What to Put in a Xmas Food Hamper
Prince George, B.C. – A healthy food hamper could be the greatest gift you give this holiday season.
“Choosing healthier food options is very important for households living with food insecurity as they have a greater risk of poorer health and increased chronic conditions,” says population health dietitian Loraina Stephen with Northern Health.
“December is a month we look forward to for all the wonderful holiday celebrations, sharing with our families and friends, and for giving. Sadly, not all families are financially stable enough to have the basic necessities they need, such as food.”
So how to help? Stephen suggests following Canada’s Food Guide:
Non-perishable and nutritious food suggestions for meat and alternatives (which include essential protein, vitamins, and minerals) include: canned salmon, tuna, sardines, chicken, beef chillies, ham, corned beef, a variety of beans (brown beans in tomatoe sauce, kidney, garbanzo mixed beans), and peanut butter.
Non-perishable and nutritious food suggestions for vegetables and fruit (which provide essential vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates as well as fiber) include: canned tomatoes, mixed veggies, peas, green or yellow beans, corn, beets, and fruits such as peaches, pears, mixed fruits (with no added syrup or pear juice) and apple sauce.
Food to avoid? Highly processed foods that are often high in fat, salt and sugar. For example Kraft Dinner.
Stephen says 1 in 8 households in Canada struggle to put healthy food on the table and says that rate is even higher for others.
“This rate is even higher in homes that receive their income from minimum wages, part-time jobs, workers compensation, employment insurance or social assistance; are First Nation, Metis or Inuit; have children; are homeless; are new immigrants; or have chronic health problems.”