Eating With the New Canada Food Guide

“Eating with the New Canada Food Guide has never been easier”.

Do you follow the Canada Food Guide when planning your everyday meals?

There has been a lot of media attention around the proposed changes to Canada’s Food Guide.

Did you know that the Canadian government has just published a “NEW” Canada Food Guide…..

After years of consultation and review of nutrition research, the new Canada’s Food Guide is ‘finally’ here. This new guide offers fewer rules to what you can eat and provides a more global approach to how to eat in a healthy manner.

Eating with the new Canada Food Guide has never been easier”.

Was there a need for a revamp?

A bit of history:

The Canada food guide we have been following became in effect in 1962.

According to Wikipedia “Canada’s first food guide was introduced in July of 1942 to provide guidance to Canadians on proper nutrition during a period of time when wartime rations were common. The 1942 version was called the Official Food Rules.”

In 1962, the official Canada’s Food Guide.[2] was named and became the most followed guide by professional in the medical and dietary fields.

In 1992 the named evolved to Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating and then in 2007 it evolved to Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide.[3]

Check out some old historic food guide posters here.

With the New Year came the introduction of the newest Canada’s Food Guide – it was released to the public in early January – 2019.

In the past each time the Food Guide was revamped it had to do with new scientific evidence becoming available in the areas of food and health.

What was driving the changes this time?

  • New scientific evidence with respect to oils and fats, vitamin D and sodium
  • Complaints that previous food guide was not user friendly
  • Our culturally diverse population

In revamping the Canada Food guide, the Canada government wanted to find innovate ways to offer healthy eating recommendations and guidance to Canadians. I think Eating with the new Canada Food Guide has never been easier”.

The “New Canada Food Guide” appears to follow a more simplified approach. In the old Food guide there was an emphasis on the “four food groups”. They had a picture that placed the four food groups against a rainbow background.

However, the new Canada Food guide no longer uses the four food group model; it eliminated serving sizes; and it replaced the “rainbow” with a new a “plate”.

Let’s take a look at the changes:

Major Change:

The removal of the “Four Food Groups”:

The original four food groups were

  1. milk and mild milk and milk products

  2. meat and meat alternatives

  3. grain milk and milk products

  4. fruits and vegetables

These four food groups have remained more or less unchanged since 1977.

The new Canada food guide, revealed by the Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor now introduces three food groups instead of the original four.

The three new food groups are:

  1. Fruits and Vegetables

  2. Whole grains

  3. Proteins

Here are some highlights….

This is the first major overhaul that the Canadian government has undertaken. The one-page double-sided poster is replaced by a website of resources – On this site you will find research documents, and helpful videos, recipes and practical advice.



There is a new emphasis on drinking more water, and less sugary beverages.

You will see a new visual – a “simple picture” of a balanced PLATE:

  • 1/2 the plate is vegetables and fruit (these can be fresh,Frozen or canned)

  • 1/4 of the plate is protein (there is more emphasis on plant-based proteins such as legumes, nuts and seeds; this category also includes milk and yogurt. Meat, poultry and seafood are now also in this grouping).

  • 1/4 of the plate is whole grains (these include brown rice, whole grain pasta, whole grain bread, quinoa)

This guide makes suggestions for families to enjoy eating their food together, to cook more often rather than getting takeout, and to be mindful of eating habits.

There is advice on HOW TO EAT – NOT JUST WHATTO EAT

It also recommendations that you reduce your intake of saturated fat, sodium, and sugar

Let’s try to “digest’ these changes….

At first glance it looks like the new food guide is recommending a plant – based or vegetarian lifestyle.

I propose or interpret the new guide to mean they are advising people to choose plant protein more often. I believe there are many ways to eat healthy and this may or may not include animal foods (such as dairy, meat, poultry, and fish).

I think the best healthy eating plan is one in which you will actually follow and continue following for life without feeling like you are cheating yourself.

I feel that no matter what plan you follow it is important to ensure you eat plenty of plant-based foods.

I like the new VISUAL of a PLATE in that you can quickly visualize what healthy eating can look like:

  • 1/2 of your plate with veggies;
  • 1/4 of your plate with protein; and
  • 1/4 of your plate with grains.

I like that the new guide encourages cooking at home which will help young people learn culinary skills.

I like that it emphasis the importance of eating family meals together.

I also was impressed that the food guide emphasized mindfulness. Something that I’m a huge believer in. Check out my mindfulness article here.

What do you think of the new Canada Food Guide?

In some ways, the new Canada Food Guide that we use today (released in 2019) looks similar to the older ones from previous years, but it also has a totally different feel to how we access it. Technology plays a huge role in the amount of information available to us at our fingertips.

Can we trust the information they have provided in the new Canada Food Guide?

From my research it appears that there was an openness and transparency in how and who was all involved in the putting together of this guide:

You can check out submitted summaries in “What We Heard” reports available at

  • Details including the names of organizations and meetings, are posted here
  • Also it was noted on the government site that Industry-commissioned reports (meet producers, dairy producers, etc.) were excluded to reduce any conflict of interest.


The new Canada Food Guide provides a simple visual of a PLATE rather than food groups and serving sizes. I like the expandable online tools to get the people thinking about eating healthy. The new Canada Food Guide focuses on not just what to eat but also how to eat. And lastly I like that it emphasizes cooking more at home, eating together and eating with mindfulness. Eating with the new Canada Food Guide has never been easier.

What do you think of the new Canada Food Guide? I would love to hear your thoughts and comment.

If you found my article informative and or helpful I would appreciate it if you shared it with your family and friends or on social media.

Until next time,

Cheers, Eliza

PS as always here’s a Recipe, Quote and Affirmation for you…

Recipe: Savory broccoli and cheese muffins (Check out this recipe on the New Canada Food Guide website here.)

Quote: “Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat. It’s about your whole relationship with food. The new Food Guide gets to the heart of this relationship and gives Canadians concrete advice that they can follow to make healthy eating part of their day.” The Honourable, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health

Affirmation: “I am eating healthy foods that make me strong.”

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