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7 Hot Topics & Tips To Get Canadians Make Small Changes That Stick

7 Hot Topics & Tips To Get Canadians Make Small Changes That Stick
Our next #30in30 #nutritionmonth blog post is from Lucia Weiler, Registered Dietitian & President, Weiler Nutrition Communications Inc. Thank you for submitting!
Working as a registered dietitian in education and nutrition communications give me a unique perspective of seeing the difference nutrition professionals can make. Focusing on one meal a day during Nutrition Month 2016 is a great approach to inspire clients to make changes that they can stick with. Here are my top 7 picks for hot topics with engaging professional practice points that can help you encourage Canadians to make small lasting changes - one tip at a time.
1. Fat confusion reigns 
Misinformation continues to surround dietary fat. Clients and media are muddled about the relationship between dietary fat and chronic diseases, so Nutrition Month is a great opportunity to help clarify the message. Speakers at the Canadian Nutrition Society 2016 conference had the following tips for dietitians: “Saturated fat landscape is changing but it’s NOT a free for all - check food source first.” Jenn Sygo Rd.  Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, keynote speaker put it simply: “All liquid veg oils are OK- pick your favourite to cook with.”
2. Sugars slip up 
Added or free sugars are in the public ‘Danger Zone’. It’s true we don’t need added sugars as part of a healthy diet but it’s important to explain that sugars have food safety functions and enhance the taste, aroma and texture of many healthy foods. It’s key to remind clients that natural sugars found in all fruit, dairy, and wholegrain breads and cereals are important for our health. People are often very surprised to learn that added and naturally occurring sugars are metabolized the same way and find it hard to believe that the body really can’t tell the difference. It’s a good start to cut down on sugary foods but it’s still okay to leave some sweet foods in to keep it real. [See Baking is Back tip #7] Remind clients that a healthy diet is one that they can stick to forever. 
 3. Veggie Believers 
Helping clients increase their veggie intake is a great step toward healthier eating. In my wellness classes I look for unique and memorable ways reinforce the importance of eating more veggies. For example, clients love the "I'm a Veggie Believer," music video by Carl Winter, UC Davis. Michelle Obama’s skit with Jimmy Kimmel “Eat Your Effin Vees always draws laughter and reinforces the key message.  Check out the Half Your Plate a program created with a network of Public Health practitioners for great tips on how to make it easier for your clients to boost their intake of veggies and fruit.
4.  Life can be more smoothie or ‘parfait’! 
A super idea to promote Nutrition Month is featuring a recipe or setting up an interactive display. Culinary and Nutrition Student teams at HUMBER College created smoothie or parfait themed samples which turned out to be a terrific way to draw a crowd and open up the healthy eating conversation. Healthy parfaits are easy to prepare and sample. Ingredients could include (greek) Yogurt, Granola, Fresh fruit, Chia seeds, Honey or maple syrup. Key message: pick wholesome ingredients that pack nutrition punch.

5. Worksite wellness works
According to a poll by Ipsos Reid, 45% of Canadians say that eating healthy meals and snacks while at work is challenging. A new healthy eating program called 4STAR offers a free tool kit to help improve food and nutrition choices in the workplace.  The concept and resources of the 4STAR program were led by Dr. Norm Campbell, who is Chair in Hypertension Prevention and Control Initiative, funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada in partnership with the CIHR Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health. Read more about kick-starting mindful healthy eating at your workplace at http://www.nutritionfornonnutritionists.com/news-trends/  and check out the resources from the 4STAR tool kit 
6. Dietitian’s professional tips team well with Chef’s creativity
People are naturally drawn to information that reinforces their chosen behavior so they need to be presented with the opportunity to feel good about their food choices. How can dietitians respond? Offer a perfect pairing uniting a chef and a dietitian. Both professionals approach food from different angles. Chefs I team up with are inspired by taste, seasons and culinary trends and focus on cooking skills to set people up for success in the kitchen. As a Dietitian I bring strong evidence based approach and translate the ever-changing science and the abundance of media headlines that keep people awake at night. Dietitian and Chef Teams such as those at the Centre for Healthy Living at Humber College explain meaningful consumer benefits that come from making small dietary changes that are doable and can improve a client's health. 
7. Baking is Back
For many Canadians baking is pure joy and is a way to show their love and caring for others. Tap into the emotional part of baking and show how to crate and enjoy healthy foods. For inspiration to your dietitian’s toolkit consider this terrific resource that will pass all healthy bake sale tests and score high with lovers of baked goods – Bake it Up!, for example, includes over 20 healthy recipes that can also be promoted to staff, students and parents who wish to make healthier baked goods for school events or classroom celebrations, or to enjoy at home.” Healthy Baking can tug at heartstrings and be good for the heart too.
Lucia Weiler BSc. RD is a registered dietitian – nutritionist who specializes in communication, marketing, education and regulatory affairs related to food and beverages. As Principal of Weiler Weiler Nutrition Communications Inc., Lucia provides expert services on nutrition trends, food science and labelling compliance. As the Co-Founder of Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists,TM and a Faculty member at Humber College School of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism she teaches nutrition, food safety and professional development.
Contact: lucia@weilernutrition.com or @LuciaWeilerRD


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