Eat Well

Follow Canada’s food guide and eat a variety of food each day

  • Have plenty of vegetables and fruits.
  • Eat protein foods.
  • Choose whole grain foods.
  • Make water your drink of choice.
  • Don't skip meals. It can cause weakness and dizziness.
  • Eat at least three servings of calcium rich food daily and talk to your health care provider about taking a vitamin D supplement to keep your  bones strong.

For more information on older adult nutrition visit the UnlockFood website.

Transcript

Opening shot shows a doctor walking through a waiting room. An older patient "Mary" (healthy looking, with good posture) is sitting beside a strong young male patient "Chad" (wearing a sleeveless shirt showing muscles)

Doctor to nurse in exam room. 

"...Let's see Mary's bone density?"

Camera cuts to Mary in the waiting room. She appears confident at what the doctor will see on her x-ray (or dexa bone density x-ray)

Back in the exam room, the doctor is clearly surprised at how strong those bones look on the scan. 

NARRATOR:

"Calcium and vitamin D help build strong bones. And prevent falls."

 Doctor to nurse: 

"...Joan, I think this is...Chad's X-ray??..."

Camera cuts to Chad and then back to the nurse

NURSE'S VOICE:

"...No, that's Mary's!"

Doctor's face looks "impressed". Cuts to Mary looking confident and charming. Animated food icons appear on screen (milk, yogurt, cheese for Calcium; Fish, egg yolk, and vitamin D supplement)

NARRATOR: 

"Eat at least 3 servings of calcium rich food. And, take a vitamin D supplement. Every day."

"For more information, contact Ottawa Public Health."

LOGO

Keeping your bones healthy

Calcium and vitamin D are good for your bones and more...

  • Calcium helps your heart, muscles and nerves work properly.
  • Your body needs vitamin D to absorb and use calcium.

Get your calcium from food

  • Try to eat at least 3 servings of foods high in calcium every day.
  • Calcium is more enjoyable and more easily absorbed from food than from a supplement (pill).
  • You may need a supplement if you do not eat at least 3 servings of foods high in calcium a day.
  • Talk to your health care provider before taking a calcium supplement. It should not be taken with certain medications. Getting too much calcium can cause health problems like constipation and kidney stones.

Take a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU every day, if you are over 50

  • You also need to eat foods that contain vitamin D.
  • Vitamin D is not naturally found in many foods but it is in fatty fish, egg yolk and liver. That's why vitamin D is added to some foods like cow's milk, some orange juice, soy, almond or rice beverages, and margarine.
  • If you don't eat enough good quality sources of vitamin D, you may need a stronger supplement. Talk to your health care provider about it.

Something you can do...

  • Read labels to find good sources of calcium and vitamin D.
  • Add skim milk powder or evaporated milk to your recipes.
  • Try margarine on your toast and in recipes for added vitamin D.
  • Replace a coffee or tea with a latte or hot chocolate for extra calcium and vitamin D. 

Print version [167 KB]

Mission Healthy Bones!

Calcium and vitamin D are important for strong bones and teeth!

How much do you need?

Age (years)

Calcium (mg per day)

Vitamin D (IU per day)

51 to 70

1200

600

71 and +

1200

800

51 to 70

1000

600

71 and +

1200

800

How do you do this?

  • Try to get at least 3 good sources of calcium and vitamin D rich foods each day.
  • Check the list below for good sources of calcium and vitamin D.
  • Complete your diet by taking a daily 400 IU vitamin D supplement.
  • Talk to your health care provider about supplementation if you think your diet may not be rich enough in calcium and/or vitamin D.

