‘Healthy eating goes beyond making good food choices, it’s about embracing mindful habits’: dietitian

‘Healthy eating goes beyond making good food choices, it’s about embracing mindful habits’: dietitian

‘Healthy eating goes beyond making good food choices, it’s about embracing mindful habits’: dietitian
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is marking Nutrition Month in March by encouraging residents to join in by being mindful of what they put on their plates and by practising other good habits around mealtimes. With Dietitian's Day on March 20, the health unit is also emphasizing the role of registered dietitians as a reliable source for nutrition information and healthy eating guidance. (Stock photo)
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is marking Nutrition Month in March by encouraging residents to join in by being mindful of what they put on their plates and by practising other good habits around mealtimes. With Dietitian’s Day on March 20, the health unit is also emphasizing the role of registered dietitians as a reliable source for nutrition information and healthy eating guidance. (Stock photo)

As it marks Nutrition Month, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) is encouraging residents to join in by being mindful of what they put on their plates and by practising other good habits around mealtimes.

March is Nutrition Month and March 20 is Dietitian’s Day. HKPRDHU is emphasizing the role of registered dietitians as a reliable source for nutrition information and healthy eating guidance.

“Healthy eating goes beyond making good food choices — it’s about embracing mindful habits like taking your time to eat and listening to your hunger cues, cooking more often and eating meals with others, and enjoying your food including celebrating your culture and food traditions,” said registered dietitian Elsie Azevedo Perry in a media release.

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“Dietitians provide personal guidance helping people to set and meet their nutrition goals, feel better, and manage health concerns,” Perry added “With many workplace health benefit plans covering their services, speaking with a registered dietitian is a great way to improve your overall health and well-being.”

Registered dietitians point to Canada’s Food Guide as a resource to help residents choose a mix of healthy foods every day, making it easier to eat well and stay healthy. Canada’s Food Guide encourages the following practices:

  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein foods every day
  • Drink more water and skip the sugary drinks
  • Pay attention to when you’re hungry and when you’re full
  • Take your time when eating. Enjoy your meals
  • Try cooking more meals at home and get other people involved
  • Choose healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, fatty fish, et cetera) and cut back on saturated fat (highly processed foods, some tropical oils, et cetera)
  • Limit highly processed foods (sugary drinks, candy, chips, fast food, et cetera)

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HKPRDHU works with its community partners to create healthy food environments in area communities, schools, and daycares.

“We are committed to promoting healthy eating habits by offering a range of nutrition programs and support services across the County of Haliburton, the City of Kawartha Lakes, and Northumberland County,” HKPRDHU stated in the release.

There are several initiatives through which the health unit promotes healthier eating and safe food practices within the HKPR district area. Initiatives include:

Dietitian Support

For those feeling confused about food and nutrition, the health unit can connect residents with a registered dietitian locally who uses the latest science to guide and support people’s food and nutrition goals.

School Nutrition Programs

Kids go to school hungry for all sorts of reasons, HKPRDHU said. In working with community partners, the health unit strives to ensure student nutrition programs offer children and youth healthy snacks at no cost, while fostering positive eating habits and creating healthier places for food in schools.

Food Advocacy

Since 1998, Ontario public health units have monitored the cost of food. Reports provide local data measuring the cost of basic healthy eating against national nutrition guidelines and average food buying patterns.

This helps assess individuals’ and families’ abilities to afford nutritious food and informs advocacy efforts for fair access to healthy eating options. For more information about household food insecurity in Ontario, visit Addressing Food Insecurity and Poverty.

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Healthy Families Feeding and Nutrition Clinic

HKPRDHU assists and guides parents/guardians who are seeking nutrition support with feeding their babies or children, including breastfeeding, introducing solids, as well as preconception and prenatal nutrition-related concerns.

“Our Healthy Families Feeding and Nutrition Clinic supports parents with the knowledge they need to feed their babies and children,” said Laura Abbasi, HKPRDHU registered dietitian. “Whether it’s breastfeeding challenges or questions about introducing solids or the common allergens, our clinic provides a safe and understanding space where families can seek guidance and build confidence in feeding their family.”

Visit the Eating and Nutrition page on HKPRDHU’s website for more information on programs, services, and support.