By Mark Squibb | Vol. 7 No. 5 (March 13 2019)
The City of Mount Pearl, at its March 12th council meeting, recognized March as Nutrition Month.
This year’s theme is ‘Unlock the Potential of Food’, the same as last year’s theme.
Adrianna Smallwood, Registered Dietician with Newfound Balance, and Christine Hedges, a Registered Dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation NL, were at were at the meeting to say a few words.
Smallwood explained that residents can call the 811 Health line, a free service that puts you in touch with a nurse or dietician who can provide helpful, healthy tips.
“You can ask questions like ‘What’s a healthy school lunch I can pack for my child?’ or ’I’m a newly diagnosed diabetic and I don’t have an appointment with a dietitian yet, but what are the foods I can have that aren’t going to increase my sugars?’, or you can even ask things like ‘What are some foods I can eat on a budget?’”
One concern raised by Deputy Mayor Jim Locke was short lunch times in schools.
"I think in many high schools’ kids are bolting down their food. They don't have the time to actually sit down and enjoy a meal," said Locke, who is also a teacher at Mount Pearl Senor High.
He noted that that school has about 45 minutes set aside for lunch.
“Better nutrition… it’s not just the food- it’s the behaviours around the food,” he summarized.
Smallwood then noted that Canada’s new food guide emphasises proper eating behaviours, such as setting aside adequate time to eat.
Hedge also noted that lengthening school lunch time would be a decision made by the school district, and that the provincial school food guidelines are currently being updated.
Nutrition Month is recognised by Dietitian’s Canada every March.