Variety on Your Plate!
A food’s nutrient content is key to where it fits in the Food Guide. Within each group, the nutrient content of foods is similar. Eating foods from each group offers the variety of nutrients you need to be your best!
Vegetables and Fruit Group...Eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day. Have vegetables and fruit more often than juice.
Grain Products Group... Make half your grain products whole grain each day.
Milk and Alternatives Group...Drink skim, 1%, or 2% milk each day for adequate calcium and vitamin D. Drink fortified soy beverages if you do not drink milk.
Meat and Alternatives Group... Eat at least two servings of fish each week. Have meat alternatives such as beans, lentils and tofu often.
Oils and Fats... For taste and enjoyment include a small amount – 30-45 ml (2 to 3 Tbsp) – of unsaturated fat each day. This includes oil used in cooking, salad dressings, margarine and mayonnaise. Use vegetable oils such as canola, olive and soybean. Choose soft margarines that are low in saturated and trans fats. Limit your intake of butter, hard margarine, lard and shortening as these are high in saturated or trans fats.
Variety Within… Within food groups, you need variety since no food supplies all the nutrients. A juicy orange supplies folate, but not beta-carotene; cantaloupe is high in beta-carotene, but not folate.
Variety Makes “Sense”… Combining nutritious foods of different colours, textures, tastes, shapes and temperatures makes meals more appealing. Consider broiled chicken brushed with barbecue sauce, broccoli and rice-nut pilaf, with cold milk and mixed berries. Choose foods with little or no added fat, sugar or salt.