Part 2: Why you need a menu management system

Canada’s Food Guide

A regulation made under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007, requires that long-term-care homes provide a variety of foods each day from Health Canada released a new version of the Food Guide, 12 years after the last update. Unlike the previous Food Guide, the current Food Guide no longer classifies food into different groups or provides serving counts for recommended intake. Instead, it provides guidelines and advice intended to help Canadians make healthy food choices and adopt healthy eating habits. Another significant change is that Health Canada recommends that fruit and vegetables make up half of the plate, with whole grains and protein foods each making up the remaining quarters.  See below:

Guideline 1

Nutritious foods are the foundation for healthy eating.

  • Vegetables, fruit, whole grains and protein foods should be consumed regularly. Among protein foods, consume plant-based more often.
  • Protein foods include legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, fortified soy beverage, fish, shellfish, eggs, poultry, lean red meat including wild game, lower fat milk, lower fat yogurts, lower fat kefir, and cheeses lower in fat and sodium.
  • Foods that contain mostly unsaturated fat should replace foods that contain mostly saturated fat.
  • Water should be the beverage of choice.

Guideline 2

Processed or prepared foods and beverages that contribute to excess sodium, free sugars, or saturated fat undermine healthy eating and should not be consumed regularly.

  • For example, sugary drinks and confectioneries should not be consumed regularly.

Guideline 3

Food skills are needed to navigate the complex food environment and support healthy eating.

  • Cooking and food preparation using nutritious foods should be promoted as a practical way to support healthy eating.
  • Food labels should be promoted as a tool to help Canadians make informed food choices.

A regulation that was made under the Long-Term Care Homes Act in 2007, requires that long-term-care-home operators have to provide adequate nutrients, fibre and energy for residents based on the current Dietary Reference Intakes values established by a scientific body commissioned by both the Canadian and the US governments. These values specify the intake level required of healthy populations in specific sex and age groups. A standard from the Dietary Reference Intake is that people over the age of 70 years have a recommended dietary allowance of 1,200 mg of calcium per day as an example.

Health Canada recommends using these values for assessing and planning diets, and expects professionals such as registered dietitians in healthcare settings to tailor these values to accommodate health requirements of different individuals needs.

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