Eat Well Saskatchewan Still Helping People
Many people may not realize that Saskatchewan has a free call centre where residents can speak directly to a Registered Dietitian and get answers to questions about food, healthy eating, heart health, budget-friendly meal ideas and so much more. The call centre is open Monday to Friday and the toll-free number 1-833-966-5541 operates from 10 am to 4 pm, except on statutory holidays. Outside of these hours, callers may leave a voice mail message and a dietitian will return their call within 3 business days or less, or an email can be sent anytime of the day or week, and it will be answered in 3 or less business days.
According to information from the Global Nutrition Report produced for the World Health Organization (WHO), malnutrition is a serious global problem, with no country unaffected. In more affluent nations such as Canada, good nutrition can still be lacking even in major cities. Urban, rural and remote Indigenous communities are particularly vulnerable.
“There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about nutrition, whether it’s through friends, Internet, or someone trying to sell you something,” says Carrie Lambden, a registered dietitian and contact centre coordinator for Eat Well Saskatchewan, located at USask College of Pharmacy and Nutrition. “It can be hard to get good nutrition information, particularly if you live in a rural or remote area of the province.”
Dietitians of Canada, through collaboration with Services Canada and the University of Saskatchewan, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, launched as a 6-month pilot, a provincial dietitian contact centre which was managed by Dietitians of Canada in 2018. The project was extended in March of 2019 and here we are four years later and Eat Well Saskatchewan continues to offer the people of the province access to the advice and services of a dietitian without having to wait for a doctor’s referral. The service provides FREE, confidential, easy access to the trusted advice of a dietitian to help you make healthier food choices and answer food and nutrition questions. People can ask the Registered Dietitian questions about food, healthy eating for their family, budget-friendly meal ideas, heart health, diabetes and more!
The service is available for all Saskatchewan residents and their health providers. Residents of Saskatchewan can call/email on behalf of themselves, or on behalf of a family member or friend. Health providers can call/email on behalf of a client or for general information purposes. The dietitian-on-call cannot provide individual in-depth counselling or medical advice but can provide information on general nutritional, healthy eating, and chronic disease prevention.
There are no limits to how many times a person can call or email the service, and when learning how to eat well it is important to understand how managing what and how we eat can impact overall health, and the best way to learn is to ask questions. Some commonly asked questions are:
A tip from Eat Well Saskatchewan for this month is about fruit. Fruit has a lot of nutrients that help to maintain good health, but it can be expensive. Fresh fruit can have a shorter shelf life, which can lead to food waste if it is not used before it spoils. To boost the fruit in your diet, without breaking the bank, Eat Well Saskatchewan had these tips to share:
· Watch your grocery store flyer or apps for sales.
Look for fruit that is in season.
· Store your fruit properly, this will help it last longer. Freeze fruit that is about to spoil.
· Stock up on canned fruit packed in water and unsweetened applesauce when on sale.
· Buy frozen fruit, which are just as nutritious as fresh and can be stored for months, reducing food waste.
Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder