All posts in “healthy eating”

Food Choices for This Season and Life

Don’t wait until the holiday feast has passed to start eating healthy and exercising regularly. Whether it’s hard to come by healthy food on a low income, or you have a cozy relationship with food, or you’re in the dark about the alternative to healthy eating, or worse, all of the above— you are the perfect candidate to make this change! The purpose of a holiday gathering, let’s be honest, is to reconnect with family and catch up. What it’s not, is an opportunity to gorge on food in attempt to cope with those pesky relatives or friends you can’t wait to see leave. Before reading a book on eating well on a budget or attending a support group about your emotional connection to food, it’s advisable that you educate yourself on the benefits of your impending transition. Be informed and be empowered. Your discipline from routinely planning healthy meals transfers to other areas of your life and you will see the difference. Maybe you will even then tackle those awkward relationships you might have with some relatives. Or maybe you will just inspire others around you to make the change to eating healthy. No matter how much genes contribute to the diseases or disorders related to food and lifestyle, we always have the power to help minimize that risk. That being said, you are encouraged to visit any one of the following:

The Toronto Public Library for free resources and materials on eating well on budget;
Walking for Health and Wellbeing group and meet others who enjoy the benefits of regular exercise;
Sheena’s Place for tackling that an unhealthy relationship with food;
The National Eating Disorder Information Centre if you suspect you may have an eating disorder;
FoodShare Toronto for cooking tips specific to people with breast cancer; and
Speak to a registered dietitian for free through EatRight Ontario and have your nutrition and healthy eating questions answered.

And contact us for organizations or community centres that offer exercise classes for all ages and fitness levels. Don’t wait for a chronic illness to develop, or an eating disorder, or continue wasting your money on empty calories. Educate yourself and be empowered because you are capable of change.

I leave you with this “Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.”

Photo by Dshot:

The Stop Community Food Centre – Community Cooking

Group Name: The Stop Community Food Centre – Community Cooking

Description: The Stop strives to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds health and community, and challenges inequality. We believe that healthy food is a basic human right. We recognize that the ability to access healthy food is often related to multiple issues and not just a result of low income. At The Stop, we’ve taken a holistic approach to achieve real change in our community’s access to healthy food.

Community Cooking at The Stop offers the opportunity for people to connect with each other over good food. This includes a variety of community kitchens (see below), which help build food skills, reduce social isolation, and participants’ access to healthy food, as well as regular food demonstrations on the preparations of various foods. Under the community cooking program there cooking groups for healthy cooking, men cooking together, Latin American cooking and diet specific cooking.

Where: 1884 Davenport Road | Toronto, ON M6N 4Y2

When: Call for more information as each group has a different location and times.

Contact: Hussein 416-652-7867 Ext. 238 | Kristyn 416-651-7867 Ext. 23 | |

The Anne Johnston Health Station – Teens Cooking with Body and Mind (BAM)

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Group Name: The Anne Johnston Health Station – Teens Cooking with Body and Mind (BAM)

Description: The Anne Johnston Health Station (AJHS) is a not-for-profit community health centre providing a wide range of programs and services that promote the health and well-being of youth, seniors and people with physical disabilities. They are a fully accessible barrier free environment. All of our programs and services are confidential and free of charge and include primary health care, disease prevention, health promotion and community development. We believe that health is a resource for life and that many things – education, housing, gender, access to health services, our sense of being included or excluded from society, employment, etc. – impact on our health. Health isn’t just about not being sick, it is about being able to make choices and live into them. It’s about having a voice in our community. They are guided by our mission, vision and values. The Anne Johnston Health Station is governed by a Board of Directors elected from our membership.

Learn how to prepare quick and healthy meals with our registered dietitian while talking about issues that impact youth. Focus on healthy decision making and raising awareness about health related topics. Create displays, bulletin boards, brochures and other materials to educate youth about the impact of poverty on health, stress, relationships, body image, substance use, etc. This program includes Peer Leadership opportunities. Participate and earn up to 10 community involvement hours. *** Interested participants must register prior to attending – this is not a drop-in class. Youth who live, work or go to school in the area bound by Highway 401 to Bloor Street and Bathurst Avenue to Bayview Avenue are eligible to register.

Where: 2398 Yonge Street | Toronto, ON M4P 2H4

When: 7 weeks, beginning Wednesday March 25, 2015 – Wednesday May 6, 2015. Time: 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Contact: Beatrice Raposo 416-486-8666 Ext. 255 | |

South Riverdale Community Health Centre – Chinese Peer Nutrition

Group Name: South Riverdale Community Health Centre – Chinese Peer Nutrition

Description: The South Riverdale Community Health Centre (SRCHC) is a community-based organization that offers primary health care services and health promotion programs to a diverse community. We strive to respond to local issues and provide services in active partnership with our clients, patients, neighbours, community groups and professional organizations. SRCHC is funded by the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network.

The Chinese Peer Nutrition Program is a joint project with Toronto Public Health to provide free nutrition education for Chinese speaking parents and caregivers of children 6 months to 6 years of age living in the South Riverdale area. Participants will receive information and tips about healthy eating, cooking and parenting support with our guest speakers that may include dietitians, nurse practitioners and social workers. Childcare and snacks may be provided. ***Program Eligibility:
Mother or caregiver of children up to 6 years old and Toronto Public Health referral or nutrition program. Registration is required for this program.

