Five Healthy Local Picks for Family Meals - West Coast Food

By Alexis Baran

On May 15th, high profile chefs and culinary professionals from Vancouver will be peering into local kitchens to witness the talent that kids and families of BC put into their food. Better Together  has invited BC families and friends to showcase the way they prepare and share meals by submitting a video of their cooking.

With talented judges such as Ocean Wise Executive Chef Ned Bell, registered dietician Anna Brisco, and Chef David Hawksworth who champion sustainable local products, participants will want to be sure to include local healthy ingredients that are also delicious.

For some tips, we caught up with Sydney Massey, Director of Nutrition Education for Better Together and BC Dairy to share five of her top picks for local flavour.


There are seemingly endless varieties of apples grown in BC. Sydney “love[s] apples and these days, you can get a really good BC apple almost all year around. I like to trade around the varieties I use and then I don’t get tired of eating them.”


“Apples pair so well with cheese, something I learned from my mother, and again, we have so many delicious varieties of cheese made in BC. My favourites are brie and blue, and I get these from several BC artisanal cheesemakers. (And don’t be afraid to introduce children to these either—you might be surprised!)”

Ling Cod (with Greens)

“I love ling cod and especially how its colour transforms as you cook it. Whenever I cook fish I pair it with cooked greens and there’s no shortage of choice here from what can grow in your garden or what’s available from our BC farmers. Drizzled with olive oil and finished with lemon, fish and greens is a real BC meal for so much of the year. This is another meal pairing I learned from my mother.”

Local Bread

“…to round out the meal I’ll go for a good loaf of bread from a local bakery.” When you want a healthy bread, be sure to look for whole grains to get that fibre your body needs.

As for Sydney’s overall tips for a healthy meal, she emphasizes, “instead of focusing so much on health, take a step back and just focus on getting food on the table at regular times. When family meals become a structured habit, nutrition tends to follow since we aren’t grazing on the most convenient snack food. And while it may be more work at first, by getting your children involved in cooking, you will have ready helpers in the long run, making mealtimes a shared responsibility.”

Credit: @bettertogetherbc

Ready to make a video? The deadline is May 15th at noon, criteria is here.


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