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March is Nutrition Month: Tips and Video Resources Print

Top Tips for Nutrition Month: Simply Cook and Enjoy!

TIP 1: Simplify weekday cooking. Prepare some ingredients in advance.

No time to cook healthy meals during the week? Having ingredients ready to go makes it a little easier. Try these time-saving ideas:

  • On the weekend, peel, wash and chop vegetables for the next couple of dinners
  • Marinate meat and freeze in small portions to defrost quickly
  • Cook a big pot of whole grain pasta, barley or quinoa so it’s ready to reheat when you need it
  • Grate cheese, gather spices and measure dry ingredients for dinner recipes the night before

March is Nutrition Month logo

TIP 2: Cook once. Eat twice. Make weeknight cooking a breeze with planned extras.

Are you tired of reheating leftovers? Planned extras make an entirely new meal! Just make a little more food than you need for one meal and reinvent it for another. Try these easy options:

  • Grilling chicken or fish? Grill a couple of extra pieces for sandwiches.
  • Roasting veggies? Roast extras to toss with pasta or barley or to top a pizza.
  • Serving chili? Cook a bigger pot and then make enchiladas.
  • Having salad with supper? Make extra and put it in the fridge, without dressing, for tomorrow’s lunch.

TIP 3: Tools of the trade: A few good kitchen tools can make cooking a lot easier!

Cooking tools don’t need to be expensive or fancy. Along with quality pots in different sizes, stock your kitchen with these 5 basic tools. They can help you cook like a pro.

  1. Sharp knives – including a paring knife for small slices
  2. Box grater – for grated vegetables, citrus zest and shredded cheese
  3. Immersion (hand-held) blender – perfect for puréeing vegetable soups right in the pot
  4. Steamer basket – makes cooking tender-crisp veggies a snap
  5. Instant-read thermometer – so you know when food is cooked to safe temperatures (no more guessing!)

TIP 4: Make your food dollar go farther. Put more plant-based protein in your pot.

Cooking with protein-rich choices, such as lentils, black beans or chickpeas, is a healthy way to lower the cost per serving of your meals. Extend ground meat or go meatless with these ideas:

  • Stir up yummy minestrone soup with black beans, chickpeas or lentils – no meat needed!
  • Make a quick chickpea curry for a totally meatless option
  • Add a couple of cups of cooked lentils to ground beef for luscious lasagna
  • Drain and rinse a can of black beans. Add to ground turkey for tasty tacos

TIP 5: Find weekdays too hectic to cook with kids? KISS: Keep it simple, sweetie!

Cooking with kids can take a little more time, but it’s worth it! Learning how to cook helps kids develop healthy eating habits, increases self-confidence and teaches life skills. Here are a few tips to keep cooking with kids relaxed.

  • Give kids easy tasks, such as stirring, when you’re in a hurry
  • Cook on weekends, when you can take more time to teach skills
  • Choose easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tasks kids can help with
  • Prepare some ingredients before you start cooking

TIP 6: Cooking for one? Switch it up with stir-fries.

Stir-fries serve up a whole lot of variety in one small meal. Start with vegetables that you can buy loose. That way, you get as little as you need, reducing food waste. Try a sliced carrot with a handful of snow peas, sliced mushrooms and sweet peppers. Sauté your veggies with a little olive oil, fresh garlic and ginger. Add protein, such as chicken, turkey, shrimp, beef, legumes or tofu. Enjoy over brown rice, quinoa, whole grain pasta or barley. Switch up your stir-fries for a new meal every time!

TIP 7: Savour the flavour! Small amounts of nutrient-rich ingredients boost taste.

cheese, pesto, nuts displayNutrient-rich, higher-fat ingredients can be part of healthy cooking. When you use high-quality foods, you only need a little for great flavour. Here are just a few examples:

  • Cheese – just a sprinkle of strong-tasting cheese such as Parmesan, Asiago or aged cheddar fills your food with flavour
  • Pesto – it’s bursting with basil, so you just need a spoonful to turn plain pasta into a gourmet meal
  • Nuts – toasting nutrient-rich nuts brings out their rich flavour, so a handful will do

TIP 8: Baking bonanza! Balance your baking with simple swaps.

There are lots of tasty ways to make your baking a little bit healthier. Experiment by using these simple substitutions in your favourite baked goods:

  • Replace at least half of the enriched white flour with whole grain flour
  • Replace a quarter of the sugar with skim milk powder
  • Replace half of the fat in muffins, quick breads and cookies with mashed fruit or vegetables, such as unsweetened applesauce or puréed sweet potato
  • Use milk instead of water

To watch all of the 2014 Nutrition Month Videos, click here.

Reference: Dietitians of Canada 2014 Nutrition Month Resource Manual

Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. Andrea and her team really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Andrea is an excellent teacher and motivator. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

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