Canada’s Food Guide has changed over the years based on the needs of the population. The first Food Guide ever introduced was in 1942, called the Official Food Rules. This Guide focused on wartime food rationing to prevent nutritional deficiencies and raise awareness for famine elsewhere. As conditions changed, and war time rationing and malnutrition were no longer pressing issues, the Guide shifted to focus more on disease preventing, emphasizing variety and energy balance.
The new Guide comes with many exciting changes. One of the main ones is the fact that it a focuses more on “how to eat” instead of “how much” and recognizes that “healthy eating is more than the foods you eat”. In other words, it recognizes the context in which people eat and how that influences food choices. For example, it’s not as simple as telling (or teaching) someone to eat better if there are no healthy options available in their environment, or if they don’t have a positive relationship with food. Therefore, it is important to ensure our social and physical environments support healthy eating and allow individuals to develop a positive relationship with food.
As an educator, it is your role to support children to discover food by providing positive and safe eating environments that respects children’s natural hunger & fullness cues, and teaching nutrition in a positive way (teaching about a variety of foods, focusing on the benefits of fueling the mind and body).
For more information on positive and safe eating environments visit: http://childnutritioncouncil.com