The federal government has a number of roles when it comes to food safety and nutrition in Canada.
The most well-known is their publication of the Canada Food Guide which undergoes updating, every decade or so, to include the latest advice based on emerging health and scientific research.
Recently, I have been involved in the updating of this set of guidelines through my membership on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health. The new Food Guide will be released in stages over this year and next.
In the meantime, there is lots of useful nutrition information available at www.canada.ca/en/services/health/food-nutrition.html. This website has information about choosing healthy foods, proper preparation of foods, food allergies, labelling and advertising information and even a special section focusing on the diet of indigenous people. You can also order or download a copy of the current Food Guide. (Those without internet access can call 1-866-225-0709)
Also available on this website is special information for food nutrition during pregnancy. In addition to providing advice on eating during pregnancy, there is a handy Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator.
While Canada has one of the safest food supplies in the world, there are occasional food recalls or alerts issued to ensure public safety. A list of these recalls is available and is updated continually based on ongoing surveillance of our national food supply.
Adhering to food recalls is critical in preventing adverse health reactions, especially for those with compromised immune systems. You can sign up for email alerts so that you are immediately notified when a recall is issued. This is also highly recommended for those with ongoing health issues or severe allergies.
Across Canada many events and activities are planned in March to promote Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is Unlock the Potential of Food. More information and recipes can be found at www.dietitians.ca on this campaign.