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Using Canada's Food Guide

Using Canada's Food Guide

Canada’s Food Guide is a tool designed to help you learn about the types and amounts of food that are ideal to boost your vitamin and mineral intake, enhance your health and reduce the risk of diseases such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

SAFETY NET

Ensure your level of physical activity is right for your stage of life.

To download a copy of Canada’s Food Guide, click here.

How Much Food to Eat

The Food Guide divides foods into four groups.

The amount of food from each group you should eat in a day will depend on your age and gender – as the chart below illustrates – but also your activity level.

 

Activity burns energy, and so generally, very active people need to eat more than the chart below recommends in order to replace the calories burned from their activities. To learn more about the importance of physical activity, see our article “Get Activated”, or visit Canada’s Guide to Healthy Activity.

Recommended Number of Food Guide Servings per Day

 

Children

Teens

Adults

Age in Years 2-3 4-8 9-13

14-18 years

19-50 years

51+ years

Sex

Girls & Boys

Females

Males

Females

Males

Females

Males

Vegetables & Fruits

4

5

6

7

8

7-8

8-10

7

7

Grain Products

3

4

6

6

7

6-7

8

6

7

Milk and Alternatives

2

2

3-4

3-4

3-4

2

2

3

3

Meat and Alternatives

1

1

1-2

2

3

2

3

2

3

Wondering what ONE food guide serving is?

Download a copy of Canada’s Food Guide to find out this and more. Click here if Adobe® Reader® is required.

 

What Types of Food to Eat:

Canada’s Food Guide provides advice on the types of foods to eat. In general it is recommended that you choose a variety of foods from all the food groups. Some of the specific recommendations include:

  • Eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day.
  • Choose vegetables and fruit prepared with little or no added fat, sugar or salt.
  • Have vegetables and fruit more often than juice.
  • Make at least half of your grain products whole grain each day.
  • Choose grain products that are lower in fat, sugar or salt.
  • Drink skim, 1%, or 2% milk each day.
  • Select lower fat milk alternatives.
  • Have meat alternatives such as beans, lentils and tofu often.
  • Eat at least two Food Guide Servings of fish each week.

For more detailed information visit: www.healthcanada.gc.ca/foodguide

A Sample Day for a Woman 19-50 Years of Age:

Using the food guide chart above as well as other recommendations in the food guide, a woman aged 19-50 would need approximate

    • 7-8 vegetables and fruit
    • 6-7 grain products
    • 2 milk and alternatives
    • 2 meat and alternatives
    • A multivitamin containing folic acid.
    • ≤2-3 tbsp. oils/fats

Here is one way she could put the food guide to use:

Breakfast:
60 g cereal (eg. 1 cup cheerios mixed with 1/3 cup all bran buds)
1 cup skim or 1% or soy milk
1/2 cup fresh/frozen berries
Water
Multivitamin

Lunch:
1 whole wheat tortilla wrap 
½ cup canned tuna mixed with light mayonnaise or ready-to-eat flavored tuna
1 cup skim or 1% or soy milk
1 cup raw carrots/sugar snap peas
Water

Supper:
1 cup whole wheat pasta with ½ cup tomato sauce and ½ cup cooked lean ground beef/turkey
1 cup raw spinach with ½ cup diced tomatoes/cucumbers and 1 tbsp. vinaigrette
Water

Snacks:
1 cup cantaloupe and melon diced 
½ whole wheat pita bread with hummus
Water

Want to build more sample meals using the food guide? Visit www.healthcanada.gc.ca/foodguide

References:
Download a copy of Canada’s Food Guide: Download Acrobat® Reader® if you need to view a pdf of Canada’s Food Guide.

Health Canada: Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide
www.healthcanada.gc.ca/foodguide