There is evidence that Canadians possess a fairly good knowledge of food, nutrition and health, but we don’t always seem to put that into practice. A good example of this is the decline in people choosing to prepare and consume homemade meals.
Several factors influence our choice to cook from scratch, including our attitudes and beliefs about the importance of home cooking as well as perceived effort required, and perceived skill level in the kitchen. Fifty-eight per cent of Canadians report that they always or very often cook a balanced meal for themselves or their family.
We know that cooking homemade meals can improve diet quality. However, barriers, such as lack of time, energy and ideas, negatively affect day-to-day food preparation. Contrary to what many believe, balanced meals do not have to be complicated, expensive or time-consuming. In fact, there is a new, free app to make the process even easier then before.
Cookspiration is a new free iPhone and iPad app designed to serve up a wide array of recipes, with android versions coming mid-March, and a French version to be available this spring also.
If you’ve ever visited songza, an online free music site, Cookspiration provides a similar feeling, and is designed to serve up recipe ideas to suit your need, mood and time of day.
What exactly can you do with Cookspiration? You can be inspired by letting the information and recipes featured in the app help you unleash your culinary creativity. Find ideas through accessing a wide array of recipes with photos.
You can also get informed by browsing the nutritional details of the recipes you choose.
How it works is you start by selecting a day of the week and then time of day — Monday evening, for example.
From there you’ll have a choice of six different themes depending on the day and time.
Monday evening, for example, provides recipe themes of family affair, dinner delight, celebration, meatless meal, budget friendly or fast and easy. Once you decide on the theme which best suits your mood and need, you’re then directed to six healthy recipes from which you can choose.
To download the app and to access all the recipes, visit www.Cookspiration.com.
The team of dietitians involved with Nutrition Month here in Newfoundland and Labrador are so convinced that using this app can change the way you eat, we are challenging the province to get inspired and back into the kitchen to make healthy homemade meals.
Up for grabs is a chance to win one of six $50 gift cards to your local farmers market or grocery store. All you have to do is download Dietitians of Canada’s free Cookspiration app or visit www.cookspiration.com to use it as a regular webpage.
Explore the app, find a recipe that suits your mood, and then simply cook and enjoy. Share a picture of your completed recipe on Twitter, by tweeting to @NLNutrition2014 or on the NL Nutrition Month’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NLNutritionMonth2014 using the hashtag #NLCookspiration for a chance to win.
Photos can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget to include your town/community when posting your photo. Deadline for entries is March 31 and the winners will be chosen at random.
Amanda O’Brien is a registered dietitian in St. John’s.
Contact her through the website: www.recipeforhealth.ca.