With so much interest and information on family mealtime it is important to make sure you are getting your advice from credible sources. It is just as important to find a method of healthy eating that works best for your family. An easy approach presented by the We Can! Program, modified from Canada’s version of the Food Guide Pyramid, is the Stoplight Method. This guide uses colors and phrases like “Go, Slow, Whoa!” to make choosing healthy foods easy!

With so much interest and information on family mealtime it is important to make sure you are getting your advice from credible sources. It is just as important to find a method of healthy eating that works best for your family. An easy approach presented by the We Can! Program, modified from Canada‚Äôs version of the Food Guide Pyramid, is the Stoplight Method. This guide uses colors and phrases like “Go, Slow, Whoa!” to make choosing healthy foods easy!

The concept is relatively simple.

Green foods are GO.

  • Fresh Fruits
  • Canned or dried fruit (without added syrups or sugar)
  • Vegetables
  • Non-fat or skim milk
  • Non-fat yogurt
  • Whole grain, high fiber cereal
  • Beans, eggs, unsalted nuts

Foods that make the “Go” section are low in calories and fat, but filled with vitamins, calcium, fiber, and minerals.

Yellow foods are SLOW.

  • Low-fat cereal with non-fat milk
  • Low-fat cereal bars
  • Graham crackers
  • 1% fat chocolate milk
  • 100% fruit juice (limit to 6oz a day)
  • Rice cakes
  • Fat-free pudding
  • Baked chips
  • Pretzels
  • Canned or dried fruit in light syrup

Foods in the “Slow” section are higher in fat, calories, added sugar, and tend to be more processed. These foods should be eaten less often.

Red foods are WHOA.

  • Fried potatoes and deep fried vegetables
  • Fruits canned in heavy syrup
  • Croissants, muffins, doughnuts, sweet rolls, and sweetened breakfast cereals
  • Whole milk
  • Full-fat cheeses such as Colby, Swiss, cream cheese, full-fat American
  • Lunch meats, pepperoni, sausage, fried fish, hot dogs, bacon
  • Cookies, cakes, pies, cheese cake, chips, candy
  • Sweetened beverages

Foods in the “Whoa” category are highest in fat and added sugar, are calorie dense, and often low in nutrients. These foods should be eaten only on special occasions.