Nothing is better than a steaming bowl of beef barley soup on these wet and wild days of winter served up with a scoop of TLC by the students of the food services program at the Greater Trail Community Centre. Second-year student Liam Donnelly stirred the pot while Colleen Webb-Morisseau

College kitchen serving up healthy meals

This week's menu at Greater Trail Community Centre fits right into March being touted "Nutrition Month" by the IHA.

Everyday is a healthy eating day in the kitchen of the Greater Trail Community Centre.

So this week’s menu including today’s black bean soup with a spaghetti and meatballs entree, fits right into March being touted “Nutrition Month” by the Interior Health Authority (IHA).

“We balance our lunch specials and alternate our soups so the meals hit at least three of the four food groups each service,” said Geoff Tellier, chef instructor at Selkirk College’s food service worker program, located in the centre. “Seniors are our focus clientele so we make sure our meals are low sodium with no MSG,” he explained.

“And we make sure nutritional needs are met by using fresh produce and cooking something new each day.”

Small changes to diet can pay off big by reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and IHA’s nutrition month theme is “Simple Cook and Enjoy!”, which plays into Tellier’s lessons for students in his program.

“We talk about nutrition and do look at dietary concerns,” he said. “We look at what’s going to meet the daily requirements of each food group, even if it is simple like building a sandwich.

“Lettuce, sprouts and cheese between bread can incorporate everything into a single serving.”

Healthy cooking is easy, and it’s all about getting back to the basics, noted Jill Worboys, an IHA registered dietician, in a March newsletter.

“Cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated,” said Worboys. “And people who cook meals from scratch eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.”

In addition to providing the community with a healthy “from scratch” meal Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and Friday, from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., Tellier’s in-house catered events include trays of at least seven types of veggies and six seasonal fruit platters, along with the “goodies.”

“Basically, I am a home cook kind of person and I don’t get flamboyant,” he said. “It’s not my style, it’s more about the healthy food I grew up with.”

Another consideration the 17-year chef instructor takes into account when planning the program’s changing menu, is portion size.

Seniors tend to become overwhelmed if the plate is over laden with food, explained Tellier, adding that serving a size the person is willing to eat can help balance nutritional needs.

“And often the plate is garnished with fruit like a slice of kiwi,” he said. “Because that one slice is equal in vitamin C to a whole orange.”

For tips on healthy cooking or simple recipes, visit or the HealthLinkBC website.

Just Posted

Columbia Basin Trust offering business accelerator program

Trust seeking motivated companies for customized support and mentorship program

Trail military exercises provide crucial training

Exercise Sapper Crucible: ‘The nuts and bolts of what a soldier is’

VIDEO: SPCA ushers in new era with Castlegar facility

$2.69-million project had ribbon cutting on Friday

Thrums, Riondel, and Slocan, revisited

Place Names: Scottish author delighted by Thrums name origin

Last stand for Silver City summer

Fall officially arrives in Trail at 6:54 p.m. on Saturday

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

B.C. nanny charged with sex abuse of 3 children

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only seven of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

B.C. wildfires burned large areas affected by mountain pine beetles: Experts

The mountain pine beetle epidemic affected more than 180,000 square kilometres in B.C.

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

BALONEY METER: Do Liberal policies mean a typical family is $2,000 richer?

MPs took to Twitter to talk how ‘typical’ Canadian families have more money due to Liberal policies

Most Read