Guest column on Nutrition Month provided by Lisa De Beer, Muskoka Registered Dietitian at Your Independent Grocer
With spring just around the corner, Nutrition Month is the perfect time to think about the foods we eat and how they nourish us. With so much nutrition information available, it can be difficult to know where to start. I’m highlighting a few simple ways for Muskoka residents to make informed nutrition choices. Whether you’re packing food for a camping trip on Six Mile Lake or preparing dinner for the family, keep these easy to adopt nutrition tips in mind.
Check food nutrition labels before you buy – The labels on prepackaged foods you buy are there to help you make informed nutrition choices. The package will provide information on serving size, calories, certain nutrients, and percentage daily values (% DV). Five per cent DV or less is a little, whereas 15 per cent DV is a lot. Try to get more fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and calcium. Aim for less fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and cholesterol.
Use the healthy plate method – Canada’s Food Guide emphasizes eating a variety of healthy foods each day. To do this, your plate should consist of half vegetables and fruits, a quarter of protein-rich foods including a focus on plant-based proteins in addition to traditional protein sources, and the remaining quarter should be whole grain foods. You should also make water your drink of choice.
Good nutrition is about balance – It can be easy to get swept up in describing foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’, but in moderation all foods can fit into a well-balanced diet. A varied, balanced diet provides the nutrients you need to avoid nutritional deficiencies. Focus on eating a variety of whole foods with various nutrients, instead of only eating a handful of foods touted for their superior quality.
As your local Muskoka Registered Dietitian at Your Independent Grocer, I am here to help you reach your nutritional goals. Whether you’re looking to support your mental health through nutrition or are looking to set objectives to support your health and wellness goals, I provide a range of services to help. To learn more, visit yourindependentgrocer.ca/dietitians.
Overnight Steelcut Oats with Chia
- 1/2 cup steel cut oats
- 1/4 cup black chia seeds
- 1 – 1/2 cups almond milk
- 2 tbsp pre maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup blueberries
- 3/4 cup sliced fresh peaches
- Place oats and chia in 1 litre mason jar; screw metal lid on and shake to combine.
- Bring almond beverage, maple syrup, salt and 1 cup (250 mL) water to a boil in small saucepan; immediately pour over oat mixture. Screw lid on tightly to close. Holding jar in tea towel, shake gently to combine. Let stand on counter 10 minutes, shaking once or twice. Refrigerate for 12 hours. (Make-ahead: store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.)
- Scoop oats into four bowls. Top each with an equal amount of walnuts and fruit.