitian, Lawanna Johnson, Director of HCHC Food & Nutrition, assisting patients and residents while under care at the facility.

This month, HCMC is providing tips and information on our social media channels about ensuring healthy eating.  Additionally, HCMC offers several educational videos on our YouTube Channel:

  • Eating for a Healthy Heart –
  • Restricted Eating –
  • Healthy Grocery Shopping –
  • Prevent Type 2 Diabetes –
  • Diabetes Education –
  • Healthy Eating ––AVYQyXdo

Additionally, there are many healthy recipes available on our YouTube channel at

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has limited us on in-person classes, education, and screenings, HCMC through Grow Well TN, will be looking to offer the PreventT2 Diabetes classes again as well as Take Charge of Your Diabetes.  You can call our FindLine at 731-644-3463 to get on the list for classes to be scheduled in April.

National Nutrition Month® was initiated in 1973 as National Nutrition Week, and it became a month-long observance in 1980 in response to growing interest in nutrition. The second Wednesday of March is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, an annual celebration of the dedication of RDNs as the leading advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world. This year’s observance will be March 10. As part of National Nutrition Month®, the Academy’s website will host resources to spread the message of good nutrition and the importance of an overall healthy lifestyle for all. Follow National Nutrition Month® on the Academy’s social media channels including Facebook and Twitter using #NationalNutritionMonth.

For more information about HCMC and our nutritional services, go online at

About Henry County Medical Center

Located in Paris, TN, Henry County Medical Center is a progressive, integrated healthcare organization committed to serving the healthcare needs of Henry County and the adjoining region. Including a 142-bed hospital and other facilities, the medical center provides a variety of outpatient services, as well as inpatient care. Henry County Medical Center is a county-owned and operated nonprofit institution. For more information:

About the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Representing more than 100,000 credentialed nutrition and dietetics practitioners, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at