Canada's Food Guide made simple for you and your family

a girl surrounded by colourful fruits and vegetables

Have you been eagerly awaiting the new Canada’s Food Guide? It’s finally here! No more confusion about food groups and the number of servings. This update to the food guide makes it easier than ever to make healthy food choices and establish healthy eating habits for you and your family.

This new guide is simple to understand. It focuses on:
  • Whole foods instead of nutrients
  • Proportions instead of number of servings
  • Protein foods with an emphasis on plant sources of protein

The updated Canada’s Food Guide has two key messages:

1. Eat a variety of healthy foods each day

kids playing with fruits and vegetables
  • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits
  • Choose whole grain foods
  • Choose protein foods that come from plants more often
  • Make water your drink of choice
  • Limit foods high in sodium, sugar and saturated fat
  • Limit highly processed foods
Canada’s Food Guide demonstrates healthy food choices and proportions for vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods and protein foods in the photo below:
plate of healthy food options

2. Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat

toddler helping parent prepare a meal
  • Be mindful of your eating habits
  • Cook more often
  • Eat meals with others
  • Enjoy your food

So, how can a busy parent like you use Canada’s Food Guide to make changes in your family’s eating habits?

family eating a healthy dinner together

Our best advice is to start small. Start by incorporating some of the ideas below into your routines. Add more when you are ready.
  • Increase the number of fruits and vegetables you eat for meals and snacks. Eventually try to ensure that half of your plate is filled with fruits and vegetables.  
  • Eat one vegetarian meal a week (or more!).
  • Enjoy water everywhere you go in a reusable water bottle.
  • Cook with your kids. Choose a recipe together and enjoy the process of creating delicious food as a family.
  • Encourage kids to help you shop and choose healthy foods at the grocery store.
  • Choose healthy foods from menus when eating out at restaurants.
  • Eat meals together as a family. Choose the time of day that fits best for your family. Breakfast together is a great way to start your day.
  • Eat mindfully and slowly. Help your kids understand their hunger and fullness cues. Encourage kids to eat until their belly tells them they are full and satisfied.
Keep mealtimes positive, embrace your culture and food traditions, and enjoy your food!

Want to learn more?

Check out Canada’s Food Guide website for recipes and more healthy eating tips related to:

Wondering if your child is eating healthily?

  • Call Let’s Talk Parenting for free and confidential telephone support from a public health nurse. Call Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: 1-800-265-7293 ext. 3616.
  • Call Telehealth Ontario to speak with a dietitian.
  • Check out UnlockFoods to find a dietitian near you.
  • Check out NutriSTEP® to learn about your child’s eating and activity habits.
Your Child's Developmental Milestones

Want more age-specific information? Visit our website to read about your child’s development and get more activities and healthy living tips.

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