Children & Teens

Making Plant-based Food Prep Fun

By Vesanto Melina, MS, Registered Dietitian As a dietitian, I learned which foods rated highest in folate or vitamin C, and what made beans, peas and lentils the protein, iron, and B vitamin superstars they are. Earlier, my mother had enjoyed sharing time in the kitchen and food preparation skills. My birthdays featured participatory cookie-making …

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Why go more plant-based?

by Vesanto Melina A half-century ago, vegetarian and vegan diets were viewed with concern by health professionals. In decades since, these have been the focus of vast amounts of research. Today, a dietary shift in the direction of plant foods is regarded as a very positive step by knowledgeable dietitians, MDs, nutritional scientists and by …

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Dairy-free and well nourished!

by Vesanto Melina, MS, Registered Dietitian There are many good reasons to embrace a diary-free diet: Human health: Most of the world’s population has some degree of lactase insufficiency or lactose intolerance after the age of weaning and milk protein is one of the top allergens. The environment: Pleasant, pastoral scenes don’t show the environmental damage …

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Explore veggie meetup groups

02/05/2018 Share NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina Some people from Winnipeg call our fair city “Vegcouver.” One good reason is that when we search the helpful, plant-based eating guide, www.happycow.net, for Vancouver BC, we find no less than 244 listings. These include vegan, vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurants, as well as other food outlets. If we narrow our …

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Getting kids to eat their veggies

by Vesanto Melina and Kristen Yarker While many toddlers and preschoolers aren’t fans of vegetables, thankfully, there are effective, helpful strategies less forceful than the age-old techniques of forcing kids to eat two bites of broccoli or allowing dessert only after they’ve finished their peas. The following techniques will help kids enjoy veggies now and appreciate …

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Healthy snacking

10/11/2017 Share NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina Do you ever eat mindlessly? It would be very surprising if even one reader replied, “No, never.” So if we are occasionally going to eat mindlessly, we may as well eat food that offers a big boost to our health. Chopping veggies on a regular basis, storing them in ziplock …

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Our munching munchkins

08/12/2017 +Share NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina and Claudia Lemay Like a super-powered magnet, children are often drawn to sugary and non-nutritious foods. However, regular consumption of junk food can lead to health problems, such as chronic illness and poor performance at school and in sports. It can also lead to kids becoming overweight, fostering low self-esteem. Even …

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Going plant happy

08/07/2017 +Share NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina Catherine Jones and Stéphane Lahaye Are you interested in pursuing a plant-based lifestyle but don’t know where to start? Read on for easy ways to swap out animal products for plant-based alternatives that still provide all the nutrients you need. “How can I get enough protein?” is one of the …

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Say cheese (nondairy)!

06/04/2017 Share NUTRISPEAK by Vesanto Melina The significant health hazards associated with red meat are so well known by now that people are happy to avoid the Neu5Gc (N-Glycolylneuraminic acid) present in all beef, pork and lamb that increases risk of tumour formation. We also know that the gut microbiota of meat eaters change carnitine in …

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