By Joanne Smith on March 10, 2020.
March is Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is More Than Food. Dietitians across the country want Canadians to know that healthy eating goes way beyond just food. It extends to eating together, cooking delicious home made meals, generational cooking skills and mindful eating.
Dietitians love food and the science behind it. We are passionate about the potential food has to make lives better and bring out the healthiest you possible. With our university science trained background dietitians can look beyond fads and gimmicks to deliver reliable life-changing advice.
Most people eat better when they eat together. It’s so nice to have someone to talk to about your day, about what’s going on in the world or just talking about the food you’re eating. Seniors eat more when they eat with others. Children also have better eating habits when they eat with adults who can model proper eating skills and social behaviour.
Research has strongly shown that not only does sitting down to eat together as a family improve nutrition it also shows:
– Lower rates of obesity
– Lower chance of eating disorders
– Lower rates of alcohol and drug abuse
– Lower rates of teen pregnancy
– Improved grades in school
– Better family connection and relationships
After raising four boys with very busy schedules I know very well the challenges of eating together as a family. For us it meant eating at 4:30 some days or at 8 on othes. It might mean eating on a picnic blanket on the soccer field before game time or eating together at a table in the hockey rink between practices. However great the challenges it was a priority for our family to eat together. I strongly encourage you to make it a goal for your family to eat one meal together at least five times a week. It doesn’t just have to be supper. It can be breakfast, Sunday dinner, Saturday brunch.
If you live alone you might want to get together with a few friends and make meals together and then get together to eat them every once in awhile. You don’t have to do it all alone.
Be a leader at work and encourage your colleagues to get away from their work desk and join each other to eat their lunch. Research shows that workplaces who eat breakfast or lunch together have improved team cohesiveness and productivity. They return to work less distracted since they’ve had time to socialize.
The benefits of food go so much farther then just the nutrition!
In my previous column I mentioned the many heart health benefits of fish but just didn’t have the room for more info. So I’d like to include a delicious fish recipe full of omega-3s that will have your good cholesterol (HDL) on the rise and flushing out your bad cholesterol (LDL) on your way to improving your heart health. Eat it with family or friends to get the best benefits because it’s More Than Food.
Joanne Smith is a registered dietitian.
Cod with Crunch
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 minced garlic cloves
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon pepper
4 -6 cod filets
1/4 cup sliced red onion
3 Tbsp sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 375 F
Mix together olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic, lemon juice and lemon pepper.
Place fish in baking dish and drizzle with oil mixture. Top with onions and almonds.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork or reaches 158 F with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest piece