March is National Nutrition Month!
Every year, dietitians across Canada celebrate and promote healthy eating during nutrition month. This year’s theme is Good for you!
Dietitians help you find your healthy. Registered dietitians are the nutrition experts and understand the science of nutrition and the unique needs of each person based on their health, preferences, personal circumstances, culture and food traditions. These components shape the way we eat and influence what healthy eating looks like for each of us.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to healthy eating, and this is why something that works for someone else may not work for you. Healthy eating looks different for everyone.
Get involved in nutrition month this year and kick-start a new healthy habit. If you are an otherwise healthy individual, ditch the diet and develop healthy habits that are sustainable.
Instead of focusing on counting calories or restricting macronutrients (fat, carbohydrates or protein) which can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food, adopt a healthier outlook by eating a balanced diet with enough protein, fibre, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Remember, all foods fit in moderation.
Keep healthy snacks on hand so you never go hungry, such as fruit with a handful of almonds, cut-up veggies with hummus, energy bites, or whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese. If you have a craving for something like chocolate or chips, have a small amount and enjoy it. This will not only satisfy your craving, but you’ll be less likely to overindulge later.
Get creative in the kitchen! Participate in nutrition month by trying a new recipe.
Maybe you’ll try meatless Monday with a plant-based protein such as tofu, lentils or beans. Plant-based proteins cost less compared to animal meat and are a great alternative. Put a spin on your favourite recipe and swap out chicken for tofu or replace ground meat with lentils.
Do you have picky eaters at home? This nutrition month get the whole family involved in the meal process. Allow them to pick a recipe, choose a vegetable or fruit at the grocery store, and let them measure or stir ingredients while prepping. You’ll be surprised by how much they’ll want to eat the meal if they were involved in its preparation. Cooking with others is a great way to bond and it’s never too late to learn new skills!
And lastly, it’s important to not only focus on what we eat, but also how we eat. This means being mindful of our eating habits. Notice your hunger cues. Do you feel hungry or are you just bored? Do you feel full? If not, eat more. Take time to eat. What does it taste like?
What does it smell like? Eating should be an enjoyable experience, not a rushed one.
Finding your healthy can mean eating locally whenever possible and eating the traditional foods that you enjoy, creating an inviting environment when you’re eating (listening to music, dimming the lights, setting the table) or cooking and eating with others.
What can you do this month to find your healthy?