#MoreThanFood

The revised Canada food guide has got me thinking about how I eat.  Am I enjoying my food? Am I being mindful of eating it? Am I sharing meals with others? Or am I wolfing something down in front of a screen over lunch to answer a few more emails? Or am I eating an intimate late-night meal for two (aka me and Netflix) after wrestling the kids to bed?

There’s no better time to take stock of how, where, when, or with whom we eat than in the month of March during Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month.  This year’s theme is More Than Food “because healthy eating is so much more than food!”  Moreover, the evidence supporting the Canada Food Guide, shows how we eat is just as important as what we eat.

Of course, Canada’s Food Guide continues to promote eating a variety of healthy food every day, including filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal.  But it also extols the importance of spending time cooking your own meals, enjoying what you eat, eating with others and being mindful while you eat.  All of the above play an important role in maintaining good health. And healthy eating is a key protective factor in chronic disease prevention.

Dietitians of Canada have some excellent recipes to get you started and tips on how to think about eating as #MoreThanFood.

Two ways I will challenge myself this #NutritionMonth are eating with others and making sure I enjoy my food. I usually scarf down a quick breakfast while running to the bus and spend our family dinners helping my young kids eat (forks can be so tricky!) and then eat their leftovers rather than taking the time to sit down to properly eat my own meal.

As a parent of a 2 year-old and a 5 year-old, I also look forward to #NutritionMonth as an opportunity to really take stock of the food environments in my community. I’m grateful for the ongoing work of the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition, championing legislation to restrict food and beverage marketing to children.

I see a lot of food advertisements every day on my commute, on my phone and in my local grocery and convenience stores; flyers through my mail slot, ads on podcasts, YouTube and TV. I’m an adult working in public health promotion and I am STILL surprisingly easily influenced into a purchasing an ultra-processed treat or meal and I know better. My kids don’t!  If you’re feeling inspired this Nutrition Month, there are ways you can take action in the fight against food and beverage marketing to kids.

So this March, I have a lot to reflect on: how healthy eating is so much #MoreThanFood! How food environments can influence food choices (especially for our kids) and how I model (or don’t) healthy eating to my kids. It’s time for me to get mindful about all the facets of eating! What will you reflect on during #NutritionMonth?

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