Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Techy Tuesday: Introducing the Canada Food Guide Website

What?  You've already met, you say?  Chances are you only think you know our old buddy from Elementary school.  The guide has changed and I was a bit surprised at the website for the guide and thought this might be a good feature for a Techy Tuesday.

Around a decade ago, I was lucky enough to have free nutrition counseling at work.  I went to an office and sat down with a nutritionist and we tried to figure out a good way for me to drop a couple of pounds and get healthier.  I was crestfallen when she told me that I should just follow the Canada Food Guide.   It was so boring.  I just wanted a flashy diet. (Hey - I was 24 or something at the time...it was all about the flash!)

But - I trusted her advice and immediately went home and made myself a little chart where I could tick off servings of veggies and breads etc.  

Within a week - my energy levels were off the charts and the pounds were falling off.   I couldn't even EAT all of food it told me I had to so I was definitely never hungry.

It was wonderful.  But around 3 weeks into my new plan - I started longing for a candy binge-fest and my all-or-nothing attitude meant I fell off the wagon.

This month, me and my partner at work have been taking baby steps to get healthier and drop some pounds.   I told her about my Canada Food Guide experience and we started talking about how we both might actually be in a better place in our lives to give it a try.

I went to the website to see if I could maybe get started creating little progress charts for us...only to find that the Canada Food Guide had changed...A LOT...in the past 10 years!

Gone is the pyramid or rainbow or whatever you remember it being last.  It is now a rather stark looking thing that states the servings and then gives examples of each category with serving sizes.

The things that impressed me most about the website, though, were the worksheets and downloadables:  
  • Guided Tour - walks you through the basics of the Food Guide
  • Printable tracking sheets - there are guides for all ages and genders with convenient check-boxes to tick off as you eat the servings.  you could even get your kids involved with their own charts!
  • Customizable Food Guides - you can create your own guide that fits with your lifestyle, activities, and foods that you like
  • Educational materials - excellent materials on everything from being more active to learning how to read a food label to how to plan and shop
  • Special guides for Aboriginals - to cover the special aspects of their cultural diets
The support materials and customization are perhaps what surprised me the most.  Back 10 years ago, there was a downloadable copy of the guide and a way to order a paper copy.  That was about it.

Everything on the site is FREE to download and peruse.  You do not need to be a Canadian to take advantage of the information!  And I do think every Canadian should reintroduce themselves to this revamped Childhood friend.

I am completely in love with this website and feel like I will be using it a great deal going forward.  That work partner and I are starting a Canada Food Guide Challenge for the next 2 weeks to see if it can kickstart some healthier practices.  You're totally welcome to join us, if you want! 

With the materials on this site, I think it will be a piece of cake!


  1. It is so much better than the old food pyramid we used to have where one size fit everyone, I think.

    Good explanation. Good to share.

  2. That is so cool! Thanks for sharing -- I'll definitely take a look!


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