Health Promotion Minister Encourages Ontarians To Make Healthy Holiday Choices



    Ontarians Encouraged To Buy Local And EatRight

    TORONTO, Dec. 17 /CNW/ - Consulting Ontario's toll-free EatRight
dietician service and buying fresh Ontario produce are two simple ways to make
traditional recipes healthier this holiday season, says Health Promotion
Minister Margarett Best.
    "Traditional food is an important part of the holidays for Ontario
families at this time of year. There are ways to make these traditional
recipes healthier without losing the variety and great flavours you enjoy,"
said Best.
    Earlier today, the Minister and Roselle Martino, Senior Nutrition
Consultant, and Registered Dietitian, visited renowned Chef James Smith at the
George Brown Chef School. Smith led a discussion on finding and using healthy
alternatives - Ontario-grown when possible - in favourite holiday recipes.
    "I discovered that adding spices you may not normally consider to your
recipes can enhance the natural flavour of your favourite foods," said Best.
"There are so many ways to add new dimensions to our traditional holiday foods
by trying new ingredients. The Registered Dietitians at EatRight Ontario can
provide tips for healthy substitutions and on portion control, so it is easier
to eat healthier over the holiday season."
    Tips on healthy holiday eating are available on the Ministry's EatRight
Ontario website www.ontario.ca/eatright. Ontarians can also call the EatRight
Ontario telephone service toll-free at 1-877-510-510-2, run in collaboration
with the Dietitians of Canada, for direct advice from Registered Dietitians.
The service is available in over 120 languages including Mandarin, Korean;
Polish; German; Spanish, Ukrainian; Punjabi; Hungarian; Portuguese; Italian;
Arabic.
    Fresh, local fare is a great way to enhance your holiday recipes with
healthy, great tasting options. Purchasing Ontario-grown products is an easy
way to invest in Ontario's economy and give back to our environment. For
seasonal availability of Ontario-grown fresh produce, visit
www.foodlandontario.ca.
    "Ontario's fresh, high quality foods are available year round and are
always a healthy choice," said Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Leona Dombrowsky. "I would encourage people to 'Pick Ontario Freshness' - it
is good for farmers, our economy, our environment and ourselves."

    
    Some tips for holiday eating provided on the EatRight Ontario website
include:

    -   Have breakfast and several small meals throughout the day so you are
        not tempted to overeat later in the day.
    -   Keep track of your daily physical activity - aim for a minimum of 30
        minutes of activity every day. Three brisk 10-minute walks daily can
        have positive health benefits.
    -   If you overindulge in finger foods at social events, opt for a
        lighter dinner.
    -   Enjoy a small taste of dessert. When faced with a tempting array of
        rich desserts try a few small pieces or share a larger piece.
    

    "There are many simple ways to make your favourite dishes healthier that
taste just as good," said Chef Smith. "Making over your favourite recipes just
requires a little bit of research to find alternate ingredients that will
work. There are lots of great resources - like EatRight Ontario - that
aspiring chefs can use anytime for advice on creating healthier menus for your
family."
    EatRight Ontario supports the government's mandate to help Ontarians lead
healthier lives. According to Statistics Canada, 59% of Ontario's adults and
28% of children and youth (ages 2- 17) are either overweight or obese.

    
    EatRight Ontario is just one example of how the McGuinty government is
building a healthier province. Other initiatives include:

    -   Creating a healthier school environment for Ontario students by
        banning the use of trans-fat in school cafeterias and establishing
        healthy nutrition standards
    -   Creating Ontario's Healthy Eating, Active Living Action Plan to
        improve the health of all Ontarians
    -   Removing the retail sales tax on bicycle helmets, related safety
        equipment and bicycles under $1000 to encourage more Ontarians to
        cycle
    -   The Communities In Action Fund, which is working to improve
        opportunities for community sport and physical activity across the
        province.

    Disponible en français

                              www.mhp.gov.on.ca
                           www.healthyontario.com
                           www.ontario.ca/eatright
    





For further information:

For further information: Rick Byun, Minister's Office, (416) 326-8497;
Julie Rosenberg, Communications Branch, (416) 326-4833

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ONTARIO MINISTRY OF HEALTH PROMOTION

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