Nutrition is a big part of our everyday life, it keeps us healthy and energized throughout our day. And as a way to celebrate it March is known as Nutrition Month.
Barb Wright Public Health Nutritionist for the Saskatchewan Public Health Authority, "March is Nutrition month and that gives us the great chance to focus on the importance of food and eating, to our health and also the quality of life. In January Health Canada announced revisions to Canada's food guide, and the new food guide provides Canadians with information and advice not only does it focus on what foods you should eat. But it brings attention to what and how we eat. And one of those factors actually is eating and sharing food together with others. Enjoying food with family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers is a great way to connect and add enjoyment to our lives. And it can provide many benefits to us as well. So we can enjoy quality time together to share food across generations and different cultures, and we can try new foods that we may not normally eat and often we can eat together as a family, and families do better when they eat together."
The benefits of enjoying meals together are varied, "Children and teens do better in school, preschoolers tend to have a better vocabulary when they eat together. We have seen teens are less likely to smoke, use illegal drugs, or alcohol, or participate in serious fights when they have meals together with family. And parents tend to eat better. And seniors experience less isolation and enjoy meals more when they're together with their community."
"Unfortunately, making meals happen is difficult to do, you have to make sure you take the time to enjoy meals with others. So you can maybe have lunch with a colleague at work, a friend at school, you can plan to eat dinner with friends, family, or invite someone over for a meal. Or maybe help organize a community meal within your neighborhood." Wright continues to share why it's beneficial, "When you eat with others it's really important to remember to take your time, don't feel the need to rush. Just enjoy the meal in the social aspect of getting together. You will want to get rid of distractions like a cell phone, tablet, or other electronics and use the opportunity as a chance to connect. Talk to everyone around you and share what's going on with everyone's life. And make sure to have pleasant conversations, enjoy, and laugh a lot."
"There are important social aspects in eating together, it's not just what we eat that keeps us healthy, but its also helping each other make those healthy food choices."