How healthy is your plate?

Hotel Dieu nutritionist analyzes five days of student eating

A nutritious diet starts with meal planning and buying groceries with all the Canada Food Guide’s food groups in mind.
A nutritious diet starts with meal planning and buying groceries with all the Canada Food Guide’s food groups in mind.

One student’s food journal

MONDAY (Ate at home)
2 mini cinnamon buns
Glass of water (Caf)
1 grilled chicken sandwich
1 bottle of Fresca (Home)
3 tacos - hamburger, rice, and cheddar cheese
Glass of iced tea
*Felt good after eating

2 mini cinnamon buns
Glass of water (Bagged lunch from caf)
1 tuna salad sandwich
1 peach yogurt
1 can of iced tea
1 salad
1 apple
3 small cookies
*Felt sleepy after eating

1 piece of steak (Home)
Small serving of beans and carrots
1 medium-sized baked potato with butter and salt
Glass of water

2 mini cinnamon buns
Glass of water (Caf)
1 tuna sandwich on multigrain bread
1 salad (cucumber, carrots, cheese, cauliflower, green pepper, with French dressing)
Glass of light lemonade
Mini brownie (Home)
Frozen dinner - low fat - cheese and spinach cannelloni
1 piece of homemade garlic bread
Glass of water
2 oatmeal raisin cookies

1 pear yogurt
1 apple
Glass of water (Caf)
Plate of pasta with mushroom and rosemary sauce
1 salad (same as Wednesday’s lunch)
Glass of cranberry juice
Glass of light lemonade (Home)
Taco leftovers
Glass of water

Bowl of multigrain Life cereal with milk
Glass of water (Caf)
Plate of rice with deep-fried tofu with lemongrass sauce
Sandwich on baguette bread with melted mozzarella cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion
Small bowl of honeydew
Glass of cranberry juice
Glass of light lemonade (Home)
Piece of chicken with BBQ sauce
1 medium homemade baked potato
Serving of peas
Glass of water
*Felt tired after eating

Analysis and nutrition tips from Sandra Leduc, clinical nutritionist at Hotel Dieu Hospital

• When you make your grocery list, have some pre-planned meal-ideas and try to have something from each food group.

For example:
Grain products—whole-grain bread, cereal, pasta and rice
Vegetables and fruits—fresh and also frozen
Milk products—yogurt, cheese and milk
Meat and alternatives—peanut butter, nuts, seeds, eggs, legumes, tuna, salmon and meat
Fats—oil, non-hydrogenated margarine,
salad dressing
Treats—something you enjoy.

• To analyze the student’s food journal, Leduc divided food into four categories: grain products, fruit and vegetables, milk products and meat and alternatives. Leduc added up all of the daily servings in each group and averaged them out over the week to determine the average servings.
This student’s averages were six servings of grain products, three of fruits and vegetables, one-half serving of milk products and three servings of meat and alternatives.

The recommended daily servings in the Guide are six grain products, seven fruit and vegetables, two milk products, two meat and alternatives and two tablespoons of
unsaturated fat.

• Calculate the number of grams of food you eat per day and how many grams of each macronutrient—carbohydrates, protein and fat—you have had.
This information can be found in the ‘Nutrition Facts’ box on all food packages.
According to Canada’s Food Guide, the daily recommended intake is 40 to 60 per cent carbohydrates, 20 to 35 per cent fat and 19 per cent proteins.

This student’s food journal averaged 49 per cent carbohydrates, 32 per cent fat and 19 per cent proteins, meeting the recommendations.

• Daily, you should include 30 to 45 mL (2 to 3 tbsp.) of unsaturated fat in your diet. Sources of unsaturated fat include cooking oils, mayonnaise, margarine and salad dressing.

• Leduc said it’s important to balance the food groups and include at least three per meal.

• Meal variety is an important aspect of a nutritious lifestyle, Leduc said, recommending that this student vary breakfasts and
dinners more.

• Ensure you drink water regularly throughout the day. Canada’s Food Guide recommends making water your number one beverage choice and limiting your intake of soft-drinks, sports and energy drinks, sweetened hot and cold beverages and alcohol. Other healthy drink options are milk, 100 per cent fruit juices and fortified soy beverages.

• Take the opportunity to eat-out and spice up your diet. Canada’s Food Guide recommends trying different ethnic cuisines, such as Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean, which often have a wide range of healthy
meal options.

With files from Angela Hickman

Chicken parmesan


4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 eggs
3/4 cup of bread crumbs.
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
Marinara sauce


1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Bread crumbs can be quickly made by toasting bread and then breaking it up in a food processor.
3. Mix parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
4. Heat oil at medium heat in a frying pan.
5. Beat eggs and put eggs, bread crumbs and parmesan mixture into separate, shallow dishes.
6. Cover chicken breast in egg, then bread crumbs, then fry in vegetable oil, flipping sides.
7. Bake for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
8. Cover with mozzarella cheese and bake for another five minutes, or until the
cheese melts.
9. Cover with marinara sauce and serve.

Meghan Sheffield

Tuna aeoli tomato sauce


2 cans of tuna in oil
4 cloves of garlic
1 can of diced tomato
3 teaspoons of brown sugar
1/2 small onion
1 tbsp. olive oil
Cayenne pepper


1. In a large skillet, grill garlic and onion on medium heat until slightly golden.
2. Add cans of tuna, including juice. Break apart tuna pieces and allow tuna to simmer for a few minutes in garlic and onion.
3. Add can of diced tomatoes to tuna and garlic, including juice, increase heat and allow mixture to broil.
4. Add spice to taste: pepper, salt, oregano, cayenne pepper or other spices of choice.
5. Sprinkle spoonfuls of brown sugar into mixture and allow cook for another seven to 10 minutes.
Pour sauce over pasta (preferably whole wheat or multi-grain) and enjoy!

Adèle Barclay

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