March 15, 2016 - Today, a “black box” of ingredients including edamame, sweet potatoes and cilantro challenged local celebrities and chefs to whip up quick and easy meals during the Black Box Challenge held at Intercity Shopping Centre. This cooking event – Thunder Bay’s kick-off to Nutrition Month – is one of several events organized by local dietitians to encourage people to improve their eating habits by taking the 100 Meal Journey: Each month, we each will consume almost 100 meals. In March, Dietitians of Canada are encouraging Canadians to make a small change to their eating habits and to stick with it, one meal at a time.
Half of Canadians (52%) over the age of 20 live with a chronic disease like diabetes or heart disease and four out of five are at risk for these diseases. Diet and lifestyle are major factors in the prevalence of these diseases yet the national 2015 Tracking Nutrition Trends survey revealed a significant 35 per cent drop in people who made a change to improve their eating habits between 2013 and 2015. During Nutrition Month, dietitians want to reverse this trend and inspire Canadians to make a small change to improve their health.
“Making healthy meals can be a challenge for all of us,” says Kim McGibbon, a Public Health Dietitian at Thunder Bay District Health Unit. “And trying to make too many changes at once can be overwhelming. So we are encouraging people to pick one change – like putting more leafy greens on their plates at dinner time - and practice it over the month of March. Hopefully, it will be a start become an everyday habit”
Dietitians of Canada have developed some great online tools and apps that you can use this month to help you on your 100 Meal Journey including eaTracker, eaTipster and the Cookspiration app for meal and snack ideas (based on the time of day and the mood you're in!). They can be found at www.NutritionMonth2016.ca. You can also reach local dietitians at that site, along with tips, strategies and ideas on how to get ready
Weekly themes include:
- Week one: Get Ready! After pledging to take a 100 Meal Journey, we’ll suggest ideas, strategies and tools like www.eaTracker.ca to make identifying and committing to a change less daunting.
- Week two: Quality Counts! This week focuses on ideas for enjoying nourishing, nutrient rich foods and encourages Canadians to cook more often.
- Week three: Prioritize Portion Size! This week features portion awareness including environmental cues that cause us to overeat, and tips to help choose the right-sized portions.
- Week four: Try Something New! To keep things interesting, this week entices Canadians to try a new food, recipe or tasty ingredient.
- Week five: Make it Stick! Every journey encounters detours along the way. This week, dietitians will equip Canadians with doable strategies to stick with the change they’ve made during their 100 Meal Journey.