healthy

Eating healthy is the main goal for most students across Canada. The Table features vegetarian options for both breakfast and lunch. We get even healthier every day by creating diverse and nutritionally-balanced menus that are developed on-site by our Chefs in consultation with our Registered Dietitians.

Our made from scratch approach, includes roasting deli meats on-site and preparing soups fresh daily using low sodium, gluten-free, MSG-free soup bases and fresh, locally sourced ingredients. We do not use pre-packaged or processed entrées which avoids unnecessary preservatives since made from scratch meals are made and eaten the same day. We never use canned, freeze-dried or bagged soup.

 This helps ensure the availability of a wide variety of healthy choices every day.

We provide a diverse and nutritionally-balanced menu developed on-site by our Chef in consultation with our Registered Dietitian to ensure the availability of a wide variety of HealthWise Choices every day.

  

We provide fresh, nutritious foods. We continually research and test new recipes to ensure they meet Canadian standards for healthy eating.

Each month up to 8 new recipes are featured in our monthly promotions program. Chefs are encouraged to try the recipes or use them for inspiration of their own creations that follow our HealthWise Choices guidelines.

healthwise choices
HealthWise Choices menu items have been tested for nutritional value, great taste and accuracy by our chefs and registered dietitians.

Our HealthWise Choices program identifies food that are:

  • High on Whole Grain Goodness
  • Naturally Low in Sodium
  • Prepared Using Healthy Cooking Techniques
  • Right Size Portions

Every month we publish health eating tips to help stimulate conversations on healthier eating topics. The topics for the current year to date are listed below. Let us know what you think.

healthy topics:

Great Reasons To Eat Fruit

  • Provides excellent sources of fibre, potassium, vitamin C and folate
  • Gives energy in the form of naturally occurring carbohydrate
  • Naturally nutrient rich, low in sodium and mostly fat free
  • Diets high in fruit may help reduce the rates of heart disease, eye diseases and type 2 diabetes

Add Fruit To Your Day

  • Aim for 3-4 servings of fruit or about 500 ml (2 cups) per day
  • At breakfast add berries to cereal, yogurt, smoothies, waffles or pancakes
  • Top salads with cut up fresh fruit or sprinkle on unsweetened dried fruit
  • At the Deli Bar layer sandwiches with tomato and avocado slices
  • For a healthy snack reach for whole fruits or frozen unsweetened fruits: already washed, peeled and pre-cut
  • Limit fruit juice to 1 serving per day

What is One Food Guide Serving Size?

  • 1 medium fresh fruit
  • 125 mL (1/2 cup) fresh cut, frozen or canned unsweetened fruits
  • 60 mL (1/4 cup) of dried unsweetened fruits
  • 125 mL (1/2 cup) 100% fruit juice

Feeling Rushed in the Morning?

Grab a breakfast sandwich at work.

Choose whole grain bread, select eggs for protein and add a side of seasonal fruit.

Get the Most out of Your Meetings

Choose the HealthWise Choices items from the catering menu.

Order lightly dressed salads, wraps filled with veggies or chicken and a side of seasonal fresh fruit or yogurt.

Get Re-Energized in the Afternoon and Grab a Healthy Snack in the Café

Choose fresh fruit, a handful of heart healthy nuts, homemade soup or apple slices with peanut butter.

Bottom Line
Take steps towards being active and embrace healthier eating habits everyday.

Start the day with “breaking” the fast

  • Studies show we are more alert after we have eaten breakfast
  • Include protein such as eggs, nut butters, yogurt
  • Top whole grain cereals or yogurt with fresh fruit

Build healthy meals

  • Include foods from at least 3 food groups at each meal
  • Choose whole grain wraps with veggies and lean meat
  • Ask for smaller portion sizes or save ½ for later

Take food breaks “away” from your desk

  • Take the time to eat a meal in the café for a needed break
  • If pressed for time choose healthy items from the fresh and fast section

Use hunger and fullness cues to decide when and how much to eat

  • Be mindful to eat slowly, enjoy different tastes and textures
  • Keep track of what you eat each day

Carbs Are An Essential Nutrient

  • Provides the brain & body with needed glucose that’s converted into energy for activity
  • Gives us starch and fibre found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans and takes longer to break down into glucose
  • Also found in fruits and milk products as naturally occurring sugars
  • Whole grains and fibre may reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and are essential for good digestive health
  • 45 to 65% of total daily calories should come from a variety of nutrient-rich carbohydrates

Limit Added Sugars

  • Foods with added sugars have fewer nutrients than foods with naturally occurring sugars
  • Reset the taste buds: cut added sugar in half
  • Replace sugary drinks with water, milk, unsweetened tea and coffee

Choose Veggies and Fruits

  • Naturally low in fat and high in fibre
  • Snack on veggies with dip or fresh fruits

Go for Whole Grains

  • Choose cereals with 4 grams of fibre per serving
  • Select breads with at least 2 grams of fibre per slice
  • Add sides of whole grain pasta, rice or quinoa
  • Try our Farm to Table popcorn snack

Bring on the Legumes

  • Choose bean, lentil and pea soups at lunch
  • Top salads with chickpeas and kidney beans

Did You Know?

