By Katherine Mayer, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre - March 9, 2019
‘Unlocking the Potential of Food’ is what 2019’s Nutrition Month is all about. Throughout March, Nutrition Month puts a focus on the importance of healthy eating and promotes a Registered Dietitian (RD) as the most credible source of food and nutrition information. Kirsten Bernosky, RD at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, provided more insight to the meaning of the theme. “As RDs, we can help Canadians ‘unlock the potential of food’ to enhance lives, improve health, inspire children, fuel activities and bring people together.”
Nutrition Month is an annual campaign that puts a focus on the importance of healthy eating and promotes a Registered Dietitian (RD) as the most credible source of food and nutrition information. To speak with a RD, call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or visit www.tbdhu.com to locate a RD near you. For more information about Nutrition Month, visit www.nutritionmonth2019.ca
Bernosky shared the following examples of ways to unlock your potential with food, applying the five themes from this year’s Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month:
Potential to Fuel
Almost half of Canadians find it at least somewhat challenging to eat a balanced diet when they are busy. The keys to healthy snacking are to choose nutritious foods and match portion sizes to hunger and energy needs.
Potential to Discover
Kids see over 25 million food and beverage ads online each year and 90% of the ads promote foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat. To offset this marketing, choose recipes together as a family, shop together, pick a healthy new food to try, and make cooking fun!
Potential to Prevent
Almost 80% of premature stroke and heart disease can be prevented through healthy lifestyle behaviours (such as eating healthy, being active and living smoke free). A basic healthy diet includes vegetables, fruit, whole grains, healthy fats and quality protein while limiting processed foods.
Potential to Heal
RDs are held accountable to the highest standards in education and ethics, which means they look beyond fads diets and gimmicks to deliver reliable, life-changing food-related advice. RDs utilize foods to ensure their clients have the nutrients required for the growth and repair of the body, and to prevent disease, treat conditions and keep the immune system healthy.
Potential to Bring us Together
30% of Canadians say it’s challenging to find time to eat meals with friends and family. By eating together as a family, children tend to consume more vegetables and fruit, as well as have improved academic performance.
To assist Northwestern Ontario residents to unlock their potential with food, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is changing their retail food environment. The initiative titled, ‘Eating Healthy Together’, aims to provide a supportive, informative, and healthy food environment for consumers at the Hospital. This is accomplished by removing ultra-processed foods and beverages to ensure nutritious items are available. Eating Healthy Together will launch June 2019. Watch for more information and updates on this exciting initiative!