Keep your best food forward: plan, shop, cook, enjoy

With the month of March comes the start of spring, plus the annual National Nutrition Month, supported by Dietitians Of Canada.

With the month of March comes the start of spring, plus the annual National Nutrition Month, supported by Dietitians Of Canada.

Healthy eating begins at the point of food purchase, which generally means the supermarket for most people.

Plan

Taking a grocery list with you helps to keep your weekly meals on track and on budget. First, it makes sense to plan some of the meals and snacks that can be prepared for the family by taking inventory of what’s in the kitchen, plus scanning flyers for weekly specials.

Many times this important step is skipped due to lack of planning, which can lead to impulse buying of convenient, processed food items that are generally higher in added salt, fat and sugars.

Being prepared beforehand helps to improve the chance of purchasing more healthy foods.

Shop

Shopping the perimeter of the store will help to keep your food/fluid purchases more healthy. You will find most of the basic food staples of the four food groups around the outside aisles. Start at the produce section for a wide variety of fresh veggies and fruits. Next, move to milk and milk products (such as low fat yogurt, cheese, soy milk, etc.) for bone building food and fluids.

Around the corner, stop by the meat and alternative foods (to offer some lean protein choices) in the deli section. Lastly, the bakery section provides many whole grain options. The aisles generally have more packaged and processed foods.

Mindlessly heading down the candy/pop and chip aisle (especially with kids in tow) is just asking for trouble and unnecessary purchases.

Reading labels on packages also helps to offer more information about what the food contains.

Nutrition Facts Table: The “% Daily Value” tells you if the food has a little or a lot of a particular nutrient. Five per cent DV means a food has a little; 15% DV means a food has a lot. For example, a can of soup with 35% DV of sodium has a lot of salt. On the contrary, a bag of frozen broccoli with one per cent DV is a little.

Always be sure to read the serving size first to see what the numbers are based on.

Cook

Making homemade meals more often can provide good healthy nutrition for your family and long-term health. Nutritious, convenience foods include frozen fruit and vegetables, ready-to-go salads and pre-chopped vegetables for example. These foods offer simple methods for quick, easy meal preparation for those time-strapped individuals and busy families.

To learn more about healthy ways to cook, look to local recreation centres and/or educational facilities for cooking classes and community kitchen programs. For example, in Port Alberni, cooking classes can be located through the Parks/Recreation guide, Literacy Alberni and the Salvation Army.

Enjoy

Taking a walk or riding to the Farmer’s Market at the Harbour Quay (open weekly on Saturday mornings) can offer a refreshing way to discover the bounty of local foods grown in the Alberni Valley. Also, this will help to improve your variety of in-season vegetables and other locally grown food.

For more information and additional reliable food and nutrition ideas, refer to www.dietitians.ca.

 

Sandra Gentleman is a registered dietitian who is passionate about health and wellness. She is co-owner of Canal Beach.

Just Posted

Port Alberni city council to ‘stay on course’ for five-year budget plan

Next budget meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 29 at 6 p.m

Alberni businesses nominated for Island excellence

Coulson Ice Blast, Port Posh Wash, the Blue Marlin Inn and Totem… Continue reading

BCHL: Speedy left winger commits to Bulldogs

Forward Ethan Jang will be suiting up for the 2018-19 season

Rollin Art Centre open now

Make sure to renew your Community Arts Council membership

BCHL: Bulldogs take the ice after trade deadline

Alberni team picked up one loss, one win with new roster

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Renowned Comox Valley sasquatch researcher passes away

A renowned biologist and leading Canadian sasquatch researcher who called the Comox… Continue reading

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

Protests held in response to Ontario franchise owners cutting employee benefits and breaks

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Most Read