Navigate the food court for healthy options
(NC)—Food courts are busy places. They are usually crowded and noisy with plenty of activity and some very unhealthy choices. But there are times when away from home and without a meal, this is where you find yourself.

Samara Foisy, Heart and Stroke Foundation registered dietitian, agrees that the food court can look like a maze of unhealthy options, and offers some nutritious navigation advice. The first thing to do when landing in the food court is to get a lay of the land. Walk around to see what the options are.

• Don't be afraid to ask for information. Be an informed consumer and look for vendors with nutrition information so you can compare options and look for healthy choices.

• Look for a bar. Not the cocktail variety, but the sandwich, salad or soup kind. If you can build your own meal you can make better choices. For a salad, choose lots of vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, boiled eggs, cheese and hummus. Dress it with a small amount of low–fat dressing. Don't be tempted by the prepared salads with creamy dressings, croutons, or processed meat.

• At the sandwich counter, choose a whole grain bread, bagel or wrap. Fill your sandwich to the brim with vegetables such as peppers, cucumber, tomato, and lettuce. Opt for a filling such as chopped egg or tuna, or a few slices of baked or grilled chicken or turkey breast. Pass on the spreads and dressings and ask for a bit of low fat mayonnaise.

• Look for a whole grain thin crust pizza and not too much cheese. Ask for lots of vegetables. If you want a meat topping choose chicken, but skip the high–fat options such as bacon, sausage or pepperoni.

• Delis often have small items such as yogurts, cut–up vegetables and fruit, boiled eggs, and cubes of cheese. Mix and match these items to create a healthy meal and skip the dipping sauces.

• Don't be tempted to order more than you would normally eat to take advantage of a meal combination that can include a high fat and high sodium side dish and a pop. Or ask for substitutions such as salad for fries.

• Order water, lower fat milk (M.F. 2% or less) or 100% fruit juice.

• Check for Health Check. The Heart and Stroke Foundation's Health Check logo on restaurant menu items means they have met criteria developed by the foundation's registered dietitians based on recommendations in Canada's Food Guide. You can learn more about making healthy choices at

< Prev   Next > - It's all about food in Canada!
Keep yourself updated with our FREE newsletters now!

(NC)—With the cost of food on the rise, there's no better time to start growing your own organic herbs, fruits and vegetables. The best part about incorporating edible items into the garden (aside from the taste and health benefits) is that you don't need to be an avid gardener or have a large garden space to get started.

Herbs and vegetables can easily be grown right in your backyard garden or in containers on your patio or balcony. Certain items such as tomatoes come in a variety of vibrant colours and when mixed in with traditional flowers and plants, make for breathtaking displays.