We are too busy. It’s too complicated. It’s too expensive. I don’t even like kale! We use them all in our effort to prevent ourselves from making better eating choices. Of course, we all say we aspire to eating better, but there always seems to be something in the way. But we should at least be honest about it: we are not able to commit to a few tiny steps to discover how easy it is to eat well.
By now there should be very few people who have not heard about Canada’s Food Guide. Significantly fewer people have actually followed up by looking at the Guide, and fewer yet are using it. Still, Canada’s Food Guide is one of the best places to discover healthy eating.
Using the information from the Guide will help you and your family know how much food you need and what choices are best. Following the tips for food and activity will help meet your needs for vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Better yet, it will also reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer and osteoporosis. Oh, and you will feel more vital and in better health.
Canada’s Food Guide provides practical ideas for choosing foods, meal planning, and even offers menu suggestions, dozens of them! For example, if you think breakfast is either a bowl of cereal or bacon and eggs, try this for a change: Mix canned peaches or frozen berries with low fat yogurt and have a slice of raisin bread.
For anyone still thinking ‘it’s too much trouble’ two new tools have recently been added to the Food Guide. First is the Eat Well Plate
which simplifies the Food Guide by clearly showing the proportions of various food groups in a healthy meal. It offers suggestions for what constitutes good choices. The best way to use the Eat Well Plate is alongside Canada’s Food Guide. This need not be a difficult process because once you have learned some of the basics about how to combine foods for a healthy meal, it is simple enough to extend the idea.
Still too much work? How about the My Food Guide
mobile app? It will make meal choices convenient and simple. It will let you choose your favourite foods from each food group, see how much food is in one service. And the app will give you access to other tools and resources to help you eat well. For anyone without a smartphone, the same information is also available online via the same link as the Food Guide app.
Naturally, we could lecture on about how everyone should be improving their eating choices, but let’s be honest: we already know that we ‘should’ be doing it. How about for a change, we ‘want’ to eat better? Eating well means eating healthy, and this is something that is good for you, and for your children.
Dr. Paul Martiquet is the Medical Health Officer for Rural Vancouver Coastal Health including Powell River, the Sunshine Coast, Sea-to-Sky, Bella Bella and Bella Coola.