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EatRight Ontario: Free healthy eating advice from Registered Dietitians is just a phone call or click away for the people of Ontario

Contents

IWhat is EatRight Ontario?
II Why has this service been introduced?
III Resources
IV Common questions from callers
V EatRight Ontario website
VI Who uses the EatRight Ontario service?
VII Capacity building and integration with other services
VIII Help spread the word

--submitted by Christina Cicco, RD, Web Content Manager, EatRight Ontario

I What is EatRight Ontario?

EatRight Ontario is a unique service that offers multi-modal access to the trusted advice of Registered Dietitians.  EatRight Ontario gives the people of Ontario more ways to connect with a Registered Dietitian and get trusted advice on healthy eating. Best of all, it’s free. This summer, EatRight Ontario is celebrating its 5th anniversary.

Here are the three easy ways you and your clients can get trusted nutrition information and advice from the Registered Dietitians at EatRight Ontario:

  1. Talk to a Registered Dietitian toll free at 1-877-510-510-2. No wait time!  Our Registered Dietitians can:
    • Answer your clients’ questions.
    • Send out follow-up information through email or mail.
    • Tell your clients about local community services.
  2. Email a Registered Dietitian
  3. Visit http://www.eatrightontario.ca.
    • Find articles, healthy recipes and nutrition videos.
    • Use the interactive “My Menu Planner” tool to create a customized 7-day menu with a grocery list and recipes.
    • Sign up for eNews, a monthly email with nutrition tips, recipes and updates.

The phone number is toll-free and there is no charge to talk to or email our Registered Dietitians. All residents of Ontario including adult consumers, health professionals and community leaders can call.  There are no limits to how many times you or your clients can call or email our service. View a sample EatRight Ontario phone call at http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Videos/Nutrition-Labelling/Sample-Call-....

The hours of service are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm ET and evening hours Tuesday and Thursday to 9 pm ET. Outside these hours callers may leave a voice mail message and a Registered Dietitian will return the call the next business day. The website is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The service is bilingual and the call centre can accommodate over 100 other languages. TTY service is available for hearing impaired individuals. Callers do not need a referral from a doctor (or other health professional) to call or email our service.This health promotion service provides general nutrition and disease prevention information. EatRight Ontario cannot provide individual in-depth counselling or medical advice.

II Why has this service been introduced?

This service was introduced in 2007 to support of the Government of Ontario’s goal to improve the health of individuals and communities in Ontario.  Healthy eating is a key factor in wellness, as well as prevention and management of the major chronic diseases.

Conflicting and confusing nutrition messages are abundant and many people have healthy eating questions that are not being answered. EatRight Ontario is here to help. By connecting Ontarians with Registered Dietitians, users have access the best resource for healthy eating and nutrition advice.

Dietitians of Canada acknowledges the financial support of EatRight Ontario by the Ontario government. The call centre, email service and website are managed by Dietitians of Canada.

III Resources

Budget-friendly resources

Food choices when money is tight is a client resource package of budget-friendly recipes, practical tips on saving money at the grocery store and healthy meal ideas. Download it in PDF from our website or order hardcopies by phone or email. Download and print budget-friendly recipe cards for clients or order hardcopies by phone or email.

View our complete resource selection on Budget-Friendly Information at http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Budget.asp.


Senior nutrition

Nutri-eSCREEN – Eating Habits Survey is a web-based short questionnaire to help older adults find out what they are doing well and where they can improve to stay healthy and active. Resources, articles and recipes are provided after completing the questionnaire online.

View our complete resource selection on Senior Nutrition at http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Seniors.

Diabetes prevention and management

EatRightOntario has provided ongoing support to the Ontario Diabetes Strategy since the launch of the strategy in 2008.

Download the Diabetes Menu Plan for women or the Diabetes Menu Plan for men to get seven days of meals and snacks for your clients. Clients can use this plan to help prevent or manage Type 2 diabetes. 

Order culturally adapted diabetes information for your clients in Spanish, Urdu, Gujrati, Punjabi, Pakistani and Chinese by phoning or emailing Eatright Ontario.

English versions of culturally adapted information on diabetes are available online for Latin American, Caribbean/African, East Asian, North Indian/Pakistani and South Indian/Sri Lankan diets. Search “eating well with diabetes” on the website to find these resources.

View our complete resource section on Diabetes Prevention at http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/diabetesprevention.aspx.

School Health

Download the Guide to Ontario’s School Food and Beverage Policy and other resources to help understand and use the policy from the School Health section of the EatRight Ontario website at http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/SchoolHealth.aspx.

Health intermediaries and school personnel can call or email EatRight Ontario for assistance in implementing the School Food and Beverage Policy.


IV Common questions from callers

Our Registered Dietitians answer questions on food, healthy eating and chronic disease prevention. Here are some examples of commonly asked questions:

  • I just found out I have diabetes. Where can I go for help?
  • How do I lower my risk of heart disease?
  • How do I lower my cholesterol?
  • How can I lose weight and keep it off?
  • My child is a picky eater. How can I get her to eat more vegetables?
  • What should I feed my baby?
  • My son is a vegetarian. What foods can I prepare for him?
  • How much fibre should I be eating?
  • I don’t drink milk. What can I eat to make sure I get enough calcium?
  • Do I need a multivitamin?

