Healthy Options at the CNE - Aviva Allen's Blog

Healthy Options at the CNE

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While most of us have come to accept that the food building at CNE is not a destination for healthy eating, this year you will find a few pleasant surprises.  You will still find old favourites like Tiny Tom's Mini Donuts, celebrate over 50 years at the CNE.  You will, of course, find standard fare including pizza, fish and chips and poutine.  You will also find a number of newer innovations including a Bacon Wrapped Deep Fried Mars Bar, The Krispy Kreme Donut Burger and "The Behemoth" - not just one, but TWO grilled cheese sandwiches with a burger, bacon and more cheese in the middle. There is even The Chocolate Spread - a whole booth dedicated to food involving Nutella, which is apparent by the display of multiple 5kg jars. 



The CNE has become well-known for these over the top creations, but amidst all of the trans fat, there were a few spots that were a welcomed contrast:

Wild Child's Kitchen: This was certainly not something I expected to see in the CNE Food Building.  Fresh Smoothies and juices made with (some) organic ingredients, raw vegan "cheese"cake bites, salads and wraps and tacos/nachos with cashew "sour cream".  Vegan and gluten-free!

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Ghazale: Middle Eastern food with a nice selection of fresh salads and vegetarian dishes.  This booth had one of the most vibrant and colourful displays of food in the building.

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Eative: Offering sugar-free and dairy-free sorbet, Eative uses only one ingredient in their products: Fruit.  They puree their own fruit and then add this "fruit juice" to an electric mixer where it is combined with liquid nitrogen and immediately freezes.  The sorbet was so tasty, I unfortunately ate it all before realizing I didn't get a picture of it.

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Mama's Pizza: For those on a dairy-free diet, you can still enjoy a slice of pizza at the Ex!  Mama's Pizza has a vegan pizza option made with Daiya Cheese.

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What I also enjoyed seeing was the food directory where you could search for foods by category but there were also helpful symbols indicating which booths offered alternatives such as vegan, nut-free, gluten-free and dairy-free options.


If you are planning to head down to the Ex this year, I encourage you to support these businesses and perhaps we will see more like these in the future.  I don't think that the over-indulgent items will disappear, but it would be nice to balance that out with some healthier choices and options for those with dietary restrictions.

Aviva Allen is one of Toronto's leading Kids' Nutritionists specializing in helping parents deal with their picky eaters. Inspired by her two young boys' adventures in food, Aviva helps children and their families establish healthy eating habits through her nutritional counselling, offering consultations via phone or Skype. Aviva is also the founder of Healthy Moms Toronto, helping connect like-minded moms throughout the GTA.