A message from Dr. Evan Adams, FNHA Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Shannon McDonald, FNHA Deputy Chief Medical Officer, for Nutrition Month
March is Nutrition Month, and what better time to start the conversation around healthy eating than now! To support you in making healthy choices in March, the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is launching the Food is Medicine: Healthy Eating Challenge.
Everyone is a Wellness Champion, and we invite you to join us in focusing on healthy eating and championing healthy eating initiatives with your communities, families, co-workers and other friends and loved ones. Food is a great way for us to connect with each other, to gather and to share our stories and memories.
Are you in? Throughout the month of March, please share your healthy eating journeys, stories, recipes, pictures, and healthy eating tips through social media by tagging the FNHA (make sure the post is public too!) or using the hashtags:
By using the hashtags, you will be entered to win one of four Instant Pots! You will also inspire others to join you in the challenge.
Healthy eating is one of the FNHA's four Wellness Streams. At the FNHA, we view physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health through a wellness lens and we encourage you to do so too.
As Indigenous Physicians, we want to provide you with tools and resources to confidently embark on your healthy eating journeys. Healthy and mindful eating are multifaceted concepts. Many of us face challenges related to our eating habits, such as lack of access to healthy foods like fresh fruit/vegetables or the impacts of intergenerational trauma on food choices and eating patterns. Stay tuned for upcoming posts about these issues and information on how to navigate the challenges.
The Food is Medicine Healthy Eating challenge also aims to help you increase your knowledge of healthy food and nutrition. We will talk about whole foods (foods that are unrefined or unprocessed, or processed and refined as little as possible) and home-canned foods, which are a great option for preserving whole foods. We'll be sharing posts related to whole foods and options for those who cannot easily access fresh produce, later in March.
Our Traditional Foods are another category of whole foods that are important to many First Nations individuals' healthy eating journeys. Berries, for example, are an excellent source of vitamin C, iron, calcium, and folate, and can be harvested by going onto the land and connecting with our territories. Moose meat is a tremendous source of protein and iron and has always been an important food for our communities. Some great traditional recipes and helpful tips can be found in the First Nations Traditional Foods Fact Sheets. Stay tuned for upcoming traditional recipe shares from the FNHA and community Wellness Champions. Plus, watch for upcoming posts showcasing communities and individuals in action!
We encourage you to join our month-long challenge starting on March 1 and get your friends, family, and co-workers to join in too! We look forward to hearing your experiences through social media, and to seeing your healthy meal photos, recipes, cooking adventures and more on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Please remember to use the hashtags or tag the FNHA on social media (make sure the post is public too!) to be entered to win an Instant Pot:
As we get ready for Nutrition Month this March, here are some helpful links to help you prepare for the challenge:
Dieticians Canada 2019 Factsheets
Dieticians of Canada Grocery Shopping Resources
First Nations Traditional Foods Fact Sheets
Tips for Budget-wise Produce Shopping
Menu Planning Resources
We truly believe that everyone is a Wellness Champion, and we challenge each of you to champion the Food is Medicine: Healthy Eating Challenge with your family, friends, and community.
Dr. Evan Adams and Dr. Shannon McDonald