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Thursday 13 August, 2020

TRHA: Don't pig out this Christmas

Have you ever had half of a pastelle, macaroni pie the size of a regular match box or half a glass of sorrel?  If the answer is no, then you’re not exercising portion control. 

That’s the main message that the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) Primary Care Nutrition Unit left with clients of the Mason Hall and Scarborough Health Centres on December 17 and 18 as it conducted sessions for its “Xmas Healthy Eating Initiative”.

The Unit is continuing to do its part in helping clients to eat healthy at all times, especially during the festive season when an excessive amount of ham, turkey, pastelles, fruit cake, desserts and other yummy treats might be consumed.

Joanne Cruickshank, Head of the Nutrition Unit, said it’s important to keep healthy eating top-of-mind among the population, especially among those with some form of chronic disease.

“Even though we know what we have to do to remain or become healthy, we don’t always do it on a continuous basis.  We all recognise that healthy eating can be very challenging for many persons, especially during the Christmas festivities, so the Nutrition Unit, in collaboration with the TRHA Food Services Department, conducted live food demonstrations to show clients how they can adopt healthy techniques when preparing meals.  By employing this approach as part of disease prevention and management, we hope that clients will be encouraged to modify their dietary habits and that these sessions will facilitate long-term behavioural change which will reduce the risk of health complications and related mortality,” Cruickshank said.

The “Xmas Healthy Eating Initiative” has been part of the Unit’s activities for a number of years.  Clients not only get to observe healthy food preparation techniques but are able to enjoy tasting of the food items and drinks prepared. 

They expressed delight not only with the food but with the fact that they learned a lot, citing examples such as using ruccoo or fresh orange juice instead of sugar to give meats that lively colour, to eat four to five small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals and a host of other tips that were shared with them during the sessions.

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