V EatRight Ontario website

The EatRight Ontario website (http://www.eatrightontario.ca) has a wide range of popular healthy eating topics for consumers ranging from pregnancy, infant nutrition, senior nutrition, weight management, diabetes prevention, nutrition labelling, menu planning and grocery shopping. There are also specialized topics like food allergies, sport nutrition and women’s health issues. The website also has a range of dynamic tools including:

Email updates

Sign up for the Health Intermediary eNews for updates on our services, resources and more.

Nutrition videos

Show these short nutrition videos on General Healthy Eating, Kitchen Tips and Food Handling and Nutrition Labelling to clients or feature them in your office and/or community centres. Order the complete set of videos on DVD by calling 1-877-510-510-2 or send an email (http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/askDisclaimer.aspx.)

A menu planning tool

Help your clients create a personalized menu plan for their healthy eating goals by using the EatRight Ontario My Menu Planner. The resource includes menu plans for healthy weight management, vegetarianism, eating healthy on a budget, cooking for one or two and more.

Recipes

Browse through the selection of healthy recipes that include winning kid-friendly recipes from our annual Kids Recipe Challenge.

Website content is written and reviewed by Registered Dietitians and is based on the most current evidence.

VI Who uses the EatRight Ontario service?

The general profile of our users is similar to that of health information seekers documented in the literature; well-educated English speaking women whose interest in health information is tied to their multiple roles as caregivers.

Residents of Central East and Northern Ontario are most likely to contact EatRight Ontario.

Almost 20% of contacts are by or about seniors. A further 20% of contacts are made by parents and caregivers of children age 0–18 years and are most likely to concern healthy eating and weight management.

Inroads have been made in attracting men and older adults, particularly when they are concerned about chronic health conditions and healthy eating.

Intermediaries are calling EatRight Ontario in greater numbers and more often. The proportion of telephone contacts attributed to professionals has increased almost two-fold between January 2008 and December 2011.

Are consumers and health intermediaries satisfied with the service?

EatRight Ontario offers a high quality service.  Consumers and intermediaries who have used the service consistently express very strong satisfaction and would recommend it to others.Independent surveys of telephone and website users indicate high user satisfaction.

Intermediaries express strong satisfaction with EatRight Ontario’s supports for community-based practitioners, continuity of care and patient/client needs.

VII Capacity building and integration with other services

EatRight Ontario supports the health system and Ontario’s Approach to Healthy Eating through partnerships and linkages with a range of health system initiatives. EatRight Ontario offers support to consumers to help them link with local community agencies when additional follow-up support is desirable.

EatRight Ontario uses a database called the Ontario Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition (OPEN) database to ensure consistent, evidence-based advice is provided. OPEN is consistently reviewed and updated for quality assurance. The Community Contacts database that is integrated within OPEN supports the EatRight Ontario Registered Dietitians to find the contact information for nearby local community agencies and nutrition related services using the client’s postal code. This community agency contact information can then be provided to the client.

In its first five years, EatRight Ontario has provided support to the public health community, which has allowed Ontario’s public health units to refocus staff resources on health unit priority initiatives while ensuring that Ontarians retain access to dietitian service.

Community health providers value EatRight Ontario’s capacity to assist them to identify and access appropriate resources for their clients. This support decreases the amount of time front line providers spend sourcing appropriate resources and again allows them to focus on their higher priority activities.

EatRight Ontario’s focus on nutrition-related health promotion and chronic disease prevention information allows service providers to dedicate their time to higher risk clients who need more in-depth, personalized care.

EatRight Ontario has been valued as a collaborating partner in healthy eating initiatives led by other agencies.

VIII Help spread the word

We want more people in Ontario to be aware of EatRight Ontario and use this service.

Promotional materials

  • Order EatRight Ontario promotional material to give to clients, patients and community groups by calling 1-877-510-510-2 or emailing http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/askDisclaimer.aspx.
  • Our removable decals can be placed on any smooth surface to keep our information close by. Our tear pads provide an easy way to share our contact information.
  • Download our consumer brochure to post in offices and community centres or to distribute to clients. Order hard copies by calling or emailing EatRight Ontario.

Social networking

Key take away messages

EatRight Ontario is a free service that gives the people of Ontario more ways to connect directly with a Registered Dietitian and get trusted advice on healthy eating. You and your clients can call 1-877-510-510-2 toll-free or send an email as often as you like.

EatRight Ontario supports health intermediaries by providing easy access to credible, evidence-based advice and healthy eating resources. Resources for target populations are also available.

EatRight Ontario is a high quality service that builds capacity within the health system by supporting the public health community as well as primary and acute care. Consumers and health intermediaries are highly satisfied with the service.

Stay Connected

Stay connected with EatRight Ontario by signing up for eNews at www.eatrightontario.ca and joining our social network at www.twitter.com/EatRightOntario and www.facebook.com/EatRightOntario.

What’s your nutrition question?  Give us a call.

For more information contact Cristina Cicco, RD, Web Content Manager, EatRight Ontario

cristina.cicco@dietitians.ca

Resources

EatRight Ontario website at http://www.eatrightontario.ca) includes resources, menu planning tools, recipes, videos and more. Sign up for eNews, a monthly email with nutrition tips, recipes and updates, or talk to a Registered Dietitian toll free at 1-877-510-510-2 or send your question by email

Social media--connect with EatRight Ontario at http://www.twitter.com/EatRightOntario and www.facebook.com/EatRightOntario.

Dietitians of Canada website includes resources, videos and more at http://www.dietitians.ca/.