We’re delighted to welcome back Selena De Vries, RD as our guest blogger. With the recent release of the new Canada Food Guide she was happy to share some of her initial thoughts – this is part 2 (please click here to read the first part of her article).
#3. Choose plant based proteins often:
With a focus on sustainability and evidence based nutrition recommendations with the new food guide, plant based proteins are emphasized in the ‘protein’ part of the plate and for good reason. They are a rich source of fiber which is one nutrient that Canadians do not get enough of.
However, cooking with beans and legumes can be intimidating as not many people know how to make these foods taste delicious! Involving the whole family in making new recipes is just one way that will help kids to be more open to trying these foods.
Some great resources for delicious plant based recipes include:
The emphasis on reducing saturated fat has placed an emphasis on choosing lean sources of red meat and lower fat dairy products.
The bottom line: Experiment in the kitchen and make plant proteins like beans and legumes a part of your weekly meal plan at least three times per week, if possible.
#4. Make half your meal whole fruits and vegetables
Many Canadians do not consume enough fiber as mentioned above. In fact, it is estimated that adults only consume about 11g/day, and the recommendation is 25g for females, and 38g for males. That’s a pretty large gap!
The plate model is specifically designed to help all Canadians increase their fiber and aiming for 1/2 plate of fruit and vegetables is an easy way to boost fiber intake. Some great tips to get kids loving fruit and vegetables include:
- Involving them in the cooking or preparation process. For example, letting a younger child stir
together ingredients for pancakes
- Letting your child choose a new fruit or vegetable at the grocery store. For example, asking a younger child if they would like apples or oranges this week.
- Giving an older child the responsibility to cook dinner once/week, with your guidance to start, if needed.
The bottom lime: No matter what type of meal you are eating, whether you eat out of a bowl or plate or are eating a mixed meal like chili or stirfry, make half of what you consume fruits or vegetables.
#5. Choose whole grains
In the old food guide, the recommendation was to choose whole grains at least half the time. With the lack of fiber in Canadian’s diet, moving to a plate that visually shows 1/4 of the plate filled with whole grains is a great step.
Grains have the potential to be rich sources of fiber in the diet. White grains are stripped of their nourishing bran and germ components, which is where the majority of the fiber is contained. They are also typically make into products containing a lot of added sugar such as sugary kids cereals and snacks, crackers, breads, and sugary granola bars.
It is not to say that white foods can’t be had sometimes, but they shouldn’t be making it into the household on regular occasions.
Bottom line: Choose whole grains and whole grain products most often and reserve white grains and products to ‘sometimes’ foods.
Click here for Part 1 of Selena’s article on the New Canada Food Guide.