Canada’s New Food Guide – Vegetables and Fruits 50%
We all remember our mothers saying eat your vegetables. Well now Health Canada is telling us to make 50% of our plate fruits and vegetables.
Vegetables and fruits are an important part of healthy eating. Enjoying a variety of vegetables and fruits may lower your risk of heart disease.
Vegetables and fruits have important nutrients such as:
Choose different textures, colours and shapes to fit what you like. From A to Z, choose plenty of vegetables and fruits.
- leafy greens
Fruit juice and fruit juice concentrates are high in sugars. Replace juice with water. Choose whole or cut vegetables and fruits instead of juice.
Choosing and preparing healthy vegetables and fruits
Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables and fruits can all be healthy options.
Frozen and canned vegetables and fruits:
- take little time to prepare
- are a healthy and convenient option
- are just as nutritious as fresh vegetables and fruits
Frozen vegetables and fruits
Choose frozen vegetables and fruits without:
- added sugars
- added seasonings
- breading or rich sauces
You can add frozen vegetables and fruits to soups, chilis, stir frys or smoothies.
Canned vegetables and fruits
- Choose canned vegetables with little to no added sodium.
- Drain and rinse canned vegetables to lower the sodium content.
- Choose canned fruit with little to no added sugars.
- Use the food labels to help you compare canned vegetables and fruits.
- The % daily value helps you see if a food has a little or a lot of a nutrient.
Dried fruit can be a part of healthy eating but they also contain concentrated fruit sugars so read your labels carefully.
Try healthier cooking methods like:
Enhance the flavour by adding:
- olive oil
- lemon juice
- flavoured vinegar
- fresh or dried herbs or spices
Vegetables and fruits make quick and healthy snacks. There are lots to choose from and many healthy ways to prepare them.
Vegetable snacking tips
Keeping cut up vegetables in the fridge is a quick way to have a healthy snack on hand.
- carrot sticks
- celery sticks
- cucumber slices
Fruit snacking tips
Keep a bowl of fresh fruit out to grab as an easy snack.
Add fruit to whole grain cereals and lower fat yogurst.
- frozen berries
- canned peaches packed in water
Freeze seedless grapes on a tray and enjoy them as a snack. Perfect on a hot summer day or to throw into your water.
How to eat more vegetables
There are some really easy ways to eat more vegetables:
- Add canned pumpkin or squash purée to any soup to make it extra rich and creamy.
- Wash, chop and refrigerate or freeze extra vegetables when preparing meals so you have extra for meals the next day.
Keeping pre-bagged vegetables on hand can be quickly tossed in a salad, stir-fry, casserole or roasted in the oven.
- baby carrots
- green beans
- leafy greens
Serve raw vegetables with your meals.
- cherry or grape tomatoes
- red, yellow or green peppers
Try new recipes that call for different types of leafy greens
- bok choy
- Swiss chard
- mixed salad greens
How to eat more fruits
Fruits are a delicious and healthy addition to your day.
For dessert, choose:
- fruit salad, with little to no added sugars
Add fresh fruits to salads.
Try adding sliced:
Add frozen fruits to baking.
Prepare by washing and cutting extra fruit so you can have some on hand in the fridge for meals and snacks.