Grain products

  • Usually not a great source of vitamin D. 
  • Cereals eaten with milk or fortified beverage will have extra calcium and  vitamin D.
  • A few cereals are now enriched with vitamin D, so check the label.
  • Using margarine with a grain product will increase vitamin D.
Food ItemCalcium (mg)Vitamin D (IU)
Some vitamin D fortified cereals - 1 serving with 125 mL (1/2 cup)  1%  milk 160-350 100
Breakfast cereals - 1 serving with 125 mL (1/2 cup)  1% milk 160-350 50
Whole wheat toast - 2 slices 90 0
With margarine - 5 mL (1 tsp) 90 25
With butter - 5 mL (1 tsp) 90 1

Milk and alternatives

  • All cow's milk is fortified with vitamin D and is a natural source of calcium.  Some beverages (soy, almond, rice) can be fortified with calcium and vitamin D.  Check the label.
  • Foods made with cow's milk may not be fortified with vitamin D (yogurt, cheese, buttermilk).  Check the label. 
Food ItemCalcium (mg)Vitamin D (IU)
Evaporated skim milk-reconstituted - 250 mL (1 cup) 392 116
1% milk (cow)- white or chocolate - 250 mL (1 cup) 320 100
Skim milk powder - 25 g ( 1/3 cup) will make 250 mL (1 cup) of milk 320 100
Eggnog - 250 mL (1 cup) 350 44
Fortified soy, almond or rice beverages - 250 mL (1 cup) 320 90
Yogurt, fortified - 175 mL (¾ cup) 300 80
Cheese - firm (Cheddar, Swiss, Gouda) - 25 g (2.5 oz) 360 3
Kefir - 175 mL (3/4 cup) 187 8

Vegetables and fruit

  • Most vegetables and fruits are not a significant source of calcium and vitamin D unless fortified.
  • A few exceptions are listed below.
Food ItemCalcium (mg)Vitamin D (IU)
Fortified orange juice - 125 mL  (½ cup) 155 50
Collards- frozen and cooked - 125 mL (1/2 cup) 189 0
Spinach- frozen and cooked -125 mL (1/2 cup) 154 0

Meat and alternatives

  • The more fatty the fish, the more vitamin D you get. 
  • Canned fish with bones adds extra calcium, as long as you eat the bones! 
Food ItemCalcium (mg)Vitamin D (IU)
Salmon - canned with bones - 75 g (2.5 oz) 179 200-699*
Salmon - baked, grilled, pan fried - 75 g (2.5 oz) 5 200-699*
Mackerel - canned - 75 g (2.5 oz) 181 218
Sardines - canned with oil -75 g (2.5 oz) 286 70
Herring pickled - 75 g (2.5 oz) 60 200
Herring - Atlantic, cooked - 75 g (2.5 oz) 56 160
Trout - baked, grilled, pan fried - 75 g (2.5 oz) 41 150
Whitefish, lake - cooked - 75 g (2.5 oz) 12 135
Eggs yolks - 2 44 32
Light tuna - canned tuna - 75 g (2.5 oz) 8 40
Beef liver - pan fried - 75 g (2.5 oz) 4 36
Almonds - 60 mL (¼ cup ) 99 0
Almond butter - 30 mL (2 tbsp) 90 0
Baked beans - canned-185 mL (¾ cup) 64 0

*Amount of vitamin D varies with the type of salmon. Sockeye has the most.

Miscellaneous (mixed ingredients)

  • Adding calcium and vitamin D rich ingredients to your favorite food is a great way to get more of these nutrients! 
Food ItemCalcium (mg)Vitamin D (IU)
Fruit smoothie - made with 125 mL (½ cup) of milk,  125 mL fortified orange juice and 125 mL yogurt) 500 140
Grilled cheese sandwich 434 35
Instant breakfast - 250 mL (1 cup) made with milk or fortified beverage 363 90
Café Latte, made with 250 mL (1 cup) milk 320 100
Black coffee or tea 0 0
Salmon salad sandwich 220 150
Prepared canned tomato soup (with milk) - 250 mL (1 cup) 200 50
Pudding made with milk or fortified beverage - 125 mL (1/2 cup) 141 52
Blackstrap molasses - 15 mL (1 tbsp) 180 0
Margarine - 5 mL (1 tsp) 1 25

