Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Celebrating Home Grown Food

Canadians have a lot to celebrate when it comes to home grown food. In addition to supporting local farmers and growers when you shop, you can also choose local foods from each of the four food groups.

Vegetables and Fruits: Canada grows a wide variety of vegetables and fruits , including apples, asparagus, blueberries and potatoes. With spring on the way, look for local asparagus, peppers, and greenhouse tomatoes in your neighbourhood grocery store. Remember, vegetables and fruits provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and it is important to enjoy 7-8 throughout the day.

Grain Products: Canada produces a variety of different grains including wheat, corn, oats, barley and buckwheat. These tasty grains are full of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide recommends you make at least half your grain servings whole grains everyday day. Start your day with a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast; substitute whole-wheat flour for white flour when baking, and enjoy whole grain rice or pasta at dinner tonight.

Milk and Alternatives: There are over 13,000 Canadian dairy farms supplying Canadians with milk everyday. Milk provides protein, along with important bone building nutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and Vitamin D*. For a great snack option, try Frozen Yogourt, its low in fat and made with 100% Canadian milk. Or just a string of cheese as a healthy snack together with a fruit for example.

Meat and Alternatives: Canada produces an abundance of meat and meat alternatives every year. Did you know that Canada is a large exporter of nutrient rich legumes including dried beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils? Legumes are full of protein and fibre which help keep you feeling full longer. Try lentils in a soup or stew, or puree chickpeas to make the base of hummus

Look around next time you go shopping and you will be amazed how much Canadian food is available in the shelves of the stores.