Not only does the food we eat nourish us, but it also has an impact on preventing disease and promoting healthy development. The environment in which we live, work, and play can make it more difficult to eat well. The Brant County Health Unit is working to make healthy eating more achievable within our community, throughout all stages of life.

We promote:

  • Ways to access credible healthy eating advice from registered dietitians who are experts in nutrition
  • Community programs and partners involved in promoting healthy eating, food accessibility, and food literacy skills
  • Information on food insecurity and information on how to access low-cost and free food
  • Essentials of healthy eating, meal planning and preparation, whole foods and focused eating
  • Healthy eating for different ages and stages: your nutrition needs change throughout life, as your body grows and develops in your early years, through your teen years, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and your senior years.

Learn more about how to improve your nutrition through healthy eating, in the links below.

Registered Dietitians

Registered Dietitians are experts in nutrition. Registered Dietitians in Public Health work to make healthy eating more achievable and are working to set you up for success with healthy eating.

Nutrition Advice – In Person

Dietitians who provide one-on-one nutrition counselling can be found in different settings. Some work in healthcare settings as part of a health team and others work alone in a clinic or private practice to provide nutrition counselling. Many Dietitians offer services virtually and they are covered by most employee health benefit plans if you are interested in seeking a consultation from a Registered Dietitian. See the tool from Dietitian’s of Canada – Find a Dietitian to locate a Dietitian near you.

Nutrition Advice – Online

Nutrition advice found on social media feeds, through word of mouth and web searches can lead to misinformation if not from a credible source. General nutrition advice on countless food, health and feeding topics for you and your family can be found from these credible sources:

Nutrition Advice – Over the Phone

You can speak with a Registered Dietitian for free from Health Connect Ontario  at 1-866-797-0007 or 811 – ask to speak to a Registered Dietitian.

Or, if you have a general question for the Brant County Health Unit Registered Dietitian, contact 519-753-4937 ext. 458.

Whatever your interest or need related to food, our community partners and programs have a way to help you access it. You may be wondering where to join a community garden, where to access free or low-cost food or where to join a cooking group. Look no further!

Feed Brant

Did you know that there is an amazing local website for you to find free and low-cost places to get, grow, learn about, and eat food in Brantford and the County of Brant? Learn about: community gardens, programs, food banks and cupboards, community kitchens, farmers markets, community groups and more!  Visit Feed Brant to discover this handy local resource managed by the Brant Food System Coalition’s Education Committee.

Feed Brant also hosts the Brant Food Charter & Toolkit – documents made by the community that highlights how our community food system should function. It can be used to plan activities around food and advocate for change. It was endorsed by City of Brantford Council and County of Brant Council in 2019.

Community Health Brokers

Community Health Brokers with the Brant County Health Unit connect people in our community with the health resources that they can benefit from. They are a key component of communicating nutrition information and building nutrition literacy within our community. They also share information on other topics outside of nutrition to take a comprehensive approach to health to reduce chronic disease risk and reduce harm. Community Health Brokers provide programs at different locations throughout our region by collaborating with community partners. Some examples of nutrition programs that the Community Health Brokers facilitate within the County of Brant and Brantford are:

  • Crockpot and sheet-pan cooking groups

  • Healthy Bingo

  • Snack and chat

If you are interested in joining a Community Health Broker’s program or are a community organization interested in hosting a program, please call our health unit at 519-753-4937 ext. 458.

Community Food Educators

What is a CFE?

A Community Food Educator (CFE) is a volunteer trained to help educate the community on a variety of topics related to healthy eating.  CFE’s assist with or lead cooking classes, cooking demos and presentations to groups of all ages.

Possible session topics include:

  • Cooking for one or two
  • Healthy eating on a budget
  • Reading food labels
  • Menu planning
  • Cooking skills

The Brant Community Food Educators will work with you to develop sessions that meet the needs of your group.  Sessions can vary in length and can occur at any time, depending on CFE availability.  We can even do the grocery shopping for you!

If interested in requesting a CFE service on behalf of a group or organization, you can download our service request form and email it to

Service Request Form

If interested in becoming a CFE, call 519-754-0777 ext. 234

Please note that organizations/groups requesting a cooking demo or class are responsible for covering any food related costs.  In addition, there is a $20.00 administration fee per session.

