Make food “Good For You” during Nutrition Month
March 9, 2021 - Defence Stories
Author: Pamela Hatton, Registered Dietitian, MSc, Strengthening the Forces
Take the time to enjoy your food. Eat in a way that works with your cultural and food traditions, preferences and nutritional needs.
This year’s Nutrition Month campaign is called: Good for You! and is dedicated to helping you “find your healthy.”
It centres on the idea that healthy eating looks different to everyone. It’s influenced by our individual cultures, food traditions, preferences and nutritional needs. All of these factors are considered when dietitians promote food choices and provide nutritional guidance to help individuals achieve their optimal health.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to healthy eating. It’s important to drop the trendy diets and find your own healthy. Maybe that means exploring and incorporating an old family tradition or way of cooking. Perhaps it’s developing your own signature dish or tradition.
Depending on their postings, many Canadian Armed Forces members can find themselves in communities different from where they grew up. Explore your local food scene while keeping in mind that the cultural, social and emotional elements of food are just as important as the physical nourishment it provides. Canada’s Food Guide promotes health and overall nutritional well-being while recognizing the diverse contexts in which we live.
The bottom line: enjoy your food and eat in a way that works with your culture, food traditions, preferences and nutritional needs. Eating with others is a great way to connect and explore new foods. Despite current social gathering restrictions in place due to COVID-19, you can still try new foods, recipes or even new cooking techniques and share them virtually. Or you can drop off some homemade goodness to a friend or colleague while following local public health guidelines.
For those who have children at home, it’s important to expose them to many different food styles, tastes and textures at an early age. Encourage curiosity in exploring food by bringing home an unfamiliar fruit or vegetable and researching where it comes from and how it is served. Get kids and teens engaged in food and meal preparation. By approaching new foods with an open mind, it helps expand the palate’s acceptance of new tastes for years to come.
Find your own healthy and explore healthy food choices for you and your family with tips from Canada’s Food Guide and:
- Be mindful of your eating habits.
- Cook more often, order out less.
- Take the time to enjoy your food and savour the flavours.
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits.
Registered dietitians are a great source of trusted, science-based nutrition information. Seek out their guidance and ideas. When reading something online, be sure to check the credentials and affiliations of the sources. Here are some great links to get you started:
- Nutrition Month 2021 (You are now leaving the Government of Canada website)
- Dieticians of Canada Recipe e-book – Nutrition Month 2021 (You are now leaving the Government of Canada website)
- Canada’s Food Guide
Pamela Hatton, RD, MSc
Strengthening the Forces is CAF/DND’s healthy lifestyles promotion program providing expert information, skills and tools for promoting and improving CAF members’ health and well-being.
Pamela Hatton, RD, MSc, is part of the Strengthening the Forces team and works on promoting healthy eating and nutritional wellness.
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