Hey there, I’m Nola you’re family health team Registered Dietitian! I’m so excited to be part of this year’s Dietitians of Canada
throughout the month of March. We are celebrating Nutrition Month 2019 by helping Canadians unlock the potential of food to fuel, discover, prevent, heal and bring us together. Dietitians are key.
Along with my fellow dietitian colleagues, I will help illustrate that food has the potential to:
• Fuel: Stay energized by planning nutritious snacks into your day.
• Discover: Foster healthy eating habits in children by teaching them to shop and cook.
• Prevent: Understand how food can help prevent chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
• Heal: Learn how food can promote healing and how dietitians work in health care teams to make a difference.
• Bring us together: Enjoy the benefits of bringing families and friends together with food.
As you know, here at the Family Health Team I do one on one consults and group sessions about food’s potential to fuel, prevent, and discover. But there are many dietitians who work in diverse areas of nutrition too! Did you know that you can find dietitians working in many places, including hospitals, grocery stores, community health centres, universities, rehabilitation facilities, seniors’ residences and long-term care settings?
We all have one thing in common: We love food – it unites us all! No matter where we work, we are all passionate about the potential of food and its connection to health. To make Nutrition Month come alive, I’m going to be focusing on the potential of food to help us discover and bring us together! Food has incredible potential to help kid’s discover a healthy lifestyle from the start. Something as simple as involving your kids in grocery shopping and cooking healthy meals can set them up for a lifetime of healthy eating and bring you together as a family.
One of my favorite parts of my job is when I get to teach kid’s cooking classes. It’s exciting to watch kids discover new skills and new foods. We’ve tried everything from shredded zucchini meatballs to black bean quesadillas. This year for Nutrition Month I’ll be hosting another kid’s cooking class at the Family Health Team. We’re going to explore food’s potential to fuel our activities by preparing some healthy and delicious snacks together. These events also bring families together over food as parents, grandparents, or aunts and uncles learn and try new recipes side by side with their kids, grandkids or nieces and nephews. And of course the best part of the day is always when we get to try our tasty creations!
Can’t make it to the classes but want to try cooking with the kids in your family? Try the steps below…
Pick a recipe together (you can find some good ideas at Cookspiration.com) then make up the grocery list together and explore your local grocery store.
Incorporate learning: build on the learning they do at school. Measuring ingredients is a great opportunity to review math skills and reading recipes can strengthen language skills.
Keep it fun! You could keep things really interesting by making a theme night – maybe your kitchen will become a Mexican fiesta with some awesome guacamole. Or maybe you’ll be transported to the Mediterranean as you whip up some tzatziki. Decorations can also keep things interesting!
Be a role model: If you’re excited, they will be too. Try a new food, describe the flavour and be adventurous to inspire your kids to do the same.
Be cool about the mess: spills and accidental messes happen. It’s important to remain calm. You know what they say – “there’s no use crying over spilled milk!”
I hope you and your family have a great time exploring the potential of food to bring us together and help us discover a healthy lifestyle in Nutrition Month 2019!
From your friendly neighbourhood Dietitian – Bon appétit!