Nutrition Month 2021 – Food = Care

woman wearing purple floral long-sleeved dress besides 4-layer cake

(Image credit: Polox Hernandez)

March is Nutrition Month in Canada. This month is dedicated to recognizing the role of food in our lives and the impact good nutrition has on our health and wellbeing.

As part of our role in a national healthcare organization and as a learning provider, CHA Learning wants to go a step further in highlighting the important role that food plays in the lives and experiences of long-term care residents and patients across the healthcare system. Food is not only about nutrition and good health, but also key to the resident/patient experience. There are many factors that make a food experience positive or negative for someone – and while food is a key part of clinical care, it is equally important that we as care and food providers understand these factors and the importance of residents’ and patients’ needs and preferences.

In times of crisis as we have experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic, food undoubtedly plays an extra important role in the lives of residents and patients, as so many have been isolated from their families or friends who may have previously brought them homemade foods and special treats when visiting. This has had a profound impact on mental health and wellness.

Food can conjure memories of childhood, of happy times, or certain loved ones; it can make us feel warm, comforted and safe. It can help us feel connected to our culture, our family and friends, and our sense of self. As we all know, the last year has been tremendously difficult for many people and especially those in care settings, but we know that there are stories of hope and of joy out there that should be shared.

Because food and nutrition, resident- and patient-centred care, and healthcare quality are all areas that CHA Learning is passionate about, this #NutritionMonth, we want to hear from our learners, graduates, faculty and our whole community about ways in which you have used food or seen food used to positively impact the experiences of residents or patients in your residential care home, organization or team, or even in your personal life, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

To make this more fun and interesting, we are asking you to go to Twitter and share these inspiring experiences there, by posting a tweet and a photo that helps to represent the impact an innovative or heartwarming idea has had. Over the month of March, we will select three winners and offer a prize of:

$100 tuition credit valid for any CHA Learning Program or course

OR

$100 donation to a food bank or charitable food cause of your choice, in your name

To participate and be considered for the prizes, please follow the steps below:

  • Follow CHA Learning on Twitter (@CHA_Learning)
  • Explain what the activity/impact was in the maximum 280 characters
  • Include a photo that helps to illustrate what you/your team did to enhance someone’s experience through food
  • Tag us @CHA_Learning
  • Include the hashtag #NutritionMonth
  • Post your tweet between March 1st and March 31st

We encourage you to look out for others’ tweets, comment and share them, and follow the #NutritionMonth activities as well. Post as many different examples as you want to share.

Please take a few minutes to engage in this important conversation and inspire new and innovative ideas. See you there!