New Canada Food Guide

A new version of the Canada Food Guide was released in January 2019. This new version of the Food Guide is a significant change from the previous Food Guide. The new Canadian food guide encourages Canadians to eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains foods, to chose protein that comes from plant more often, to cook more and to limit processed foods. Rather than recommending portions of the different food groups, this guide focuses on three food categories: 

  1. vegetables & fruits
  2. protein foods
  3. Whole grain

Changing one’s eating habits can be a serious challenge; ZestyKits simplifies cooking at home by planning weekly meals and providing pre-portioned ingredients and hand-made sauces to prepare delicious healthy meals. The new food guide encourages Canadians to increase their food skills and food literacy.

An example of a delicious and easy recipes that follows the recommendations of the Canadian Food Guide is the Green Curry Coconut Bowl.  Find the recipe (including the sauce and spice blend) here! 🙂

Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat

Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat. It is also about where, when, why and how you eat.

Be mindful of your eating habits

Benefits of being mindful of eating habits is being aware of a variety of aspects of your eating habits. These include but are not limited to:
– how much you eat
– why you eat
– what you eat

Being aware of your eating habits provides a number of benefits including:
– make healthier choices
– notice when you are hungry and full
– create a sense of awareness around your every day eating decisions

How to be mindful of your eating habits

Create a healthy eating environment by trying to eat in an environment that makes it easy to make healthy choices 

Use your senses. Eating uses all your senses. Try to pay attention to the smell, textures and flavours of your food.

Consider your eating habits by asking yourself questions about what you ate. Some questions may include:
– How fast you ate?
– Did you pay attention to what you ate?
– Did you eat with others?
– Where you bored?
– How much did you eat?

Cook more often

There are multiples benefits of cooking.  These benefits include but are not limited to:
– eating less processed foods
– lean cooking skills
– opportunity to be creative
– control salt and fat
– choose healthy ingredient

How to cook more often

You can make cooking faster and easier with the following tips:
– You can cook a larger batch so you cook once and have leftovers. You can also make large batch recipes likes: stew, soup, chili, casseroles, lasagna,… 
– You can cook extra rice or quinoa to use in other dishes later that week. 
– Reinvent your leftovers into new recipes. For example: Chili can become burritos or spaghetti.
– Use time saving tools like slow cookers and pressure cooker.
– Keep healthy ingredients handy by having a ready to cook grains in the pantry, canned beans, frozen pre-portioned fish, frozen vegetables, spices as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables.
–  Try healthy and low fat cooking methods like: baking, boiling, steaming, and grilling.

Enjoy your food

There are many benefits of enjoying your food which includes being open to trying new flavours and developing a healthy relationship with food. Knowing that you are making healthy choices and supporting your healthy lifestyle can help you enjoy your food even more. 

How to enjoy food

You can enjoying your food in numerous ways including:
– Spending quality time with loved ones at mealtime.
– Shopping in new specialty stores to find new foods and flavours.
– Cooking new recipes.
– Growing your own food.
– Getting to know your farmers and producers.
– choose foods that you like, that fits in your budget, lifestyle and that reflects your culture and beliefs.
– Try new foods to find a sense of wonder and even adventure.
– Take care to create a nice environment to eat. This can include eating with other,listening to music and setting the table nicely.

Eat meals with others

Enjoying healthy foods with family, friends, neighbours or co-workers is a great way to connect. It can provide many benefits and contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Eating with other can help you enjoy food by giving you the opportunity to share food traditions across generations and cultures. Food is usually the main part of celebrations; however, eating as a group can make a regular night a special event. 

How to eat with others more often

With our busy schedules, making time to enjoy meals with others requires some planning.  You can plan to eat with loved ones by:
– Having a regular family meal.
– Planing an activity nigh that includes games and making dinner together.
– Start a dinner party with friends and everyone takes a turn to host.
– Host a potluck with friends or family.

To really enjoy eating with other try to put away distractions like phones, take your time and use the meal experience as a time to connect.

Kids especially benefit from regular family meals as they are starting to develop their eating habits and behaviours. Eating together as a family can help kids:
– learn cooking skills.
– be creative which helps improve self-esteem.
– explore healthy foods.
– establish healthy eating routines.


Next weeks’ post will discuss the 3 guidelines of the Canadian Food guide:
– Guideline 1: Foundation for healthy eating
– Guideline 2: Foods and beverages that undermine healthy eating
– Guideline 3: Importance of food skills