Healthy Food Choices Thorold

New Year Plan – Healthy Community Resolutions

Thorold Resolution #1: Evaluate Food Choices

As we start 2022, it is an opportunity for groups and families in our community to assess our lifestyle habits. This could mean evaluation of foods we consume to ensure we benefit from healthy nutrition for everyone in Thorold.  It might feel like a challenge to make a community-wide change, but it just takes the first step to do it together, one day at a time, by following a plan based on these simple and achievable resolutions for 2022.

#2. Incorporate more whole grains

While many people in Thorold grew up eating white bread at home, whole grains are the more nutritious alternative. In fact, whole and multi grains are better sources of fibre and nutrients like iron, folate and selenium. When you’re shopping in the bakery section at Thorold Foodland look for English muffins and sliced breads in tasty whole grain varieties. If you shop at the Bagel Oven in Thorold South, ask for the whole grain options.

#3. Rethink dieting

The new year is synonymous with hopping on the dieting bandwagon, trying out whatever is trendy (but not necessarily better for us). While you may see fast results, studies show people who go on restrictive diets usually end up gaining more weight back than they lost over the long run. Instead, focus on making better choices everyday, like choosing whole grain breads versus muffins or having fruit for your midday snack.

#4. Choose sustainable ingredients

As you’re reassessing the impact of your food on your body, take some time to think about the planet too. Look for food from local sources like John’s Meat Shop or Big Red Markets offering healthy, locally made products for heat and serve meals. Try companies with brands that have strong sustainability practices, like Small Scale Farms on Highway 20 in Thorold.

Smale Scale Farms is a growing food hub that buys and sells local food, and then sells it back to consumers in a produce box with home delivery options; weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. With the profit from their sales, Small Scale Farms says it’s actively growing and looking for ways to increase their sustainability to grow and buy and sell even more local food.

When it comes to national brands, look for Bimbo Canada bakery products. The company behind bakery favourites like Dempster’s is committed to using 100 per cent sustainable packaging and reducing food waste by 50 per cent by 2025.

#5. Cook more meals at home with local foods

Many of us grew tired of our own cooking during the pandemic, and with much of the world reopening and the indulgences of the holidays, it’s been tempting to rely on takeout and restaurants more.  It’s great to enjoy dining out for occasions at local restaurants in Thorold as we can try to support the small businesses in our community.

At the same time we need to consider a balanced lifestyle. Research shows that cooking at home is an effective way to improve diet quality, lose weight and prevent diabetes. This means we should search for some new nutrient-dense recipes you can cook yourself and get back in the kitchen.

#6. Support local food banks

Let’s not forget the demand is high at local food banks such as Community Care and Society of St. Vincent Paul in Thorold.   Make it a goal in 2022 to donate non-perishable foods while grocery shopping at Thorold Foodland or other locations across our community with a collection bin for a local charity.

As we open the 2022 calendar, ( I picked up free calendars at Henderson’s Pharmacy and Thorold Community Credit Union) it is a time to form checklists of what we will aim to achieve in the new year. This process of self-reflection and self-improvement can take shape for a win-win by helping each other in our community.  Please stay in touch on our Facebook page and join the conversation to make our community a great place to live, play, shop, and conduct business.