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Archive for category: Food For Thought

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The Warm Weather Has Arrived: What’s in Season?

The warm weather is here and summer is officially around the corner.  It’s time to enjoy freshly picked delicious fruits and vegetables.  Eating foods grown locally and in-season can improve your health, your bottom line and help the environment.  Take a look at Foodland Ontario’s Fruits and Vegetable availability chart so you can plan for the season.  Enjoy!

Foodland Ontario:  Availability Guide

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Big Changes to Canada’s Food Guide – Will You Change Your Habits?

Last month the long-awaited revision to Canada’s Food Guide arrived and surprised many with some major changes to its design and content.  Personally, I am pleased with the changes which include a move toward plant-based proteins and I love the addition of guidelines around healthier eating habits like cooking meals at home, eating meals with others and more.  Check out Canada’s Food Guide and let us know what you think of the changes.

Canada’s Food Guide

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My Child is a Picky Eater… Help!

Julie Entwistle, MBA, BHSc (OT), BSc (Health / Gerontology)

Do you have a child that is a picky eater?  You are definitely not alone!  Picky eating is a common issue, and while it is normal for kids to have food preferences and dislikes, it can be quite concerning for parents.  The good news is an Occupational Therapist can help!

Occupational Therapists can work with families to create solutions tailored to the individual child. Some general suggestions may include some of the following tips:

  • Remove the pressure
  • Allow the child to “play with their food”
  • Encourage food exploration on their own terms
  • Maintain a consistent meal-time routine
  • Introduce changes and new foods slowly – overcoming picky eating is a very gradual process

Watch our popular video below to learn more about how an Occupational Therapist can help families overcome the picky eating problem and raise healthy, happy eaters.

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Sports Drinks vs. Energy Drinks: Can You Spot the Difference?

Are you able to spot the difference between a regular “sports drink” like a Gatorade and an “energy drink” that is full of caffeine and sugar without looking at the nutrition label?  It might be harder than you think—and if it’s hard for an adult, think of how many kids might make the mistake.  Learn more about a concerning new study warning the dangers of “energy drinks” for youth care of CBC News.

CBC News:  U of C researcher warns parents about dangers of high-caffeine energy drinks

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O-Tip of the Week: Track What you Eat

Our O-Tip of the week series delivers valuable “OT-Approved Life Hacks” to provide you with simple and helpful solutions for living. 

For the month of September, a month of back to school and back to reality, our O-Tip series will provide you with OT-approved ways to put the focus back on you.  This week’s O-Tip can help with physical self-improvement by helping you properly fuel your body.

How do you know if you are getting the essentials or getting too much of the things we shouldn’t have without tracking what you eat?  We challenge you to fully track what you eat and drink for one full week (or longer for lasting success) to help you find out if you are getting what your body needs.  From there you will be able to make appropriate changes to your diet.  Try the My Fitness Pal app which analyzes the foods you eat and shows you how much of each nutrient (ex. protein, iron, essential vitamins) you have consumed.  You can also use this free (with paid options) app to count calories, track hydration, exercise and more.

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Nourish Your Noggin with These Delicious Dishes

The choices of WHAT we eat are becoming increasingly important as research is finding more and more connections between certain foods and their effects on our bodies.  The following from Eating Well provides recipes that can help to fuel our brains to assist with concentration and memory, and keep our minds in tip-top shape!

Eating Well:  Brain-Boosting Dinner Recipes

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O-Tip of the Week: Avoid Cross-Contamination… Prep Separately

Our O-Tip of the week series we will be providing valuable “OT-Approved Life Hacks” to provide you with simple and helpful solutions for living. 

For the month of March, Nutrition Month, our O-Tip series will feature kitchen hacks to make your meals more nutritious, less time-consuming and more convenient.

Combat cross-contamination by using multiple cutting boards.  Avoiding cross-contamination and the risk of foodborne illness by having separate boards:  one for meats and one for fruits, vegetables and other.  Easily distinguish between boards by labeling them with a permanent marker or by designating different coloured boards for different food types. 

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The Costs of Convenience

Do you remember a time when eating out was for a special occasion, or when grabbing takeout happened once and a while?  For this generation, it seems that meals at restaurants and from takeout windows have become more of a regular occurrence than a special treat.  Why is this so bad?  Well other than the higher cost and lower nutritional values think about what this is (or is NOT) teaching your children?  In fact, the following article from the Huffington Post argues that this generation has prioritized convenience over cooking so much that “the simple act of cooking — a health-preserving life skill — is a skill that risks extinction.

The Huffington Post:  Teaching Your Kids To Cook Is More Important Than Teaching Them To Play Soccer Or Hockey

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O-Tip of the Week: Tricks for Tear-Free Onion Prep

Our O-Tip of the week series we will be providing valuable “OT-Approved Life Hacks” to provide you with simple and helpful solutions for living. 

For the month of March, Nutrition Month, our O-Tip series will feature kitchen hacks to make your meals more nutritious, less time-consuming and more convenient.

Do you love onions but hate the stinging, teary eyes that result when you chop them?  Try this awesome hack that will leave you dry eyed… Place the onion in the freezer for approximately 15 minutes prior to chopping.  If you forget, you can always try the trick of sticking a piece of bread in your mouth while you chop.

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O-Tip of the Week: Cook once… eat twice (or more!)

Our O-Tip of the week series we will be providing valuable “OT-Approved Life Hacks” to provide you with simple and helpful solutions for living. 

For the month of March, Nutrition Month, our O-Tip series will feature kitchen hacks to make your meals more nutritious, less time-consuming and more convenient.

If you want to save time, energy and money while eating your healthiest meals then it’s time to learn to love your leftovers!  And leftovers no longer need to mean the exact same meal – learn to re-purpose them!  Take a look at these delicious double recipes care of Health Magazine.

Health:  Cook Once, Eat Twice Meals