By Nazima Qureshi
March is Nutrition Month and Dietitians of Canada is helping Canadians take the fight out of food. As the South Asian Nutrition Month Spokesperson, I am dedicated to helping South Asian families take the fight out of food this month.
I want to share three food fights that many families experience on a regular basis.
- Picky Eating
When you think of picky eating, you may first think of your children refusing to try a new vegetable. However, many members of the family can be “picky eaters”, especially if you are living in a multi-generational household. As you get excited to try out a new healthy recipe, you may get pushback from family members not willing to try new foods.
Here are a few tips to tackle picky eaters of all ages:
- Make it colourful! It is no secret that we eat with our eyes first. Try colourful recipes that will excite the whole family, like these Avocado, Roasted Squash, and Black Bean Tacos
- Keep a familiar dish at the table. Whenever you are trying a new recipe with the family, be sure to include a familiar dish that you know your family enjoys. This decreases the pressure off of you if someone doesn’t want to try your new recipe. Don’t feel like you have to make too many different dishes though. Something as simple as a regular side dish will put the family more at ease.
- Get the kids involved. Kids that help out in the kitchen are more likely to try out the new recipes that they helped out with. Depending on their skill level, your kids can help with washing veggies, mixing, cutting produce, or setting the table.
- Set an example. When your children see that you are excited to try out a new vegetable, they are more likely to have a more positive and adventurous attitude towards food as well.
- Digestive Woes
An upset stomach or gas problems are very common symptoms that many people think they just have to live with. The truth is, with proper advice from a Registered Dietitian, you can eliminate your digestive woes. In fact, 90% of gas is due to excess swallowed air. Digestive issues such as gas can also be a sign of another condition such as lactose intolerance or celiac disease. Before making this diagnosis on your own, seek out a Registered Dietitian to see what changes you should be making to eliminate your digestive symptoms. To find a local Dietitian to work with, try the “Find a Dietitian” feature by Dietitians of Canada.
- Managing a Health Condition
Many people think that being diagnosed with a health condition, such as diabetes, means that they cannot live a healthy lifestyle. Especially since the South Asian community is at a higher risk for diabetes, this is a concern for many families. Here are three diabetes related myths de-bunked:
- If you are trying to manage your diabetes, you have to eat fewer calories. To maintain stable blood sugars, eating at regular times with balanced portions will help you greatly rather than skipping meals altogether. Try these Lemon Almond Sauteed Greens as a way to incorporate more veggies into your daily diet.
- If you are trying to manage your diabetes, you have to completely avoid carbohydrates. Whole grain carbohydrates can be swapped with white flour products for more fibre and to help with stabilizing blood sugar levels.
- If you are trying to manage your diabetes, you have to give up your favourite foods. All foods can be enjoyed in moderation, even if you are managing a health condition like diabetes.
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