Home Healthy Eating Heath unit launches healthy eating online challenge – Windsor Star

Heath unit launches healthy eating online challenge – Windsor Star

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Eating habits of Windsor’s residents are not the greatest, so the local health unit has launched an online challenge it hopes will help make a difference in putting people on the path to better food choices.


The new Canada Food Guide puts heavy emphasis on vegetables and grains on the dinner plate.


Windsor Star

The eating habits of Windsor’s residents are not the greatest, so the local health unit has launched an online challenge it hopes will help put people on the path to better food choices.

The six-week “Building Healthy Habits with Canada’s Food Guide” challenge is being done to coincide with national nutrition month in March.

“We are trying to kill two birds with one stone,” said Alicia Chan, a registered dietician with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

“We are trying to get people to learn about the food guide which is a new document, and the other part is working on goal-setting skills which is a key step to behaviour change.”

The challenge is open to any adult 18 and over with a new topic on improving eating habits introduced at the start of each week.

Canadians in general do not eat enough fruits and vegetables

The challenge begins on Monday, March 4 and will run six weeks until Friday, April 12.

“We will introduce a topic, people will set their goals and then there will be goal reflection based on how they did at the end of the week,” Chan said.

Among topics during the challenge will be planning healthy meals, choosing healthy options while eating out and eating a variety of healthy foods.

“People are invited to set their own goals — an example might be that three meals will be a half a plate of vegetables,” Chan said. “At the end of the week, you see if you met your goal. If not, then how can you do better?”

As encouragement for regular participation, the health unit will be giving away weekly prizes during the online challenge that will include such things as grocery cards or cookbooks.


In this Jan. 17, 2017, file photo, Casey Kelly, a student from D.M. Eagle School checks out vegetables during a Nutrition in the Aisles tour at the Zehrs store at Tecumseh and Lauzon in Windsor.

Dan Janisse /

Windsor Star

Included in the challenge is a social aspect, through such activities as meal planning or cooking together — opportunities for family bonding through helping children develop their healthy food skills, Chan said.

“Based on statistics, Canadians in general do not eat enough fruits and vegetables,” she said. “We can all work towards eating better.”

Among the changes in the new Canada Food Guide are promotion of water as the best beverage for health, moving toward a plant-based diet and better emphasis on meal planning to help reduce food waste.

The idea of food groups has changed to better reflect a more balanced plate with meals that include a half-plate of vegetables, one-quarter protein and one-quarter whole grains.

Related

The online challenge also provides plenty of healthy eating resources for further reading that includes websites such as UnlockFood.ca and others.

Registration for the challenge has already started and can be found online at wechu.org/nutrition-month-2019-challenge.  For more information or help to join the challenge, call the health unit at 519-258-2146, extension 3200.

dbattagello@postmedia.com

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