Reference: Canadian Nutrient File 2010

For more information call 613-580-6744 to speak with our public health staff or e-mail us at healthsante@ottawa.ca

Fruity flax smoothies for two

Download PDF [104 KB]
Serves: 2

 Imperial measurement

Ingredient

Metric measurement

2 tbsp

flax seeds, ground

30 mL

1 cup

fresh or frozen fruit

250 mL

1

fresh or frozen banana

1

1/2 cup

pineapple with juices, optional

125 mL

1 cup

milk or fortified soy or rice milk

250 mL

3/4 cup

low-fat yogurt ice cubes, optional

175 mL

Instructions:

  • Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Per serving: 300 calories, 5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 56 mg cholesterol, 110 mg sodium, 56 g carbohydrate, 6 g fibre, 40 g sugars, 10 g protein, 15% DV vitamin A, 70% DV vitamin C, 30% DV calcium, 50% DV vitamin D.

Tofu stir fry for two

Download PDF [111 KB]
Serves: 2

Imperial measurement

Ingredient

Metric measurement

1

package of firm tofu, cubed

1

1 tbsp

low sodium soy sauce

15 mL

1/2 tsp

cornstarch

2 mL

1 tsp

sesame oil (optional)

5 mL

1

garlic clove, minced

1

1/4 tsp

pepper

1 mL

1 tsp

fresh ginger, finely chopped

5 mL

3 cups

vegetables, thinly sliced or chopped

750 mL

1 tbsp

vegetable oil

15 mL

1 cup

whole wheat noodles or brown rice, cooked and hot

250 mL

 Instructions:

  • In small bowl stir together soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil (if using), garlic, salt, pepper, ginger. Set aside.
  • Wash and chop or slice all vegetables. Set aside.
  • Heat oil or broth in large skillet or wok. Stir in vegetables that take longer to cook (for example, carrots, celery, onions). Cook and stir over high heat until vegetables begin to soften.
  • Stir in quick cooking vegetables (for example, snow peas, bean sprouts) and tofu. Cook and stir until all vegetables are crisp and tender.
  • Add the reserved soy sauce mixture to the vegetables and stir until the sauce thickens.
  • Spoon mixture over hot cooked brown rice or whole wheat noodles.

Nutrition Information:

Per serving: 490 calories, 18 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 450 mg sodium, 55 g carbohydrate, 7 g fibre, 1 g sugars, 24 g protein, 45% DV vitamin A, 15% DV vitamin C, 35% DV calcium, 0% DV vitamin D.

Adapted from "Pam Cooks - Favourite Recipes from the Trillium Cooking School".

Quick macaroni and cheese

Download PDF [109 KB]
Serves: 3

Metric measurement

Ingredient

Imperial measurement

1 cup

elbow macaroni, uncooked

250 mL

2 tbsp

margarine

30 mL

2 tbsp

flour

30 mL

1/4 tsp

dry mustard

1 mL

1 cup

milk

250 mL

1 cup

grated cheddar cheese

250 mL

dash

pepper

dash 

Instructions:

  • Cook macaroni in boiling water for 10 minutes, stirring several times. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, melt margarine in a medium saucepan. Stir in flour and mustard. Add milk slowly, stirring all the time. Cook and stir until mixture boils and thickens.
  • Turn stove to low heat. Add cheese and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.
  • Add drained macaroni. Mix gently. Stir over low heat until mixture is hot. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition information:

Per serving: 400 calories, 21 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 418 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 1 g fibre, 5 g sugars, 15 g protein, 15% DV vitamin A, 0% DV vitamin C, 35% DV calcium, 17% DV vitamin D.

Recipe adapted from The Basic Shelf Cookbook, First Edition 1994 with permission of the Canadian Public Health Agency.

