Sustainable Menu Guide: The Future of Menu Creation for Food Managers


Project Overview

This project aims to create a simple guide to facilitate sustainable menu design in health care. The work is based on the reality that health care’s food choices have significant environmental, social, and economic impacts, and that these should be designed to be positive. Whether thinking about climate change or increasing the social benefit created by a menu, food service managers (and menu-planners in general) across the country encounter the same complex decision-making when it comes to discerning what foods to choose to sustainably meet patient needs. This guide aims to simplify the process. The work is guided by the criteria that in order to be sustainable in health care, sustainable food choices should maintain or increase patient satisfaction and should meet budgetary constraints. 

The project team went through an extensive research and writing phase to establish the structure of the guide. They explored trade-offs between offering simple, single first steps and representing the complexity of the decision-space around sustainable food choices. Chapters were organized based on food categories, starting with protein, which was deemed the highest impact area for menus. The guide emphasizes a switch from red-meat centre-plate to more based protein options like legumes, which was reinforced by both the new Canada’s Food Guide and the EAT-Lancet report. It also provides tools in addition to information, to help menu planners get to action. With funding and support from the Quebec government, the team will be launching an interactive website in Fall 2019 to make the tool broadly available.

Read the final deck below.





Annie MarquezCIUSSS

Kathy BergerHealth Sciences North (HSN) 

Josée LavoieCHU de St-Justine

Travis DurhamGrove Park Home

Cheryl Cooke, Interior Health

Charlotte Pilat BurnsSaskatoon Health Region 

Anne GignacCHU de Québec-Université Laval

Elaine Addison, Horizon Health Network

Susan Taylor, Nova Scotia Health Authority



Carole St-Pierre
Linda Varangu
Hayley Lapalme
Beth Hunter
Jennifer Reynolds