Do you remember the Canada’s Food Guide rainbow that you would learn about in health class as a student? Who could forget it? There were four food groups: Dairy, Meat and Alternatives, Fruits and Vegetables and Grains. It was easy enough to remember the picture of the rainbow, but more difficult to remember how many servings of each food group you were supposed to have. Also, how big is a serving anyway?
With all these details floating around in our heads when we were meal prepping, it was easy to forget or mistake one food group’s serving size for another. It’s no secret that people have been getting increasingly creative when it comes to meal prep and the foods that appear on our dinner plates. Why? Well, vegetarians, vegans, and allergies are no longer a population that is few and far between, they are a huge portion of our society. The Canadian government has clearly been listening and observing these changes because the newly released food guide is no longer a rainbow. It’s a simple photograph.
The new Canada’s Food Guide emphasizes the importance of mindful eating and the quality of food that you are consuming. Mindful eating requires that you are aware of the speed at which you are consuming your meals (the slower, the better), to stop eating when you feel full and to eat in a setting that is conducive to meal time. An example of a mindless meal would be eating a no-name hamburger on a white bun with chips in front of the television while watching a sports game. A mindful meal would be having a flavorful and colorful kale salad with a chicken breast and brown rice with your family at the dinner table.
The other difference is that there are no longer four food groups. The improved food guide is asking Canadians to look at their dinner plate and be mindful that half their plate is filled with fruits and vegetables. Then, one quarter is supposed to be a protein of any kind (tofu, chickpeas, chicken, yogurt etc.), while the final quarter is some type of whole grain. Within these categories, foodies are encouraged to eat the least processed foods they can find. For example, eat brown rice instead of a slice of white bread. Finally, Canadians are instructed to steer clear of foods high in sugar or sodium.
What do you think of these changes? Take a few minutes and write out a shopping list that represents the new Canada’s Food Guide and see how it contrasts to your current shopping list. You may be surprised by how much better your new list really is!
To learn more about Canada’s food guide read HERE.