Canada’s New Food Guide Is Not Just About Food

On January 22, 2019 the Government of Canada launched the new Canada’s Food Guide. It appeared seemingly simple, with an image that emphasized fruits and veggies, whole grain foods and protein (and don’t forget the glass of water!).

While we commend this new direction, we love the basic principles of the food guide even more:

1. Be mindful of your eating habits.
This means thinking about how, why, what, when, where and how much you eat. Pay attention to the aromas, textures, flavours and taste of your food. Take your time while eating, and notice your hunger cues.

2. Cook more.
Cooking your own food lets you rely less on processed foods and choose healthy ingredients like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins. You’ll also save money from not eating out so often!

Tip: Keep healthy options on hand to cook quick, healthy meals. These could include:
• soup broth to add flavour
• bagged leafy greens to make an easy salad
• your favourite herbs and spices to add flavour
• pre-cut vegetables to use for snacks and stir-fries
• canned tuna or salmon to add to a salad or sandwich
• frozen or canned vegetables to make a quick side dish
• canned chick peas and lentils to toss into soups, salads or main dishes

3. Enjoy your food.
Knowing you are making healthy food choices can increase your enjoyment of food. Enjoying your food includes:
• socializing at mealtime
• enjoying shopping for food
• preparing and cooking food
• growing or harvesting your own food
• getting to know the people that grow or produce your food
• involving others in meal planning, preparation and clean up

4. Eat meals with others.
Enjoying healthy foods with family, friends, neighbours or co-workers is a great way to connect and add enjoyment to your life. The key to making it happen often starts with a plan. You could:
• plan a breakfast date with friends
• participate in community celebrations and feasts
• start a regular community meal with your neighbours
• have lunch with a co-worker at work or friend at school
• ask your local community centre about groups you could join
• plan a weekly dinner with extended family members or friends
• start a dinner party amongst your friends where everyone takes a turn hosting

These principles create a great foundation to eat well and live well – and help build healthier communities. This is part of Poppy Innovation’s mandate, to reduce obesity in children and adults by empowering them with food skills and nutritional knowledge for making healthier eating choices.