March is Nutrition Month in Canada, a public awareness campaign on the importance of healthy eating. This month, we delve into the newly-released Canada Food Guide and highlight healthy recipes, tips and practices to support overall health and wellbeing.
Week 1: Welcome to Canada’s new and improved food guide
It’s a simple idea: that eating should be a simple pleasure. The new Canada Food Guide embraces more of a holistic approach to food and nutrition. It focuses on the context of eating, including what, when and how we eat, and less on food groups and servings. The guide has also evolved to emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods and protein.
In our Recipes & Tips column, we’ve long been promoting information that is evidence-based and aligned with the new food guide. We, along with the Government of Canada, encourage you to:
- Explore the new features of Canada’s food guide
- Learn how to adopt and maintain a healthy eating pattern
- Make it a habit to eat a variety of healthy foods each day
- Discover three ways to practice healthy snacking and why healthy snacks are good for you
Week 2: Sharpen your food skills
Because food preparation skills don’t come naturally, it can be challenging to prepare healthy foods. But like any other skill, it just takes practice and guidance. Developing your food prep skills can be the key to creating meals from fresh ingredients.
If you’re fairly new to cooking, start small and simple to boost your abilities and confidence. Even seasoned home cooks may learn a thing or two from the following resources:
- How-to kitchen technique videos (safefoodTV)
- Simple and fun cooking videos (Everyday Food with Sarah Carey)
- Quick and easy recipe videos (Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube)
- Minimalist Baker recipes require 10 ingredients or less and can be done within 30 minutes or less. Best of all, they are healthy and straightforward. Try their perfect bowl of oats to kick-start your day or their comforting one-pot everyday lentil soup.
- Veggie and tofu stir fry (My Recipes)
Week 3: Feed your food knowledge
Purchasing minimally processed foods and prepping your own meals and snacks are the best ways to keep your nutritional health in check. Here are some Nutrition Month recipes and resources to help you in the kitchen:
- How to cook more often (Government of Canada)
- Learn how to limit highly processed foods (Government of Canada)
- Nutrition Month’s feature recipes (Dietitians of Canada)
- Unlock the potential of food (5 Nutrition Month Factsheets)
Week 4: Eat more plant proteins, drink more water
The new food guide also incorporates a greater variety of protein sources and emphasizes mindful eating, drinking water and awareness of food marketing and food labels. It’s not about portion but about proportion. Here are some healthy tips:
- Water is the drink of choice to quench thirst. UBC recommends tap water.
- Discover protein foods (Government of Canada)
- Be mindful of your eating habits (Government of Canada)
Tell us what recipes you’ll try during Nutrition Month. Will you be making some changes based on the new Canada Food Guide?