March is Nutrition Month – the perfect time to think about the benefits of eating healthy foods. Small changes can pay off big by reducing your risk, and your family’s risk, for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
The Nutrition Month theme is Simply Cook and Enjoy! – and it is all about getting back to the basics by cooking delicious meals at home. Home-cooked meals are healthier, less expensive, and they can bring the whole family together. Interior Health’s registered dietitians offer some important reasons why home cooking is good for everyone.
Healthy cooking is easy. You don’t need to be a chef to prepare healthy meals when you have the right foods and recipes on hand.
“People who cook meals from scratch eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains,” said Jill Worboys, Registered Dietitian. “Cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated; basic cooking skills combined with a few tasty ideas are all you need to make healthy and delicious meals at home.”
Need some help to get started? The Nutrition Month website (www.nutritionmonth.ca) has some simple and delicious recipes.
Home cooking is budget-friendly. Eating at restaurants can be expensive. Cooking meals at home helps save money for other important things.
“Delicious and nutritious foods can be easy on the pocketbook. There are many ways you can save money when cooking at home,” said Jill. “Planning meals ahead of time helps you make the most of the ingredients you buy and reduces waste.”
For more great tips on how healthy cooking can be budget friendly, visit the HealthLink BC website (http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthyeating/everyone/budget-eating.html).
Cooking can be a family affair. Getting the entire family involved in cooking, especially children, teaches important life skills and healthy eating habits.
“Children who get their hands on food and help prepare meals are more willing to try new foods and are more likely to eat with their families,” added Jill. “Children benefit in many ways when families eat together. They perform better at school, develop a deeper sense of belonging and security, and are less likely to smoke and use drugs.”
The 2014 Nutrition Month Campaign is dedicated to serving up practical advice. For more nutrition information visit the Dietitians of Canada website (http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Nutrition-Month.aspx) or you can speak with a registered dietitian at HealthLink BC by calling 8-1-1.