Nutrition Month 2013
Registered dieticians/nutritionists are all fired up! Across Canada, March is Nutrition Month! This year it is all about planning your menu, going to the grocery store and cooking healthy meals. Here are some tips to help you on your way…
Meal planning can be intimidating, but with a little help and some practise it could be quite simple. Planning prevents you from buying impulse items. It also helps cut down on food costs if you keep track of specials and foods that are in season. Finally, it avoids any extra stress that might occur around meal time. Follow these 6 simple steps to get started:
1-Make time by choosing a day in the week where you can sit down and make a grocery list;
2-Choose recipes from your favourite recipe book;
3-Plan for leftovers and freeze extras;
4-Use your local circular to find specials;
5-Check your cupboards and refrigerator to make sure you don’t already have what you need;
6-Include fresh foods you already have on hand in your weekly meal plan.
With your grocery list on hand, shopping should not take long. Here are the golden rules:
1-Always have a snack before you go to the grocery store to avoid unnecessary purchases;
2-Focus mainly on the outer aisles of the store and do not go into the aisles unless you need to. The outer aisles usually contain fresh foods. Skip the junk food aisles!;
3-Check out the food on the top and bottom of the shelves as they are usually healthier or less expensive choices;
4-Read the labels and make sure you look for high fibre, low fat and low sodium;
5-Be careful with feature displays at the end of the aisles. They are designed to attract you, but also entice you to buy foods you do not need.
Now that you get the hang of planning and shopping for your meals, you are ready for the next step! In the kitchen, little changes can go a long way. By applying a few tricks, you can knock off almost 400 kcal at each meal. Here are a few tricks:
1-Use a non-stick pan and no more than a tablespoon of oil per meal. Canola or olive oil are best for cooking.
2-Pack on extra vegetables and opt for the leafy green, onions, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli etc. … at least half your plate!
3-Don’t eyeball your portions. Measure if you need to.
4-Cut down on salt but don’t forget to use fresh or dried herbs and spices. They add a ton of flavour. Don’t forget that you can use vinegars and citrus for even more tangy taste.
With a little practice you will become a PRO! Remember that mealtime is a great time to enjoy some priceless family time. Involve your whole family when it comes to planning, shopping and preparing meals. You’d be surprised how much fun a 6 year old can have placing food in a grocery bag or your 10 year old writing up a list for you. And how much fun you can all have licking the bowl after making your favourite muffins!
IT’S YOUR MOVE NOW! PUT YOUR BEST FOOD FORWARD!!
By Christina Timotheatos Dt.P.