Canada’s Food Guide wants us to eat together

Our food preferences and eating habits have evolved and so has Canada’s Food Guide. While still focusing on establishing healthy nutritional habits, the revamped version also puts an emphasis on how we eat.

Eating together is not only a great way to instill new habits and achieve our nutrition goals, it also allows us to find our passion for cooking, nutrition, and sustainability as a family. To help make the most of mealtime, it is also recommended that we put away our devices and enjoy quality time with our loved ones.

This is also a great opportunity to cook together. Getting the kids involved is a great way to teach good nutritional habits that can last them a lifetime. When working to establish new habits, try to set goals to help your family remain accountable and have fun tracking your progress along the way.

Setting goals to incorporate the new recommendations from the guide can be as easy as setting aside one day a week to meal-prep for the week ahead, planning a weekly dinner with friends or extended family, making the commitment to go meatless on Mondays or introducing new recipes to your repertoire.

The new food guide stresses the importance of the healthy plate, which is a very simple way to think about balance and portion size. The model is half vegetables while the rest of the plate is balanced out with whole grains and protein-rich foods. When it comes to serving healthy proteins, try new, sustainable alternatives. Why not try swapping out ground meats in recipes for black beans and crumbled tofu on taco night or chickpeas and lentils in chili or shepherd’s pie.

Try incorporating the new guidelines into your routine with this simple and quick one-pan puttanesca. We’ve swapped out the pasta for zucchini noodles, to squeeze some extra veggies onto your plate.


One-Pan Zucchini Noodle and White Bean Puttanesca
Serves: 4
Ready in: 20 minutes


2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil, divided

1 cup (250 mL) cherry tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp (2 mL) salt

¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper

Pinch (0.5 mL) hot pepper flakes

1 can (540 mL) no-salt added white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

¼ cup (50 mL) whole Kalamata olives, drained, pitted and sliced

1 tbsp (15 mL) capers, drained and rinsed

1 pkg (340 g) spiralized zucchini veggie noodles

1/4 cup (50 mL) torn fresh basil


Heat 1 tbsp oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden; 2 to 3 minutes.

Add garlic, salt, black pepper and hot pepper flakes. Cook, stirring often until fragrant; about 1 minute. Add beans; cook, stirring often until heated through; 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in olives and capers. Transfer to large bowl. Set aside.

Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add veggie noodles; cook, tossing and stirring often until tender-crisp; 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomato mixture; cook, stirring to coat, until heated through; about 1 minute. Sprinkle with basil.