RFF#98-Canada’s first food guide debuted in 1942

Referred to as the “Official Food Rules”, the 1942 guide aimed to help Canadian maximize their nutrient intakes despite rationing.Official Food Rules - 1942

By 1944 minor changes were made…and they added pictures!

Food Rules - 1944

In 1949, advice to “avoid eating too much” was first seen…

Food Rule - 1949

In 1961 the “rules” became a “guide”…


For sentimental reasons the 1977 version happens to be my favourite…

01-Canada's Food Guide - 1980s

I first encountered  this version of the guide at my Great-Great Aunt’s house when I was somewhere between 4-7 years old. Around the end of our visit, she pointed to each food group displayed in the guide on her fridge and said, “you’ve had some of this (bread), some of this (dairy) and some of this (meat)…now when you go home, make sure you have some of this (vegetables).” Upon hearing this, I distinctly remember thinking “Ya right! We don’t follow that!”…little did I know what my life would become!

I also have fond memories of the 1992 guide which hung on the fridge in my childhood home…


And today of course we have…



The important thing to remember about the food guide is that it’s far from perfect, it doesn’t represent an “ideal diet”, and its specifics are highly controversial. Nevertheless, it’s a starting point and if everyone followed its recommendation to consume 7-10 servings of fruit and vegetables each day, there wouldn’t be enough fruits and vegetables to go around, but in theory, we’d be much healthier!

I learned about this fact from: Health Canada. “Canada’s Food Guides from 1942 to 1992” 2007. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/context/fg_history-histoire_ga-eng.php