Happy Nutrition Month!
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/03/2021 (561 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
March is Nutrition Month and the Dietitians of Canada’s theme for the month is Good for you! Dietitians help you find your healthy.
This theme focuses on people’s unique qualities, circumstances and conditions that shape the diversity of the foods we eat. It is important to consider culture, traditions and personal situations that influence how and what we eat. Healthy eating is not the same for everyone and what is good for you is not necessarily good for me.
There are many factors that affect our food intakes and how we live.
For example, with COVID-19 ongoing and with restrictions on how we live being implemented, the social and emotional elements of food and meals has been greatly affected. Over the Christmas holidays, family visits and gatherings were banned and this in turn had a huge impact on how we celebrated and felt about this usually joyous season.
Further to that, many residents in long term care have been limited to eating in their rooms or on units versus the social dining experiences of going to congregate settings. This in turn has an impact on intakes, weight and moods. In fact, the social, cultural and emotional aspects of eating is just as pertinent as the actual physical composition of the food we need to fuel our bodies.
In European countries such as France and Italy, meals are to be savoured, relaxed and unrushed.
They are wrapped around family and friends,as opposed to the quick, easy and non-social meal time we often see in North America.
Food intakes and diets vary greatly around the world. Many countries and cultures focus on plant-based diets. Often people are occupied with in-vogue diets as a way to control weight gain.
People need to focus on what is healthy for them and what works for them instead of a generic diet.
Those who have health conditions should focus on balance and learn not to vilify certain foods. In long-term care, we strive not to have restrictive diets but rather pivot towards quality of life and balance. Overly restrictive diets can be consequential. Food intake considerations should also take into account if an individual has physical limitations and /or food insecurity coupled with financial concerns.
There is a way to accommodate to everyone’s needs. If you need some nutrition guidance, please check out the Dietitians of Canada website at www.dietitians.ca, or ask to be referred to a registered dietitian.
Lisa Lagasse is a registered dietitian and community correspondent for Charleswood. Email her at Charleswoodres@gmail.com
Charleswood community correspondent
Lisa Lagasse is a registered dietitian and community correspondent for Charleswood. Email her at Charleswoodres@gmail.com or find her on Twitter: @LisaRD42324393