More than nourishment – unlock the potential of food

March is Nutrition Month in Canada

By Kandice Mueller, Interior Health Registered Dietician

March is Nutrition Month, a time for Canadians to consider the important role food plays in our lives.

This Nutrition Month 2018, dietitians across Interior Health are looking to help you unlock the potential of food. Food fuels us, providing the nutrients we need to stay healthy and active, but food is so much more than just nourishment. Food has the potential to help us learn and discover, bring family and friends together, and help us heal and prevent disease.

Throughout the month of March we challenge you to think differently about food – to unlock the potential of food and celebrate the ways food helps you live your life to the fullest.

We challenge you to unlock the potential of food to discover and learn with your children. Helping children learn to shop for food, cook, and build balanced meals can set the stage for a lifetime of healthy eating. Yet, a recent Ipsos survey found that 38% of parents rarely have their children prepare a meal or a snack. This is a missed opportunity as kids who are involved in meal preparation are more likely to try new foods. Cooking with your children can also help them build other essential skills including reading, math, and science skills.

We also challenge you to unlock the potential of food to bring us together. Regardless of the busyness of the day, food has the potential to unite us at meal times, holidays, and celebrations, promoting connection within families, communities and cultures. In addition to sharing and learning over meal times, families who eat together have been shown to have more nutritious diets and better communication.

And finally, we challenge you to unlock the potential to prevent. A healthy diet can lower the risk of developing chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia, and certain types of cancers. Registered dietitians help to create specific healthy eating patterns for disease prevention, tailored to your individual needs and health goals. There is no “one size fits all” diet, and a dietitian can help you find the right one for you.

Nutrition Month 2018 is dedicated to helping Canadians discover that food is so much more than just nourishment! For more information, or to find some delicious and nutritious recipes, visit www.NutritionMonth2018.ca or speak with a Registered Dietitian at Health Link BC by calling 8-1-1.

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