Where: 955 Queen Street East | Toronto, ON, M4M 3P3

When: Mandarin group: 1st Wednesday of every month: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Cantonese group: 3rd Wednesday of every month from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m

Contact: Grace Ho 416-461-1925 Ext. 248 |

Rexdale Women’s Centre – Eating for Two Prenatal Nutrition Program

Group Name: Rexdale Women’s Centre – Eating for Two Prenatal Nutrition Program

Description: The Rexdale Women’s Centre is an independent, non-for-profit, voluntary agency that serves high-need women and their family members residing in the Greater Toronto Area. At the Rexdale Women’s Centre, our vision is that in the Greater Toronto Area all immigrant, newcomer and refugee women and their partners, children, parents, and other family members of all generations have everything they need.

This program is offered to expectant and new moms (both adults and teenagers) to promote healthy development of their children. In addition, this program also supports women who have limited social support and who may be new to Canada. The Rexdale Women’s Centre’s staff provides information and referral, connects moms to resources in the community and provides support for day to day living and challenges. The Rexdale Women’s Centre works in partnership with the Etobicoke Brighter Futures Coalition, Toronto Public Health, and the Rexdale Community Health Centre, to encourage healthy pregnancies and reduce the risk of low birth weight babies.

Where: 21 Panorama Court, Suite 23 | Etobicoke, ON, M9V 4E3

When: Every Wednesday from 12:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.

Contact: Millicent 415-745-0062 Ext. 255 |

Regent Park Community Health Centre – Prenatal and Postnatal Programs

Group Name: Regent Park Community Health Centre – Prenatal and Postnatal Programs

Description: Regent Park Community Health Centre (RPCHC) was established in 1973. It is a non-profit, community-based organization dedicated to improving the health of Regent Park area residents and the community as a whole, by providing high quality, integrated primary health care services, health promotion services and community capacity building. Our priority is to reduce the health inequities experienced by low-income, immigrant & refugee, non-status and marginally-housed & homeless populations.

Women enter the CPNP program when they are pregnant and continue until their babies are 6 months old. Weekly sessions include nutrition workshops, information about pregnancy and children’s development, healthy snacks, assistance with transportation (TTC tickets) and a $10 grocery voucher.

Workshop topics cover subjects such as nutrition, health education, labour & delivery, breastfeeding, postpartum depression, infant crying and baby massage. There is support from nurses, a dietician, social workers, family home visitors and a lactation consultant. *** Serves women living north of Lakeshore, south of Gerrard, east of Church, west of River.

Where: 246 Sackville Street, Community Hall, First Floor | Toronto, ON M5A 3S4

When: Mondays from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (excluding holidays). (Registration starts at 1:00 p.m. Program starts at 1:30 p.m. sharp)

Contact: 416-362-0805 Ext. 228 | |

FoodShare Toronto – Kate’s Kitchen

Group Name: FoodShare Toronto – Kate’s Kitchen

Description: FoodShare Toronto is a non-profit community organization whose vision is Good Healthy Food for All. Founded in 1985 to address hunger in Toronto communities, FoodShare takes a unique multifaceted and long-term approach to hunger and food issues. They work to empower individuals, families and communities through food-based initiatives, while advocating for the broader public policies needed to ensure that everyone has adequate access to sustainably produced, good healthy food.

Kate’s Kitchen is a long running program of FoodShare that supports dietary change and a sense of community in survivors of breast cancer, combining healthy cooking skills training with the warm, welcoming approach of a community kitchen, Kate’s Kitchen acts as a complimentary form of therapy by connecting the social, spiritual, and physical aspects of health. Working at FoodShare with a young nutritionist/chef, and an informed facilitator, herself a breast cancer survivor, Kate’s Kitchen provides innovative, cutting edge information and skills. Cooking and culinary skills paired with recipes for meals and supplements, provide nutritional support during chemotherapy, radiation, and recovery.

Where: 90 Croatia Street | Toronto, ON M6H 1K9

When: Call for more information.

Contact: Chandra Deen 416-363-6441 | |

YWCA Teen Mothers’ Program

Group Name: YWCA Teen Mothers’ Program

Description: YWCA Toronto is dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls. We help women and girls flee violence, secure housing, find jobs, establish their voices, enhance skills and develop confidence. We offer a range of housing options, employment and training programs, community support programs, girls’ programs and family programs; we also engage in systemic advocacy.

The Teen Mothers’ Program is a free support program in south Scarborough for mothers 14 to 22 years of age. In the Teen Mothers’ program, we offer opportunities to build positive parenting skills and access to resources that support mothers on their parenting journey. This group offers a range of services for mothers, ages 14 to 22:

  • regular group meetings and check-ins with program worker and childcare staff
  • workshops on positive parenting, budgeting, nutrition
  • healthy meals and snacks
  • encouragement and ongoing support from staff and other mothers
  • child-centred activities for children that enhance development
  • activities for mother and child to interact
  • home visits, ongoing telephone and in-person counselling
  • career guidance
  • referrals to community resources
  • guest speakers

Where: Every Tuesday, 4:30-6:30 p.m at 4139 Sheppard Ave E. and every Thursday, 4:30-6:30 p.m. 3090 at Kingston Rd. Suite 101

Contact: Amy Brooks 416-266-1232 Ext. 30 | |

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