March is Dietitian of Canada’s Nutrition Month, and the slogan this year is “Unlock the Potential of Food.” How can you unlock the potential of food to bring people together?
- Focus on family meals. Everyone these days seems to be busy, but family meals give everyone time to catch up. Family meals are also a time where you can teach your children table manners/ how to enjoy food/eat balanced varied meals/try new dishes and foods. If after-school is a crazy time with practices, or you and your spouse/partner work different shifts, work around schedules and make breakfast or lunch the meal where you sit down together and connect. According to a number of studies, including reports issued by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University(CASA), family meals are associated with numerous benefits to children including better academic success, less chance of obesity and substance abuse issues, and better eating habits.
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen or get a group of colleagues or family members together to serve breakfast to the homeless. Doing good work together is a great bonding opportunity, and reaching out to those less fortunate also helps us count our own blessings.
- Organize a potluck with a focus on one region’s or country’s food; have everyone bring a dish associated with that cuisine, along with copies of the recipe. Besides a good excuse for a party, this might give you ideas on how to spice up your own meals.
- Have a salad day at work where each staff member brings one ingredient and you all get a big and delicious salad for lunch.
- Get your garden ready for spring, and make it a family affair. Take a weekend together to shop for seeds, schedule planting, prepare the soil outside, and clear out any leaves or debris that have piled up in your garden. Check out westcoastseeds.com for information on when to plant. Numerous studies have shown that children are more willing to eat a variety of vegetables when they have helped grow them, so this is a great way to encourage healthy food choices.
Make March more social and renew your excitement in creating delicious and nutritious meals! Happy Nutrition Month