Updated: Jan 8, 2019
March is a dull month. The weather is unpredictable, often dreary and gray. There is not much to look forward to besides Timmies annual Roll-up-the-Rim Campaign! As Canadians, we all look forward to the arrival of spring!
But what if I told you that there is something else to look forward to every March? There is! March is Nutrition Month across Canada. Dietitians of Canada send out a unified message about Nutrition nationwide. The year’s theme this year is “Unlock the Potential of Food”. And there is a message for all generations to help you discover the foods that affect our well‑being, health, and enjoyment of life.
At Seasons Care we are a network of Dietitians who are passionate about the potential of food to enhance lives and improve health for seniors. This year’s Nutrition Month Campaign highlights 5 main potentials food has:
Fuel: As we age we become at higher risk of malnutrition and dehydration so daily food and fluid intake is very important. You need to stay energized by planning nutritious meals, fluids and snacks into your day. If you don’t know what foods to eat you can refer to Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating. It will tell you how many food choices you need from each food group in a day to meet your nutritional needs. Of ultimate importance is your protein, fibre and fluid intake. At every meal and snack include a protein source such as milk, cheese, yogurt, meat, fish, poultry or protein alternatives such as tofu, beans, peas and lentils. If you find you can’t eat the portions of food that Canada's Food Guide recommends, then try six small meals per day with a protein at each meal. You can add fibre easily to your diet by choosing foods high in fibre such as whole grain breads, cereals, fruits and vegetables. Sprinkle some ground flax flour on your foods for a nutty taste and a dose of helpful fibre. And keep hydrated. Our thirst triggers decrease as we age so we must be diligent and adopt daily habits that ensure we are getting the fluids we need. Start with the simple habit of having a small glass of water when you wake up, at every meal and before you go to bed.
Discover:It’s never too late to try new recipes and foods. Make a pact with yourself that every month – or at least every March – you will try one new food. Try Greek yogurt, avocado or bean salad to start. Great recipes are available online at www.dietitians.ca
Prevent: Understand that food can help prevent and control chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Dietitians are trained to help you understand the effects of aging on the body and how you can use food to ensure you get the nutrients you need to sustain and repair your body.
Heal: Adopt a Dietitian as part of your personal health care team. You have a doctor and a dentist but you need a Dietitian as well. Dietitians are readily available in your community and some even make house calls. They can help you learn how food can promote health and healing and make a difference in your everyday life.
Bring us together: Food has the potential to bring people together. No matter what age you are, a meal with friends is one of life’s simple pleasures. New research is showing us that older adults who eat as part of a group have better diets, improved nutrient intake and lower rates of malnutrition.
If you want to unlock the potential of food, look beyond fads and gimmicks and look to Dietitians to deliver reliable, life-changing advice. At Seasons Care we are there to work with you to help you embrace food, understand it and enjoy it not just during Nutrition Month but all year long. We are always just an email away. www.seasonscare.com
Contriubtor: Carol Donovan, President Seasons Care Dietitian Network As the President of Canada’s Largest Dietitian Network, Carol’s passion is Seniors Nutrition. In addition to her role as President of Seasons Care she also serves as the Chair of the Gerontology Network of Dietitians of Canada and has been elected as the upcoming Chair Elect for Dietitians of Canada. Seasons Care Dietitian Network is a family business with a network of over 100 Registered Dietitians. Seasons Care specializes in Nutrition Counselling, Menu Planning, Group Presentations and On-Site RD Services in the Long Term Care, Retirement and Independent Living sectors. For more information or to complete an online referral visit www.seasonscare.com or 1.855.895.5609.