You could win an Instant Pot, air fryer, or cookbook!
A joint message from Richard Jock, Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Shannon McDonald, Acting Chief Medical Officer
Every March during National Nutrition Month the FNHA launches our interactive wellness initiative: the “Food is Medicine" challenge. We encourage you to join this initiative and to get your friends, family, and co-workers to join, too!
The Food is Medicine campaign focuses on the connection between nutritious foods, culture, community, and the land, and how they positively impact our health and wellness as First Nations people.
1. Be a Wellness Champion: post photos of your participation by tagging us on Facebook or Instagram – or email us your nutrition story, cooking adventure (or misadventure) or nutritious recipe (Active@fnha.ca)! Those who do so could win an Instant Pot, an air fryer or a cookbook!
2. Sit with an Elder and learn about traditional foods and where/how you can harvest them.
3. Make mindful nutritional choices by incorporating nutrient-packed traditional foods.
4. Take part in harvestings activities like fishing, hunting, trapping, berry picking, or canning.
5. Learn how to prepare nutrient-packed meals and share them with others – spending time with loved ones around the kitchen table is so important to our wholistic wellness.
Our traditional foods and harvesting activities differ from community to community – and those of us who live in urban areas or away from our home communities typically rely on store-bought foods – but we know that the right food choices will nourish our minds, bodies, and spirits.
Whether we are harvesting moose meat, buffalo, deer, salmon, berries, or buying good nutritious foods at the grocery store, we are taking care of our health and that of our loved ones.
When eating certain foods, some of us will remember our childhood family meals and be able to feel more connected to our culture, family, lands, waters, stories, and traditions. In this way, our meals not only support our nutritional needs and physical health, but nurture our spirits.
In Indigenous cultures, our spirits are nourished when we gather and share foods and teachings with all of our relations, including our young ones, Elders, aunties, uncles, and cousins. Taking the time to honour the different teachings around food, nutrition, and culture is beneficial for our emotional, physical, and mental health.
What's more, connecting and sharing with each other is a big part of our Indigenous value system. We also honour our Creator and our ancestors by praying and giving thanks before we eat. That's all good medicine!
These past years have been more challenging than usual. As we continue to work together against the ongoing public health issues in our communities, it is important we stay focused on staying healthy and well. One important way to do this is by eating nutritious foods.
Throughout the month, the FNHA's Wellness Team will be sharing community Food is Medicine stories, highlighting nutrition-focused partnership work, and more.
We believe everyone is a Wellness Champion, and we hope you will join us in promoting good nutrition for all.
Richard Jock and Dr. Shannon McDonald