This year’s the Dietitians of Canada Nutrition Month campaign theme is Take the Fight out of Food! It’s dedicated to helping Canadians improve their relationship with food, no matter what the concern. I will share with you why food fads like avoiding smart carbohydrates is NOT a good idea, tips to help you feed the picky eaters in your family, and why barley is a great food choice for people with health conditions, including heart disease.

Food Fads

Not everything you read is true, and this is especially true of health and food “facts” shared online and on social media! Make sure it is food facts you’re receiving and not food fiction. Say “no” to the carb-phobia food fad! Health and nutrition experts recommend we get 45 per cent of our daily calories from smart carbohydrates like barley. Barley is a smart carbohydrate because it’s high in fibre, particularly beta-glucan soluble fibre, has essential vitamins and minerals (plus a low glycemic index rating).

Jane’s Meal Planning Tip
Barley Pomegranate Date Feta and Pistachio Salad is a colourful recipe with a delicious medley of flavours from the barley, dates and pomegranate seeds. Make sure you plan time ahead (about 40 minutes) to cook the barley.

Picky Eating

Children take nutrition cues from their parents, so set a good example of preparing and eating nourishing choices. Small changes can encourage new food discoveries, including barley, and make mealtime more enjoyable for the entire family. Get the kids involved in the kitchen activities a few times a week. Be mindful at mealtime and remove all distractions including electronic devices to focus on the pleasure of eating.

Jane’s Meal Planning Tip
Barley Granola Fruit Yogurt Parfait is a kid-friendly nutritious special breakfast or dessert that can be made and shared by the entire family. Store the extra barley granola in an airtight container for a wholesome on-the-go snack.

Managing a Condition

Choosing high fibre and lower-glycemic-index foods as part of a balanced diet, increasing physical activity and reducing stress may decrease blood cholesterol levels and improve blood sugar control. It is important to get support from a dietitian if you have been diagnosed with a “lifestyle condition” such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes. Dietitians can help recommend nutritious whole foods (like barley) and give you meal-planning tips to use in your weekly menu.

Jane’s Meal Planning Tip
Barley, Lentil and Turkey Gumbo is a heart healthy recipe that showcases the unique smoky flavour of the roasted spices and barley. The recipe makes 6 servings, so if you have any leftovers store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Barley Bottom Line
Eating should be joyful and with GoBarley recipes this tasty you’ll want to get cooking right away.