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Nutrition Month 2021: Good For You!

Dietitians Help You Find Your Healthy.


March is Nutrition Month and this year dietitians across Canada are coming together to help you find your healthy. The campaign from Dietitians of Canada focuses on the message that healthy eating looks different for everyone, recognizing the role that culture and food traditions, personal circumstances and nutritional needs play in determining what is “Good For You.” Read more about the campaign here.


A new recipe e-book for Nutrition Month 2021!


This Nutrition Month, share the free downloadable e-book containing 15 nourishing recipes, submitted by dietitians — available now from NutritionMonth2021.ca There are also new recipes for Nutrition Month in Cookspiration, the free, bilingual app and website from Dietitians of Canada.


Additional Resources:

Canada’s food guide snapshot - English

Translated Food guide snapshots

Cultures, food traditions and healthy eating

Some recipes


Fun Short Videos (take a look):

Healthy breakfast using Canada’s food guide plate

Healthy snacks using Canada’s food guide plate

Eating together using Canada’s food guide plate

Use Canada’s food guide plate to make any meal


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Article written by: Emily Bell, RD, Health Canada’s Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion, from the Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month materials NutriitonMonth2021.ca


How does Canada’s food guide address the idea that Healthy eating looks different for everyone?


This year’s nutrition month goes hand in hand with Canada’s food guide, which is designed to be flexible and relevant to all living in Canada. The food guide promotes health and overall nutritional well-being and does so by recognizing the diverse contexts within which we live, learn and play.


The food guide recommends a variety of healthy foods and acknowledges that there are many different ways to make healthy choices. It encourages everyone to enjoy their food and make choices that reflect their personal preferences, culture and traditions, budget, life stage and lifestyle. Furthermore, it recommends cooking more often, allowing people to make foods and choose ingredients that they like and that work for them and their families.


Eating according to the food guide can help Canadian reduce their risk of developing certain chronic diseases. Health Canada recommends that individuals with specific dietary requirements should seek additional guidance or specialized dietary advice from a registered dietitian.


The foods shown on the plate are only examples of healthy food choices. These foods were chosen based on a number of considerations, such as cost, variety, cultural relevance and availability as fresh, frozen, canned and dried. There are many health foods choices beyond those depicted on the plate. Choosing a variety of different foods within each food grouping can help meet nutrient needs while at the same time aligning with a preferred eating style.


In addition, the size and amount of each food shown on the plate is not meant to show how much to eat at one time. Rather, the plate demonstrates the proportions of food groups in relation to one another as a visual cue or reminder to follow when building healthy meals and snacks. It helps to communicate our recommendation that vegetables and fruits should make up the largest portion of foods through the day.


This concept of proportionality can be used whether meals or snacks are served on a plate, in a bowl, on a shared platter, buffet style or others. It applies to snacks, breakfasts, mixed dishes and family meals - and even to smaller portions for younger children who require less food.


Why did Health Canada choose to recognize culture and food traditions in the new food guide?


Canada is a country that prides itself on its diversity, and so the inclusion of culture and food traditions in the new food guide is important. Culture and food traditions can influence how, what and when people eat, as well as the ways we learn and share food skills. Celebrating and sharing cultural food practices across generations and with friends and neighbours keeps food traditions alive, while fostering a sense of community and contributing towards the development of food skills and knowledge.


Canada is large and geographically diverse with many different food options available throughout its regions. Including culture and food traditions in Canada's food guide encourages people to choose foods they enjoy and that are available to them, recognizing that healthy food choices and eating habits can vary widely.


The food guide also acknowledges that in Canada, there are a variety of cultural backgrounds and languages spoken. To help make the food guide more accessible to our diverse population, the food guide snapshot is currently available in 31 languages, including the 9 Indigenous languages. All snapshots were reviewed by dietitians who speak the respective language.


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Shakshuka

Recipe from: themediterraneandish.com


A traditional North African dish (Tunisia), but very popular in the Middle East as well. Shakshuka is made with eggs (yes eggs are a part of a heart healthy diet, everything in moderation) that are gently poached in a simmering mixture of tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and garlic. A few warm spices and some fresh herbs complete this satisfying one-skillet dish! Feel free to half this recipe.


Extra virgin olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 green peppers, chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp sweet paprika

½ tsp ground cumin

Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

Salt and pepper

6 Vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped (about 6 cups chopped tomatoes)

½ cup tomato sauce

6 large eggs

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves


Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large cast iron skillet. Add the onions, green peppers, garlic, spices, pinch salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.


Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Uncover and cook a bit longer to allow the mixture to reduce and thicken. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.


Using a wooden spoon, make 6 indentations, or "wells," in the tomato mixture (make sure the indentations are spaced out). Gently crack an egg into each indention.


Reduce the heat, cover the skillet, and cook on low until the egg whites are set.


Uncover and add the fresh parsley and mint. You can add more black pepper or crushed red pepper, if you like.


Traditionally served with warm pita, challah bread, or your choice of crusty bread. Also pairs well with hummus, roasted potatoes, herb salad, cucumber salad, or Greek salad.

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