All posts by Toronto Public Health

It’s a Whole New Food Guide!

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You probably heard by now that there is a new Food Guide. Maybe you took a peek online at its new look (Canada.ca/FoodGuide) and wondered what to say to your students or what those changes really are.

Just looking at the plate, you will see some familiar messages – like filling half of your plate with vegetables. No surprise, eating vegetables is good for you because they have lots of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Eating a variety of vegetables and fruit everyday can reduce the risk of heart disease. Choosing fresh, frozen, or canned can all be great choices; just choose ones without added salt or sugar.

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Discussing Matters of the Heart – How to Keep Your Heart Happy and Healthy

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With the arrival of winter comes an entire month devoted to the hardest working muscle in our bodies – the heart. February was heart health month, but it’s important to continue to talk about what we can do to make sure we keep our heart in tiptop shape. The heart works hard to pump blood to all parts of the body 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

But what happens when we don’t have good heart health? And why is it important for ESL educators to know about this?

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Timely Talk About Tobacco

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You’ve noticed that many students in your class smoke.  Is quitting smoking something you should talk about? Is it any of your business?  Many of your students have children.  Do they smoke around their children?  Is it part of your role as an instructor to discuss the negative health effects of smoking?  Continue reading

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Type 2 Diabetes: An unequal occurrence for newcomers

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November is Diabetes Awareness Month so it’s timely to talk about this serious chronic disease that occurs when the body loses its ability to produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that controls sugar levels in the blood. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and nerves and over time, can cause serious health complications.

Let’s begin with an interesting piece of trivia – did you know that November 14th was World Diabetes Day? Do you know why? November 14th is the Continue reading

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How to Reduce Stress and Promote Positive Mental Health in Adult Learners

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October 1st marked the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week. But, what exactly is mental health and why does it need a special week?

Mental health is an important part of our overall health and well-being. In the same way we all experience physical health; we also all experience mental health. Continue reading

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Notes From a Registered Dietitian: Helping Newcomers Make Healthier Choices at the Grocery Store

Image says "Join the movement. Bike. Walk. Play. activeto.caIn my practice as a Registered Dietitian at Toronto Public Health, I have heard many newcomers tell me that they get overwhelmed by the huge number of choices at the grocery store. Think about the last time you went down the cereal aisle. How many different cereals were there? What are the factors you considered in making your choice? Did you read the fine print? Was it just based on the price tag? Or did the cartoon characters or other pictures convince you (or your child) to pick them?

Helping your learners interpret the fine print on nutrition labels can make Continue reading

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Notes From a Registered Dietitian: Talking About Healthy Eating

Image says "Join the movement. Bike. Walk. Play. activeto.caAs a dietitian with Toronto Public Health’s Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention program for the past 11 years, I have had many years of experience bringing healthy eating messages to newcomers. In my experience, what influences my audience isn’t dazzling them with details about the science of nutrition, it’s helping them to understand how to make healthier choices delicious, easy and practical.

Healthy eating is one of those topics that can be complicated to communicate. Often people get caught in the details, like the whole butter vs. margarine debate.  Continue reading

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Notes From a Public Health Nurse: Getting Active In The Classroom

Image says "Join the movement. Bike. Walk. Play. activeto.caWhat do you think of when you hear the word “classroom”? I doubt “health” is a word that comes to mind. When you think of the classroom you probably think of learning.  But why not use that learning opportunity as a chance to promote healthy behaviours? Classrooms are a safe environment where cultural and social norms can be established and reinforced. Together with your students, you can create Continue reading

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