1 Canada’s Food Guide

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the basic nutritional elements and properties of food
  • Describe the nutritional requirements of a healthy diet
  • Understand the nutrition facts tables (NFT)

Most Canadians have been introduced at one point or another to Canada’s Food Guide for a balanced diet. The latest version, adapted in 2007, includes changes and improvements based on recent studies and focuses on eating more wholesome foods. The four food groups are:

  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Grain products
  • Milk and alternatives
  • Meat and alternatives

Depending on a person’s gender and age, Canada’s food guide recommends the number of servings in each food group that a person should consume (Tables 1a-1d). It also contains information about what is considered a serving of different types of food.

Table 1a: Recommended servings of each food group for children, girls and boys
 Food 2-3 years old 4-8 years old 9-13 years old
Vegetables and Fruit 4 servings 5 servings 6 servings
Grain Products 3 servings 4 servings 6 servings
Milk and Alternatives 2 servings 2 servings 3-4 servings
Meat and Alternatives 1 serving 1 serving 1-2 servings
Table 1b: Recommended servings of each food group for teens, 14–18 years old
 Food Female Male
Vegetables and Fruit 7 servings 8 servings
Grain Products 6 servings 7 servings
Milk and Alternatives 3-4 servings 3-4 servings
Meat and Alternatives 2 servings 3 servings
Table 1c: Recommended servings of each food group for adults, 19–50 years old
 Food Female Male
Vegetables and Fruit 7-8 servings 8-10 servings
Grain Products 6-7 servings 8 servings
Milk and Alternatives 2 servings 2 servings
Meat and Alternatives 2 servings 3 servings
Table 1d: Recommended servings of each food group for adults, 51+ years old
 Food Female Male
Vegetables and Fruit 7 servings 7 servings
Grain Products 6 servings 7 servings
Milk and Alternatives 3 servings 3 servings
Meat and Alternatives 2 servings 3 servings

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