  • 100% of our Pork, including Bacon and Sausages are Canadian
  • 100% of our Chicken is locally sourced
  • Over 80% of our fresh food products are either grown or produced in CanadaWe source fresh produce from the Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Association in order to offer local Tomatoes, Peppers and Cucumbers for 10 months of the year!
  • We practice “Eating with the Seasons” in our cafés to provide fresh and local items

Discover Local Foods

  • Locally grown food is fresh and full of flavour
  • Crops are picked when ripe versus early harvest
  • Nutrient values are higher as there is less travel time between field to table
  • Look beyond fruits and vegetables: buy local meats, fish and grocery items
  • Purchasing locally grown food helps to maintain farmland in our communities

How to Eat Local

  • Ask our chefs how they feature local food on the menu
  • Learn what’s in season and savour the great fresh flavour
  • Shop at farmer’s market events or visit a pick your own farm
  • Buy smaller portions to make it economical
  • Replace one store bought product each month with a local product

Breakfast

  • Choose a wholegrain egg white sandwich instead of traditional eggs & bacon
  • Swap pastries or croissants for yogurt & granola with fresh fruit

Lunch

  • At the deli bar, have ½ a sandwich and wrap the other half to go
  • Add sides of mixed greens or grilled vegetables instead of french fries
  • Try lettuce wraps in place of traditional tortilla wraps

Salads

  • Choose lightly marinated vegetables and swap out creamy salads
  • Top salads with roasted sunflower seeds instead of croutons
  • Dress salads with balsamic vinegar or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Beverages

  • Quench your thirst with water & citrus slices
  • Reach for unsweetened ice teas or iced coffees

Snacks

  • Switch out chocolate bars for a small handful of nuts
  • Drop the chips and choose hummus and veggies
  • Indulge your sweet tooth with fresh fruit, flavoured yogurt or fruit smoothies

Bottom Line

Think it through and fine-tune your food choices one food at a time

What Are Antioxidants?

  • Naturally occurring compounds in food also known as phytochemicals from the Greek word “phyto” meaning plant
  • May protect body cells from damage by pollutants such as unhealthy diets, normal aging or cigarette smoke
  • Antioxidant supplements are not recommended and can be harmful at high dosages

Where to Find Antioxidants in Food

  • Found in fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, seeds, meats, fish, herbs & spices
  • Foods rich in colour and taste: Deep red, orange, yellow, blue & dark green
  • Foods high in vitamins C, E, fibre and selenium

Include Antioxidant Rich Foods in Your Diet

  • Top cereals, yogurt and salads with seasonal fresh berries
  • Choose orange veggies: carrots, sweet potatoes, orange peppers
  • Add broccoli, kale and spinach to salads or stir fries
  • Include protein at meals: beans, lentils, meats or fish
  • Think pasta sauce and salsas: cooked tomato products are rich in antioxidants
  • Choose red grapes, cherries, or a small handful of nuts for a snack

Bottom Line

  • Build a healthy and balanced diet daily by including a wide variety of antioxidant rich foods

  1. Select items from the Chef’s table that are grilled, broiled or baked.
  2. Think nutrient-rich rather than “good” or “bad” foods. Look for foods packed with vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and lower in calories. Our homemade soups are a great nutrient-rich choice.
  3. Choose foods as close to their natural state as possible. Include fruits, vegetables, and high fibre whole grains at all meals.
  4. Vary protein choices to include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
  5. Eat dark green vegetables such as spinach and kale and orange vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes and squash.
  6. Eat at least 3oz or (90 g) of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta daily.
  7. Reduce foods high in cholesterol, salt and added sugars.
  8. Choose our featured Fresh & Fast items for a healthy and quick option.
  9. Take your time when eating and enjoy the social aspect of food instead of multitasking during meals.
  10. Be a trailblazer at work and home by focusing on healthy eating to help manage your weight and give you energy.

Eating too much sodium leads to an increase risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. Healthy adults NEED about 1500 mg sodium per day. The good news is most people adapt to a lower sodium level in their food when they make small changes over time. Read labels to see what foods you eat are contributing the most sodium to your diet and then take action to reduce the amount of those foods you eat.

Tips to Reduce Sodium At Home:

  • Use smaller amounts of high sodium foods like soy sauce, chicken broth, canned vegetables and condiments or choose lower sodium versions of these foods.
  • Use lemon, lime and low sodium seasoning blends – make your own blends or buy ready made.

Tips to Reduce Sodium When Eating Out:

  • Look for healthier choices identified on the menu.
  • Ask for dressings, sauces and condiments to be served on the side and use sparingly.
  • Use oil and vinegar as dressing for salads.