Brant Food For Thought

Brant Food For Thought is the lead agency that supports and facilitates Student Nutrition Programs in elementary and secondary schools in Brantford and the County of Brant.  We believe that good nutrition contributes to a child’s ability to learn and that all children and youth should have equitable access to the most nutritious foods possible. Brant Food For Thought is investing in our children and youth today, for a healthy and vibrant community tomorrow!

For more information on Brant Food For Thought and our local student nutrition programs, visit: Brant Food For Thought

Household food insecurity refers to when a household has inadequate or insecure access to food due to financial constraints.

Healthy eating is not feasible when there is not adequate, consistent access to food. Only once food security is achieved can healthy eating be prioritized. Food insecurity is a barrier to healthy eating (and therefore reducing chronic disease risk) in our community.

Food insecurity goes beyond poor nutritional status; it can have a serious impact on people’s health and wellbeing. Food insecure households are more vulnerable to chronic and infectious diseases, poor oral heath and chronic conditions like depression and anxiety disorders. Food insecurity is affecting people across Canada and right in our community.  Based on data from Statistics Canada’s Canadian Income Survey (CIS), 15.9% of households in the ten provinces were food-insecure in 2021.

For more information on food insecurity visit:


If you need a place to find low-cost or free food, visit Feed Brant for information on local food banks, community pantries and free meal locations.

Nutritious Food Basket

Each year, the Brant County Health Unit surveys the price of food items from local grocery stores. Using this data and a survey tool called the Nutritious Food Basket, we calculate the cost of healthy eating in Brantford and the County of Brant and compare it to income scenarios of different groups. This helps us understand how feasible it is for people with different sources of income to eat healthy in our community. Food costing tools can be used to raise awareness about the cost of healthy eating and to assist policy and decision makers to formulate sound health, nutrition, and social policies.

The Solution

While charitable food donations can temporarily satisfy the immediate need of hunger for people living with food insecurity, the long-term solution is an adequate income and an affordable cost of living. Only about 20% of households experiencing food insecurity access food banks.  For those who do use food banks, food insecurity does not go away. Adequate income includes jobs with livable wages and benefits, social assistance rates that reflect the true cost of living, and a basic income guarantee for all .  For more information on the solution to food insecurity and what can be done visit:

With the endless amount of information available to us on how to eat, it is useful to have a simple summary of what the most recent recommendations are on healthy eating based on Canada’s Food Guide. While it would be ideal to eat this way entirely, it’s more realistic to aim for one of these changes (within your resources) at a time to support a long-term change in your eating habits. The essentials of healthy eating include:

  • Try to choose lean protein foods, and aim for protein that comes from plants everyday, such as legumes, beans, peas, nuts, seeds and soy products (tofu, fortified soy milk, edamame).

  • Make vegetables and fruits half each of your meals and snacks.

  • Choose whole grain foods instead of white, refined grains.

  • Choose water over other beverages.

  • Try to keep variety in your food choices, rather than eating just a few of the same foods.

  • Reduce your intake of highly processed foods that are high in sugar, sodium, and saturated fat such as processed meats (sausage and deli meat), frozen entrees, fast foods, potato chips and pretzels, ice-cream and frozen desserts and certain condiments like gravy, jams and syrups. Food labels are a good way to compare products to avoid excess sugar, sodium, and saturated fat.

Beyond what you are choosing to eat, consider:

  • Being mindful when you are eating. Focus on eating and remove distractions.

  • Cooking more often, rather than buying prepared food.

  • Enjoying your food – including the taste and the activities that go along with eating. Some of these activities include involving others in planning and preparing food, growing food, socializing when eating.

  • Eating meals with others when you can to enjoy quality time, share food traditions and explore new foods.

Meal Planning

A large part of the success of eating well and following Canada’s Food Guide comes from meal planning. Meal planning can help to:

  • Reduce food waste by strategically using food that is purchased and not over-buying.
  • Make healthier choices, rather than spontaneous ultra-processed foods, save time grocery shopping and going to the grocery store less often.
  • Increase frequency of cooking at home instead of eating out.
  • Improve acceptance of food by children when they are involved in meal planning

Visit Meal planning from start to finish in 4 steps – Canada’s Food Guide and 7 Steps for Quick and Easy Menu Planning – Unlock Food for tips on meal planning.


Part of eating well involves eating a wide variety of foods so that each food can complement the nutrients that other foods lack. Finding new recipes can help expand the variety of foods you consume, make eating more enjoyable, and helps with meal planning!

Below are some of the resources for finding delicious new recipes, whatever your diet type may be:

Different age groups and special populations may require specific information on what to eat. For information on healthy eating for: