Resource Review: Food Guidelines for First Nations

From our summer intern, Isabela:

One important aspect of food security is serving culturally appropriate foods. The Healthy Food Guidelines for First Nations was created as a resource to support healthy eating within the First Nations communities of British Columbia, respecting their ecological, social, spiritual and cultural beliefs. The guide recognizes that we eat differently now compared to our ancestors, and some modern practices increase health risks.

The guide covers general healthy eating principles, ways to make recipes healthier, ideas for children’s and youth programs, healthy meetings and conferences, and using local foods to improve regional food security. I haven’t yet had the Canadian experience of Moose Stew, but might try the recipe (page 90) before I return to Brazil.

The guide has a direct and informative approach. It has tables of food recommendations based on their calories and health benefits, categorizing foods as “Leave off the Table” (foods high in fat, sugar and/or salt), “Sometimes on the Table” (foods that are lower in fat or salt), and “Great on the Table Anytime” (foods that should be encouraged). The guideline also offers a list of substitute ingredients you can use to make recipes healthier. For example, 1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons of water can replace each egg in baked goods, or instead of using all-purpose flour, replace half of the quantity for whole wheat flour.

You can find more information on the First Nations Council website, and on the Eating Well with Canada´s Food Guide – First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

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