Eating During Different Seasons

Content provided by: Alberta Health Services Dietetic Interns and Registered Dietitians 

Eating a balanced diet can help us feel good, maintain our health, and give us nutrition. 
 

A Balanced Diet 

Canada’s food guide helps us choose foods to live a healthy and active life. Enjoy a variety of foods each day, including: 

  • Lots of vegetables and fruits 
  • Protein foods like meat, fish, eggs, tofu, legumes, and nuts 
  • Grains like whole grain pasta, oatmeal, brown rice, and wild rice 

The picture below shows us how to build a balanced meal. 

Source: Government of Canada “Food Guide Snapshot”

 

Seasons of Food 

How do the seasons impact what we eat? In Canada, there are four seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter. Each season has different weather and temperatures. This affects the types of food that can be grown and harvested in Canada. When vegetables and fruits are at their peak freshness, they are ‘in season’. 

Click here to see when vegetables and fruits are in season in Canada! 

When vegetables and fruits are not in season in Canada, you might still see them in the grocery store. This is because they come from other parts of the world that can grow them. 

Canned and frozen vegetables and fruits are healthy choices to enjoy all year round. They are picked at the peak of their freshness and preserved right away. These foods are nutritious, cost less, and can be used to prepare balanced meals. Check the food labels and choose ones without added salt or sugar. 

There are also many different types of protein foods and whole grain foods to choose from. In Canada, protein foods and whole grain foods are available to purchase all year round. 

Source: iStock

Grocery Shopping 

Culture and food traditions are also an important part of healthy eating. Vegetables and fruits can be purchased at grocery stores, farmers markets, community supported agriculture, and U-pick farms during the summer months. 

If you are looking for specific foods from other parts of the world, here are some examples of grocery stores with more international food selections in the Calgary area. 

Examples (for informational purposes only): 

  • H-Mart: Korean cuisine 
  • T&T Supermarket: Asian cuisine 
  • The Italian Centre: Italian/European cuisine 
  • Basha Foods: South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine 
  • Kalamata Grocery Store: Mediterranean cuisine 
  • Joycee’s Caribbean Food & Takeout: Caribbean/Jamaican cuisine 

There are many other stores in Calgary that have a selection of international foods. Most of the larger grocery stores in Calgary have an international section with foods from a variety of cuisines. 
 

Balanced Meal Ideas 

Here are some examples of balanced meals that include vegetables and fruits, protein foods, and whole grains that you can enjoy all year round. 

Click here to make Tofu Vegetable Stir-Fry (Source: Government of Canada, Canada’s Food Guide)

Click here to make Moose Stew (Source: Government of Canada, Canada’s Food Guide) 

Click here to make Beef Fajitas (Source: Government of Canada, Canada’s Food Guide) 

Click here to make Okroshka (Source: Government of Canada, Canada’s Food Guide) 

Click here to make Curried Vegetable Lentil Stew (Source: Government of Canada, Canada’s Food Guide) 

Click here to make Cornmeal Porridge with Fruit Preserve (Source: Government of Canada, Canada’s Food Guide) 

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