Tips For Packing Healthy Lunches:
1. Follow Canada’s Food Guide - choose foods from all four food groups every day:
2. Tuck in a healthy treat such as a homemade muffin, oatmeal cookie, or a low-fat granola bar. Try baking mini muffins for mini appetites. Many children like/need a snack at recess. When you bake a batch of muffins, wrap some individually and freeze them for quick lunch additions, or buy ready-made low-fat muffins such as bran or oatmeal and raisin.
3. Provide plenty to drink. Students who are dehydrated lose their ability to think and learn and can often be very distracted. Pack two or three drinks, if possible.
By Maria Depenweiller, P.H.Ec.
It was likely that Christopher Columbus was the first European explorer who brought cacao beans to Europe, but it was not until the conquest of the Aztec empire by Cortez that cacao and chocolate gained popularity in Europe. Spaniards at that time had the monopoly on quite a number of goods imported from the New World, including chocolate. By the end of the 16th century drinking chocolate became a fashionable drink among the Spanish aristocracy.
By Mary Carver, P.H.Ec
Teachers and students waited a long time for it, but finally on June 6, 2013, the Ontario Ministry of Education released new and revised Family Studies Curriculum. Revision to the area of study began in 2007. No reason was given for the extended delay, although the Ministry does say that the review process was guided by research and consultations on new approaches specific to the discipline.
Once known as Home Economics, Family Studies (FS) courses today are part of the Social Sciences and Humanities Curriculum. Of the 31 new or revised Social Sciences and Humanities courses, 20 of them are in Family Studies which is most encouraging to the Ontario Home Economics Association (OHEA).
The Social Sciences and Humanities Curriculum, Grades 9-12, 2013 (Revised) is available on the Ontario Ministry of Education website - click here.
By Mary V. Carver, P.H.Ec
As a Professional Home Economist, I support the need for mandatory Family Studies courses in Ontario elementary and high schools.
Current Ontario Family Studies (FS) education morphed from curriculum once known as Home Economics. Lessons are well-designed to nurture individual and family development through food, nutrition, parenting, financial literacy, fashion, and consumer education courses. Such deeply empowering lessons help students to become strong, healthy, independent contributing members of society. Students who receive credits in FS are better prepared to leave home, manage personal finances, eat nutritionally (and economically) and in time make wise consumer choices for their own families.
As a parent and former teacher, I wonder if we have become so focused on getting students ready for college or university, that we forget to prepare them for life.
Most people agree that everyone needs basic household management, cooking skills and nutrition knowledge – the core values of ‘Home Economics,’ why then, is the subject not given higher priority?
By: Michelle J. Kwan, BFA, BASc Candidate
While the increased use of technology in the workplace may have significantly boosted office efficiency, it has inadvertently decreased national physical activity levels.
According to the 2007-2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) completed by Statistics Canada, only 15% of Canadians meet the physical activity guidelines. Based on results of the fitness tests, ‘Canadian adults face health risks due to suboptimal fitness levels’, the study concluded. Sadly, it appears that the majority of Canadians spend most of their waking hours in sedentary pursuits.
Research suggests that the combination of zero physical activity and high screen time results in the greatest negative impact on health and quality of life. A sedentary lifestyle, which includes sitting, using a computer, and/or watching television for much of the day with little or no vigorous exercise is associated with increased risk of premature death, hypertension, coronary heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
By Maria Depenweiller, P.H.Ec.
Here is something to ponder the next time you are sorting out your laundry, one of probably the most unappreciated household chores.
Ancient Roman Laundry
As we know, almost everything new is well forgotten old. This is particularly true in the case of ancient Roman laundry. With their well developed urban systems Romans were the first to offer public laundry services. Fullones, the clothes washers, were in charge of washing and cleaning the garments of the Roman citizens.
As the Romans generally wore clothes made out of wool (there was no cotton in ancient Rome) they needed frequent washing in the hot climate of Italy. The way in which this was done has been described by Pliny and other writers, but is most clearly explained by some paintings which have been found on the walls of a fullonica (laundry service) at Pompeii.
By Mary Carver, P.H.Ec.
One year ago, the cost of the Montreal Diet Dispensary (MDD) food basket was $7.46 per person per day (click here for the report).
How does that compare with what you spend?
Keep track for a couple of weeks or better yet - a month - to determine what you spend on food. Remember to omit non-food items including alcohol from the bill and count meals eaten out of the home.
5 Tips To Reduce Food Costs & Maintain a Healthful Diet:
1. Smart Planning is Essential
The first step is to plan menus one week at a time. Take inventory of what’s on hand and what’s on sale. From your menus and advertised specials, make a grocery list. Avoid browsing for groceries - be on a mission to find only what you need. Over-buying and poor management of produce leads to expensive waste. Each trip back to the store adds to the cost and an empty pantry results in costly take-out. Avoid impulse buys by sticking to your plan.
2. Go light on expensive processed food
Why pay for added sugar, sodium and preservatives that contribute to poor health? Packaging adds to the cost. Choose a variety of foods from each of the four food groups of Canada’s Food Guide: vegetables and fruits, meat or alternatives, bread and cereals and milk or alternatives.
3. Put yourself on a cash allowance when food shopping. Studies show that consumers that use plastic generally spend more. It’s much easier to be disciplined with a limited amount of money in your pocket. Advance planning provides a guideline on how much cash to carry.
4. *Get in the kitchen and cook is the surest way to ensure the best nutritional value for your buck. Eating well on a budget requires basic cooking skills. Designate one day per week to prepare large batches of comfort food such as soups, stews, muffins and cookies to freeze. Make it a family event to ease the workload and maximize the fun. Having delicious home-made food on hand reduces the temptation to eat out. *Look for Get in the Kitchen and Cook - a super cookbook by Emily Richards, P.H.Ec.
5. Eat vegetarian meals more often. Plant-based diets are increasing in popularity for good reason. They are economical and healthful. Discover quinoa, a complete protein, affordable, easy to prepare, super nutritious and yummy. Look for The Vegetarian’s Complete Quinoa Cookbook by the Ontario Home Economics Association in major bookstores and libraries.
by Mary Carver (an Ottawa-based Professional Home Economist). Mary’s tips were picked up by the Vancouver Sun (Finance Section) on Jan. 7, 2013.
Ontario Home Economics Association © 2013
The Ontario Home Economics Association, a self-regulating body of professional Home Economists, promotes high professional standards among its members so that they may assist families and individuals to achieve and maintain a desirable quality of life.