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Food Guilt is Real For More Than a Third of Canadian Parents

New research from Maple Leaf lifts the lid on the pressures Canadian parents face when choosing the right foods for their kids

TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2019 /CNW/ – Canadian parents are feeling increasing pressures from other parents and peers, particularly when feeding their kids, according to a new study from Maple Leaf Foods. The research reveals a third of Canadian parents want others to think they are the ‘perfect parent’ (31 per cent) and feel guilty for feeding their kids foods they enjoy like hot dogs (34 per cent), while an additional one in four said they felt judged by others for doing so (26 per cent).

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (CNW Group/Maple Leaf Foods Inc.)

Canadian parents say they feel increasing pressure from multiple directions. Almost half say information they see in the news makes them feel pressured to make healthier choices for their kids (49 per cent), while more than half feel an influence around healthy foods from social media (54 per cent). Almost one in three say the pressure they feel comes from other parents (29 per cent).

“Last year, we overhauled our entire Maple Leaf product portfolio as part of a ‘good food revolution,’ to provide Canadian parents with real, simple and natural meal solutions for stress and guilt-free meals for the entire family,”  said Janet Riley, Vice President of Communications, Maple Leaf Foods. “With today’s parents balancing more than ever, food shouldn’t make their lives more complicated – and so products like our Natural Top Dogs are a convenient and nutritious choice that will satisfy hungry kids.  In fact, many parents are surprised when they read the nutrition labels on our Top Dogs and see their excellent nutrition profile.”

The study also found that although two thirds of Canadian parents want to provide their children with more healthy food options than they do currently (70 per cent), the majority feel that providing their children with healthy food is expensive (71 per cent) and time consuming (52 per cent). And while nearly half serve hot dogs whenever they have a gathering with kids (49 per cent), close to a third don’t recognize that certain brands offer better-for-you options that make hot dogs a healthier choice (30 per cent).

“As a mom of four young kids, I know parent guilt and mom shaming are very real, particularly when it comes to buying and serving food,” said Maureen Dennis, one of Canada’s top parenting experts. “I’m proud to partner with Maple Leaf and to help parents feel better about feeding their kids the foods they love.”

Maple Leaf Natural Top Dogs are available in major retailers nationwide in varieties including Original, BBQ, Chicken and Less Salt.

To learn more about Maple Leaf’s Natural Top Dogs, visit

About the research:

  • Research was conducted by Maple Leaf Foods via a research panel from AskingCanadians between June 27th and July 3rd, 2019.
  • 945 interviews were completed with a representative sample of Canadians balanced for gender, age and region, who met the following criteria:
    • Play a role in the decision-making process for grocery shopping in the household.
    • Do not have certain dietary restrictions such as Halal, Vegan, Vegetarian, no meat (beef, chicken, pork).
    • Responsible Parenting including households with children under the age of 18 years (n=555).

About Maple Leaf Foods:
Maple Leaf Foods is a producer of food products under leading brands including Maple Leaf®, Maple Leaf Prime®, Maple Leaf Natural Selections®, Schneiders®, Schneiders® Country Naturals®, Mina®, Greenfield Natural Meat Co.®, Lightlife™, Field Roast Grain Meat Co.™ and Swift®. Maple Leaf employs approximately 12,500 people and does business in Canada, the U.S. and Asia. The Company is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario and its shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (MFI).

SOURCE Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

Media Contact: Sofiya Yusypovych,, 416 979 3310