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Unlock the potential of food

Posted Thursday March 01, 2018

Posted By: Christine Taylor

Category: General

Today kicks off the annual nutrition month campaign! Dietitians across the nation are celebrating Nutrition Month 2018 by helping Canadians unlock the potential of food to fuel, discover, prevent, heal and bring us together. Dietitians across the country will 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.

Fuel your day by exploiting the potential of food. You can stay energized by planning nutritious snacks into your day. Almost half of all Canadians say that eating a balanced diet is challenging for them because they are so busy. They often skip meals, and close to 30 per cent of Canadians say they snack to stay fueled in a busy day.

Five tips for healthy snacks

When you’re on-the run during a busy day, think of snacks as mini-meals that offer some nutritional value and an energy boost. Examples are an apple with peanut butter or cheese with crackers. These are different than treats, such as cookies, chocolate and chips, which are not as nourishing as snacks. Choosing healthy snacks can be a great way to get all the nutrients your body needs each day. Here are five helpful snacking tips:

  1. Plan ahead. Keep a variety of healthy, ready-to-eat snacks on hand for when you get hungry, like cut up veggies, nuts and cubed cheese. Being prepared helps you avoid less-healthy treats.
  2. Be aware of portion sizes. Instead of snacking from a large bag or box, take a portion and put it on a plate or bowl.
  3. Listen to your hunger cues. Ask yourself: am I truly hungry, or am I eating because I am bored, tired or stressed?
  4. Skip distracted snacking! Avoid munching while looking at a screen, driving or working. You may eat more than you need if you’re distracted from your feeling of fullness.
  5. Snack on vegetables! About half of all Canadians don’t eat enough vegetables or fruit. Snacking on them between meals is a great way to add an extra serving or two to your day.

Looking for inspiration? Download Cookspiration, a free smartphone app designed by Dietitians of Canada, serves up healthy recipe suggestions for any craving, meal or mood. Cookspiration has over 300 recipes that are easy to make and will suit your nutritional needs.

You can also join Ottawa Public Health Dietitians on Parenting in Ottawa Facebook over the next month to unlock the potential of food. Join us on March 1, 19 and 24th for a live discussion with parents. For local nutrition month events visit

This blog post was adapted from the Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month campaign materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at

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