Six Nations Community Food Bank
20 Cao Lane, Box 209
Ohsweken, ON  N0A 1M0
Striving to meet the short-term
need for food, and to find 
 long-term solutions to end
hunger within our

Tips for Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is important to good health.  Nutritious foods nourish your body and give you energy to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.  Eating the right foods can also help reduce your risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Eating healthy meals can be easy when when you're busy.  All you need is a good plan.  Spend a few minuts each week to plan your meals and snacks.  This will help get meals on the table faster and save time and money.

5 Simple Tips for Planning Meals

There's no right or wrong way to plan meals.  Some people like to plan the whole week ahead, while others plan for a couple of days.  Do what works for you.  Write down your meal and snack ideas on paper or use your Smartphone.

Use these tips to help with your planning:

  • Follow Canada's Food Guide when planning what to eat.  Look in your fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what foods you have on hand and what you need to buy.
  • Keep a grocery list and jot down items as you run out of them.  Add foods based on your meal plan.
  • Encourage healthy habits by getting your children involved.  Ask them to choose a favourite meal.  Encourage your family to try a new food or recipe every now and then.
  • Flip through grocery store flyers to take advantage of specials and use coupons to save money.  Get healthy ideas from magazines, cookbooks and websites.
  • Think about your family's schedule.  A busy week filled with sports and other activities could mean planning fast and easy meals.

Ideas for Planning Snacks

Snacks help keep your energy levels up between meals.  Plan to have healthy snacks on hand so you can skip less healthy choices in ending machines or coffee shops.

  • Chop extra vegetables when cooking so you'll have some for snacks.  try different dips with your veggies like hummus, tzatziki, fresh slasa, nut butters and yogurt.
  • Hard-boil eggs on the weekend.  They will stay fresh in the fridge for one week with the shell on.  Pair them with your favourite vegetable.
  • Stock up on easy to grab snacks: apples, pears, bananas, plums, grapes, fruit cups (packed in juice), yogurt, granola bars with at least 4 grams of fibre, unsalted nuts, and small cans of low-sodium vegetable juice.

Tips for a Well-Stocked Kitchen

A well-stocked kitchen is the best way to cook fast, healthy meals. Keep your pantry and fridge stocked with healthy foods that are lower in sodium and fat.

Vegetables and fruit

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables - keep a colourful variety on hand
  • Frozen vegetables (without sauce) - peas, carrots, leafy greens (spinach, kale), broccoli, cauliflower
  • Frozen fruit - berries, mango
  • Canned vegetables - buy ones with less sodium and rinse well with water
  • Canned tomatoes - choose ones without added salt, or compare labels to find cans with the least amount of sodium
  • Jarred pasta sauce - look for sauces that are tomato-based with less than 15% DV of sodium per serving
  • Canned fruit (packed in juice, not syrup) - mandarin oranges, pears, peaches, pumpkin puree, pineapple
  • Dried fruit (without added sugar) - apples, raisins, dates, prunes, figs, cranberries, apricots

Grain products

  • Whole grains - pasta, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, bulgur, oatmeal, pot barley
  • Whole grain bread - tortillas, sliced loaf, buns, pita
  • Cereal - choose ones that are whole grain with at least 4 grams of fibre per serving

Milk and alternatives

  • Milk - lower fat milk (skim, 1% or 2%) or fortified soy beverage
  • Yogurt - Choose lower fat yogurt (2% or less) or Greek yogurt, which has double the amount of protein
  • Cheese - choose ones that are less than 20% milk fat

Meat and alternatives

  • Canned or dry lentils and beans - buy different kinds to add to soups, stews and chili, and rinse canned varieties to reduce the sodium
  • Canned fish (packed in water, not oil) - salmon, sardines, tuna
  • Nuts and seeds (unsalted) - almonds, pistachios, walnuts,  pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Hummus - great as a dip or sandwich spread
  • Nut butters - buy natural nut butters with no added salt or sugar
  • Eggs - they can be hard-boiled and kept with their shells on for up to one week in the fridge
  • Tofu - buy calcium-set tofu for bone-building benefits
  • Fish and shellfish - buy it plain, without breading
  • Ground beef, turkey, or chicken - keep for up to one month in the freezer and thaw overnight in the fridge
  • Meat and poultry - freeze in small portions for easy defrosting
  • Edamame - delicious soybeans that can be eaten as a snack or added to soups and stirfrys for extra protein

Spices and other flavour boosters

  • Broth - select no salt added, or reduced sodium varieties
  • Oil - canola, olive, vegetable
  • Herbs, spices, and seasonings - basil, cayenne, chili powder, coriander, cumin, curry powder, oregano, paprika,  rosemary, peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, onion powder, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, sodium-reduced soy sauce

  • Condiments/flavour enhancers - Dijon mustard, fresh salsa

Easy Tips to Save Time in the Kitchen

Follow these simple tips to help save time preparing and cooking meals:

  1. Chop extra fruit and vegetables when preparing meals so you have extra for lunches, snacks, and meals the next day.
  2. Buy pre-cut vegetables such as broccoli, squash, and mushrooms.
  3. Choose lower-sodium convenience foods to help speed up prep time. Try canned or bottled tomato-based pasta sauces, frozen or canned vegetables and fruit, canned tuna or salmon, and canned beans or lentils.
  4. Cook on the weekend. Make-then freeze-meals for the upcoming week like soups, stews, casseroles, pasta dishes, and chili. These will come in handy on busy weeknights.
  5. Cook twice the chicken or ground beef you need and keep extras in the fridge to make chicken salad, enchiladas, chili, or spaghetti sauce the next day.
  6. Ask the kids to help. By involving children in preparing food, they'll appreciate meals more and learn important life skills. Depending on their age, kids can wash and peel vegetables, tear up lettuce, mash potatoes, wash and cut fruit, drain and rinse canned beans or lentils, and stir a pot.
  7. Invest in time-saving appliances. A slow cooker is a great way to come home to a warm meal. A hand blender can help you make quick and easy soups, sauces, and smoothies. Use a mini-chopper to dice up garlic and onions.