Salmon burgers

Download PDF [132 KB]

Serves: 4

Metric measurement

Ingredient

Imperial measurement

7 1/2 oz

canned salmon, drained and flaked

225 g

3/4 cup

low sodium bread crumbs

175 mL

1/4 cup

celery, finely chopped

60 mL

1 tbsp

onion, finely chopped

15 mL

2 tbsp

milk

30 mL

1

egg

1

1 tbsp

lemon juice

15 mL

1 tbsp

parsley or dill, minced

15 mL

1/4 tsp

salt

1 mL

dash

pepper or paprika

dash

4

whole wheat hamburger buns, split

4

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients except buns and topping in bowl. Mix well.
  • Divide mixture into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into a patty.
  • Cook in non-stick skillet over medium heat until patties are nicely browned and firm to the touch, about 5 minutes per side.
  • Serve in buns, garnished to taste.

Toppings:

Choose from lettuce, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, mayonnaise, etc.

Nutrition Information:

Per serving: 270 calories, 6 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 95 mg cholesterol, 490 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 4 g fibre, 5 g sugars, 20 g protein, 15% DV vitamin A, 3% DV vitamin C, 20% DV calcium, 170% DV vitamin D.

Permission to reproduce this recipe was given by Pam Collacott, Trillium Cooking School 2010.

Cream of cauliflower and parsnip soup

Download PDF [113 KB]
Serves: 4

Imperial measurement

Ingredient

Metric measurement

1

large onion, chopped

1

1 tbsp

margarine

15 mL

2 cups

chicken broth (low sodium)

500 mL

2 cups

water

500 mL

1 large

cauliflower, cut in pieces

1

2

parsnips, peeled and cut

2

1 1/4 cups

milk

300 mL

¼ tsp

nutmeg

2 mL

¼ tsp

black pepper

2 mL

½ cup

cheddar cheese, grated

125 mL

¼ cup

chopped parsley

60 mL

dash

paprika (as garnish)

dash

Instructions:

  • Prepare all ingredients.
  • In a medium saucepan, sauté the onion in margarine until soft.
  • Add broth and water, cauliflower and parsnips. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool until it is warm.
  • Transfer the soup to a blender or purée the vegetables in the soup with a hand potato masher until smooth.
  • Adjust seasoning if necessary. You may add milk if soup is too thick.
  • Sprinkle with parsley, a pinch of paprika and top with 2 tbsp of grated cheese.

Nutrition information:

Per serving: 210 calories, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 0.2 g trans fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 680 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 5 g fibre, 11 g sugars, 11 g protein, 20% DV vitamin A, 100% DV vitamin C, 30% DV calcium, 26% DV vitamin D.

Chocolate pudding

Download PDF [106 KB]
Serves: 4 to 6

Imperial measurement

Ingredient

Metric measurement

1/3 cup (60 g)

semi-sweet chocolate chips

80 mL

1/4 cup

cocoa powder

60 mL

½ cup

sugar

125 mL

3 tbsp

cornstarch

45 mL

2 cups

1% milk

500 mL

2 tsp

vanilla extract

10 mL

pinch

salt

pinch

Instructions:

  • Microwave chocolate chips at low-medium until just melted. Add cocoa powder to melted chocolate and stir to make a paste.
  • In a medium saucepan, add milk and bring to near boiling on medium heat. Reduce heat. Add the chocolate paste to the milk mixture and stir gently to combine.
  • Measure sugar and cornstarch and put into a small bowl. Stir well together. Gradually stir the sugar/cornstarch mixture into the hot chocolate/milk mixture.
  • Cook and stir until thickened (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat.
  • Add vanilla and stir well.
  • Pour into dessert serving dishes and refrigerate about 4 hours before serving.

Nutrition information:

Per serving: 260 calories, 6 g fat, 3.5 g of saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 6 mg cholesterol, 125 mg sodium, 50 mg carbohydrate, 3 g fibre, 40 g sugars, 6 g protein, 4% DV vitamin A, 0% DV vitamin C, 15% DV calcium, 30% DV vitamin D.

Adapted from Chatelaine Magazine Website.

Contact Us