Healthy Eating and Meal Planning

Updated: Feb 28, 2019

Eating well is good for your body and your mind. Eating a variety of foods can make you feel good overall, give you energy, improve your mood, and maintain your health. Eating well and being active can lower your risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, type two diabetes, and some cancers. It can also help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.


The December Good Food Box

Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide is a resource you can use to help you eat foods that are healthy for you. The Food Guide also provides information about the right amounts of food to eat for your age and sex (male/female). You can find the Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide here.


Planning and preparing healthy lunches and dinners can help you (and your family) to develop lifelong healthy eating habits. There are a variety of resources available to help you plan quick and easy meals:


· Plan ahead – take the time to plan your meals for the week, create a grocery list and stick to your list when shopping.

· Stay on track – use the online eaTracker tool to set goals, keep track of food and activity choices, and find out how healthy your favourite recipes are using the online recipe analyzer.

· Build balanced meals – use the Eat Well Plate as a simple guide to healthy eating.

· Make it easy – cook extra portions and freeze the rest for later or use leftovers for packed lunches.

· Create family time – get family members involved in meal planning and preparation. Eat together as often as possible.

· Learn More – visit UnlockFood for simple articles, videos, recipes, and interactive tools to help you with healthy eating, menu planning, portion sizes and more!


Have you heard of the Barrie Good Food Box? This program can help community members to access fresh produce on a once a month basis. According to the Barrie Good Food Box website, the boxes, which are packed by volunteers, contain fresh, high-quality, seasonal produce. “With the box menu changing monthly, each Good Food Box presents a convenient and affordable way to eat good healthy food” (from www.barriegoodfoodbox.com). A newsletter is provided to those who order the Good Food Box. The newsletter showcases one of the items included in the box. It also provides recipes to help customers know how to use the featured item.


Interested individuals and organizations can support the Good Food Box program by purchasing a Pay it Forward box to donate it to a local service organization. You can donate a box by clicking here.


If you order a Pay it Forward box by January 2, 2019, the box will be donated during the January pick up (January 9, 2019).




Written by Lindsay Lock, public health nurse, and Jules Phorson, registered dietitian, at the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

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© 2018 by Urban Pantry, a program of CMHA funded by Ontario Trillium Foundation