Every year for the past 30 years Dietitians of Canada hosts Nutrition Month. Can you tell us about the history of Nutrition Month and what it aims to bring awareness to?
Nutrition Month has a long and wonderful history in Canada. It started as “Nutrition Week” in the late 1970s, as a grassroots initiative organized by local community dietitians. It grew to be a national event and became Nutrition Month by the end of the 1980s. Nutrition Month’s core purpose is to raise awareness of the connection between food, nutrition and health, and to celebrate registered dietitians as the most credible food and nutrition experts. Our world has changed so much since the 1980s, and so has the science of nutrition. Dietitians continue to serve Canadians as their trusted food and nutrition experts.
Tell us about this year’s Nutrition Month theme “Good for You” and what it means to you?
I love this year’s theme, “Good for You”, it captures the reality that there are many ways to eat healthy. Every person has unique culture, traditions, preferences and nutritional needs that influence what they eat and how they eat. The good news is – there is a healthy eating style that can work for everyone! Dietitians are expertly skilled to work with individuals, groups and communities to create exactly what feels good for you.
Does Dietitians of Canada have any special events planned this year for Nutrition Month?
Yes! Dietitians across the country will be connecting with the public in March through virtual events, media interviews and social media posts. Visit NutritionMonth2021.ca to learn more and find your healthy!
What do you hope the public takes away from this year’s Nutrition Month theme?
There is a lot of noise in the world of nutrition; it can be overwhelming to try and figure out what to eat to optimize health. I hope this year’s Nutrition Month theme will support people to trust their inner wisdom, that they know their bodies best. There is a common myth that dietitians simply tell people what to eat, when in reality dietitians are health partners, to guide you towards what feels right and will work long-term.
Can you share one key take away about nutrition you’d like Choices readers to know?
It is hard to choose just one! I’m going to sneak in two things: (1) nutrition does not have to be complicated or have specific rules; if anyone tells you otherwise, be skeptical! (2) eat fewer processed foods when possible; prepare meals and snacks using fresh foods and ingredients that have little to no added salt, sugars or saturated fat.
Kara Vogt is a registered dietitian and member of Dietitians of Canada. She has been practicing as a dietitian for 14 years and has worked with a variety of individuals, groups and communities in hospitals, long-term care facilities and community-based clinics. She currently works at the University of British Columbia, educating the next generation of registered dietitians. She also volunteers her time on the Board of Directors for Dietitians of Canada.