In the 1961 version of the food guide, food choices broadened and language softened

In the 1961 version of the food guide, food choices broadened and language softened

«Guide» replaced «Rules» in the title. Canada’s Food Guide, still the ubiquitous, easy-to-use leaflet, now stressed its flexibility and wide-ranging application for healthy eating, recognizing that many different dietary patterns could satisfy nutrient needs. The original look of the food guide, complete with grey border and yellow splash, underwent a visual dressing up as the five food groups were arranged into horizontal bars of colour.

The revised guide retained five food groups, although much debate had taken place about reducing it to four. In the end, Vegetables and Fruit remained separate, if for no other reason than because the groupings worked well in teaching. Footnote 16 The Cereals and Bread group was renamed as Bread and Cereals, and the quantity message for bread was discarded. However, the emphasis on whole grain cereal prevailed.

Other small changes occurred. For example, the new guide now listed examples of citrus fruit. The term «at least» was dropped from the Bread and Cereals, Vegetables, and Milk groups. Also, for the first time, the Milk group specified intakes for expectant and nursing mothers. An added statement related to the Meat and Fish group clarified the role of meat alternates – «Eggs, cheese, dried beans or peas may be used in place of meat». Liver began to lose its foothold, as demonstrated by the new statement, «Eat liver occasionally», which replaced «Use liver frequently». Another change was the shift in serving sizes for milk to common household measurements, such as cups, instead of pints. As in previous versions, serving sizes were not provided for the other food groups.


The availability of many of the previous support materials continued. The Food Guide was available in leaflet, poster and pamphlet form, with the pamphlet providing details on how to use the Guide. Leer más