Get answers to your nutrition and healthy eating questions. Visit www.eatrightontario.ca or call us toll-free at 1-877-510-510-2.
Get answers to your nutrition & healthy eating questions.
Call us toll-free† at 1-877-510-510-2 to speak directly with a Registered Dietitian.
It can be hard for many Aboriginal people to meet basic food needs. In some small communities, food costs can be four times more expensive than in the city.
To cope with these challenges, you may find that you skip meals or eat foods that fill you up but that are not nutritious. This may mean that your family is not eating a healthy balance of foods each day.
These issues must be addressed so Aboriginal people can eat well for good health. Small changes may also help you to get the most nutrition for your dollar. Planning your meals, eating a more traditional diet or organizing a community garden can make a difference to your family’s health.
There are many community food-based programs that can help. Find out if these programs exist in your community. If not, you can work with your local health care provider to start a program.
Community kitchens. Meet regularly with a group to learn how to cook and prepare nutritious meals that can be divided up and taken home.
Food skills workshops. Learn shopping, preserving and cooking skills.
Nutrition workshops and resources. Learn about healthier food choices and how to prepare healthier meals for your family.
Weight Loss Programs. Learn about healthy food choices to promote good health and weight loss.
Good food box program. This runs like a food-buying club. Local volunteers take orders for a box brimming with fresh produce that you pick up.
Community/Family gardens. Community members come together to create a garden or individual families can create family gardens.
To eat better for less, try to:
* Review the safety notes here for important information about game meat and fish
Click here for more tips on shopping on a budget.
Food such as chips and other packaged snack foods or fruit punch may seem less costly but they offer little nutritional value for your money. For the best buys choose the nutritious foods below that are less expensive:
Choose most often
Vegetables and Fruit
Fresh when in season
Frozen and canned when not in season
Frozen concentrated 100% unsweetened juice
Juice in cartons or bottles, fruit punches, fruit drinks, fruit cocktails
Pre-packaged apples, oranges, onions, carrots and potatoes
Individually packaged vegetables and fruit
Visit a pick-your-own farm
Unsweetened whole grain cereals such as plain oatmeal
Plain whole grain breads, bannock and scones
Sweetened baked goods and fancy breads such as cheese or raisin breads
Pre-packaged whole grain bagels and rolls
Individually packaged bagels and rolls
Plain whole wheat noodles, barley, pasta, brown rice, wild rice.
Noodles, barley, pasta and rice with seasonings and sauces
Milk and Alternatives
Low fat canned milk (evaporated)
Skim or 1% milk bags (freeze extras for up to six weeks)
Plain yogurt in large containers (sweeten with canned fruit)
Hard cheese on sale in larger blocks (can be frozen)
Soft fish bones
Fortified soy beverage
Meat and Alternatives
Moose, caribou, deer, geese, duck, fish or rabbits
Liver or kidneys of moose and deer (because of contaminants)
Beans, peas, lentils, canned or dried
Peanut butter, nut butters
Plain frozen fish fillets
Battered or seasoned fish fillets
Canned fish packed in water
Whole chicken or turkey. (Buy “grade C” poultry and cut it up yourself. It is just as nutritious and safe to eat as other grades but less costly.)
Pieces of chicken or turkey
Lean and less expensive meat cuts: stewing beef, chuck, blade, cross rib, outside or inside round, or pork shoulder. Tenderize these meats by marinating in tomato juice, making a stew or cooking in a slow cooker.
For help with choosing healthy foods, setting up cooking classes or community kitchens contact your local:
Brighter Futures Program for First Nations and Inuit communities, funds programs that support child development including nutritional food and education.
Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program offers programs for pregnant women. Services include food vouchers and vitamins, nutrition counseling and food preparation training.
FoodShare works with many different communities, to improve access to affordable and healthy food.
EatRight Ontario can help you find services in your community. Call 1-877-510-5102 or send an email.
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Dietitians of Canada acknowledges the financial support of EatRight Ontario by the Ontario government. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.