March is Nutrition Month and this year dietitians will help Canadians Unlock the Potential of Food by highlighting how food not only nourishes, but also fuels active lives, inspires children, helps to heal, prevents chronic diseases – and most importantly – brings people together.
Half of Canadians (49%) find it challenging to eat a balanced diet when they are busy, and one in 10 said they only occasionally or never cooked or prepared food in the past month, according to a 2017 Ipsos survey. Multiple studies have also confirmed that lifestyle interventions, including improved nutrition and increased exercise, can lower the risk of developing chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
“Having children join you in the kitchen lets them discover basic ingredients and nourishing food, but sadly many are missing out on this crucial experience,” says Madonna Achkar, Nutrition Month spokesperson based in Iqaluit. “An Ipsos survey found that 38 per cent of parents rarely or never let their children prepare a meal; inspiring children to prepare and cook food sets them up for a lifetime of healthy eating. This Nutrition Month, we want to inspire Canadians to see the potential of food beyond nourishment.”
The 2018 Nutrition Month campaign will explore five topics that help Unlock the Potential of Food:
- Potential to fuel: Stay energized by planning nutritious snacks into your day
- Potential to discover: Foster healthy eating habits in children by teaching them to shop and cook
- Potential to prevent: Understand how food can help prevent chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease
- Potential to heal: Learn how food can promote healing and how dietitians work with health care teams to make a difference
- Potential to bring us together: Enjoy the benefits of bringing families and friends together with food
Dietitians can be found across the nation, collaborating with other healthcare professionals, undertaking scientific research, driving innovation in the food industry, informing public policy and working with patients and communities. Like all regulated health professionals, dietitians undergo comprehensive and rigorous training, both on the job and in universities.
Throughout March, dietitians will host events in their communities, on social media and in their workplaces to help Unlock the Potential of Food. Healthy living tips, nutritious (and delicious) recipes and helpful links – including one that helps Canadians find a dietitian in their area – are available at NutritionMonth2018.ca.