Canadians EAT about 3400 mg sodium per day… about 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt. Aim for LESS THAN 2300 mg or 1 TEASPOON of salt per day!


Were you advised to lower your blood pressure?

Reducing how much sodium you eat is one of the important actions you should take to lower your blood pressure. Want to maximize the effect? Also increase your intake of foods high in potassium, magnesium and fibre. To find out more, contact a registered dietitian or your health practitioner.

Over indulge at social gatherings? Eat food because it is ‘there’ not because you are hungry? Mindless eating is when you eat without focusing on the act of eating. Mindful eating, on the other hand, is when you use all your senses while eating, with no judgement. Here are top 5 tips to create mindful eating habits:

  1. Create a healthy plate.
    Start by filling 1/2 your plate with vegetables and fruit.
  2. Use smaller plates, bowls and cutlery.
    These all encourage you to eat less.
  3. Be grateful.
    Appreciate the ingredients and effort put into what you are about to eat
  4. Take 3 deep breathes before you start eating.
    This calms the body and brings you into the present moment, ready to enjoy what you are about to eat.
  5. Commit to slowing down and tasting your food.
    This allows you to pay attention to what you’re eating. Aim for 20-30 minutes to eat a meal and stop when you feel satisfied but not full.

Every year chef’s predict what will be the hot trends in restaurants in the National Restaurant Association’s ‘What’s Hot Chef Survey’.

Last year’s big trend was Siracha Chili Sauce! The new ketchup? This Thai condiment found it’s way into a variety of restaurant menus…maybe even into your kitchen?

Let’s not forget about your health! Watch for these hot ingredients and trends that can support your wellness goals in 2016:

  • Increased use of pulses (dry beans, peas and lentils) as 2016 is the international year of pulses.
  • Veggie-centric dishes that make seasonal vegetables the star of the plate.
  • Simply prepared dishes with fewer ingredients.
  • Ancient grains, like freekeh, quinoa and farro.
  • Spices and herbs, especially African inspired spice blends called; harissa, berbere or ras el hanout.

Thoughtful food waste management. Making pesto out of carrot tops is just one example of reducing waste and adding nutritious foods to our diet.

Who says following a ‘heart healthy’ diet has to be boring? Let’s focus on a healthy eating pattern that includes a variety of delicious whole foods that happen to be healthy. Start with vegetables, fruit and whole grains and add legumes, nuts, seeds, seafood, healthy fats, herbs and spices.

Satisfying Heart Healthy Tips:

  1. Add a small amount of unsaturated fat to healthy ingredients. Add up to 45 mL (3 tablespoons) per day* to get the fat you need. Use healthy oils in spreads, dressings or marinades or when sautéing or stir frying.
  2. Add plenty of herbs, spices and citrus but reduce the salt.
  3. Add avocado, nuts and seeds. Try mashed avocado on a sandwich instead of butter or margarine.
  4. Sneak in more plants. Try adding chopped mushrooms, vegetables or lentils to ground meats to boost flavour and nutrition..
  5. Choose wisely. A small amount of bacon, cheese or dark chocolate can be okay as part of a healthy eating pattern that is lower in saturated fat, sugar and sodium.

* Individual requirements will vary depending on age, activity level and gender.

Join fellow Canadians on a 100 meal journey to a healthy eating pattern.

Visit www.NutritionMonth2016.ca during the month of March for great tips and support from Dietitians of Canada to help you make your goal(s) a reality! Start with small changes to meals that can become lifelong healthy habits.
Try adding an extra serving of vegetables, reducing your portion size, or eating a legume every day. Here are other steps you can take.

Steps to Long Term Healthy Habits:

  1. Focus on small changes as your goal.
  2. Make your goal SMART: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and
    in-clude a Time frame.
  3. Share your goal with family and friends. Take it a step further and make a pledge: www.NutritionMonth2016.ca.
  4. Get daily support and inspiration with these apps: eaTipster, eaTracker and Cookspiration.
  5. Get help from a Dietitian. Ask your doctor, workplace wellness team or visit

Stick with it, one meal at a time!

On average, Canadians eat about 26 teaspoons (110 g) of sugar each day from a variety of sources – both ‘natural’ sugars in foods, such as fruit, grains and white milk and ‘added’ sugars, such as brown sugar and honey. Ideally, lower your total intake of sugar by focusing on eating less added sugar. Aim to eat less than 12 teaspoons (48 g) of added sugar per day.

Here are some tips to reduce your sugar intake:

  • Swap your regular soft drink, sweetened ice tea, fruit juice or energy drink for fruit or vegetable infused water or ice tea.
  • Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate and enjoy 15-30 g dark chocolate with a healthy meal or snack.
  • Sweeten your smoothies with a dried date instead of added sugar. Bonus – extra fibre!
  • Add cinnamon to enhance the ‘sweetness’ of food.
  • Compare labels to see how much sugar is in different brands of foods. Choose foods with less added sugar or eat a smaller portion.