The Nutritious Food Basket

The Nutritious Food Basket (NFB) serves as a tool to monitor the cost and affordability of healthy eating. The Basket describes approximately 60 foods that represent a nutritious diet for individuals in various age and gender groups. Local health units in many provinces in Canada routinely collect and report the annual cost of a NFB in their areas.

This information has been used to demonstrate that social assistance income benefits are inadequate to cover the cost of a health diet as outlined by the NFB, and to meet other basic living expenses. This costing work has highlighted the nutritional vulnerability of social assistance recipients, but the precise relationship of the NFB to food insecurity is unknown. Considering that NFBs may be prepared differently between health units and communities, they should not be compared with each other.

To learn more about the NFB and the methodology used in its development, refer to Food and Nutrition Surveillance, by Health Canada.

Provincial and Territorial Reports

British Columbia
Food Costing in BC 2015
Provincial Health Services Authority [Link]

Alberta
The Cost of Healthy Eating in Alberta 2015
Alberta Health Services [Link]

The Affordability of Healthy Eating in Alberta 2015
Alberta Health Services [Link]

Overview of Edmonton Nutritious Food Basket Prices: 2016
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Economics and Competitiveness Division, Statistics and Data Development Branch [Link]

Saskatchewan
The Cost of Healthy Eating in Saskatchewan 2015 
Saskatchewan Food Costing Task Group [Link]

Manitoba
The Cost of Eating According to the Nutritious Food Basket in Manitoba: May 2011
Community Health Through Food Security Group [Link]

Ontario
Nutritious Food Baskets in Ontario are prepared by regional public health units and can be found on their sites.

Nutritious Food Basket Survey – 2009 Update
Association of Local Public Health Agencies [Link]

Cost of the Nutritious Food Basket – Toronto 2016
Medical Officer of Health [Link]

Quebec
Cost of the Nutritious Food Basket – January 2018
Montreal Diet Dispensary [Link]

New Brunswick
Being Poor and Eating Well: Try it!: Results of a 2012 Food Cost Survey in N.B.
The New Brunswick Common Front for Social Justice Inc. [Link]

Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island Pilot Food Costing Project Report – November 2013
University of Prince Edward Island and the PEI Food Security Network [Link]

Nova Scotia
Can Nova Scotians Afford to Eat Healthy? Report on 2015 Participatory Food Costing
Food Action Resource Centre (FoodARC), Mount Saint Vincent University [Link]

Newfoundland and Labrador
Price of Weekly Nutritious Food Basket 2011
Department of Health and Community Services, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador [Link]

Nutrition North Canada Communities
Cost of the Revised Northern Food Basket in 2016-2017
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada [Link]

Nunavut
2017 Nunavut Food Price Survey
Nunavut Bureau of Statistics [Link]

Yukon
The Cost of Healthy Eating in the Yukon 2017
Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition [Link]