Nanaimo Bars:

These sweet treats are often served at barbecues, bake sales, Christmas parties, etc. Try this recipe:

There are over 200 species of berries or small, fleshy, wild fruits in Canada. No wonder jam has always been featured in my Canadian family's pantry.

Learn more here:  

Food for the holidays...



Like the rest of it's cuisine, Canadian desserts vary...but they are always delicious.

Often highlighted as Canadian are butter tarts and Nanaimo bars.


Pancakes with Maple Syrup:

Check the label on your syrup to see if it's 100% pure Canadian Maple Syrup!

Here is my grandmother's pancake recipe:

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

2 cups buttermilk

canola or vegetable oil

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.  In another bowl beat the eggs and add buttermilk (you can add more milk to make thinner pancakes...about 1/4 cup).  Mix the eggs and milk into the dry ingredients. 

Heat a pan or griddle to medium heat and add oil (about a tablespoon).  scoop 1/4 cup of batter onto hot pan to cook pancakes, flipping once bubbles form on the top side.  Add blueberries or other berries before flipping, if desired.


Dinner varies in our family.  Sometimes its simply meat, veg, and rice or potatoes, but more often I'm inspired to cook something more international.  I'm lucky because my kids, while they are picky when it comes to eating vegetables, love ethnic foods and spicy foods.  We will often eat Asian inspired stir fires, Indian curries, spicy Mexican dishes, or tangy Italian pasta recipes.   As a multicultural nation there are many choices when it comes to food!

Photo: Van Gorder

Prince Edward ISland




Here are 2 book titles to consider when learning about Canadian Cuisine:

Canadian Food and Traditions, by Sheri Doyle, True North, 2017

Foods of Canada, by Barbara Sheen, Kidhaven Press, 2012

Maple syrup is a syrup made from the xylem sap of maple trees. These trees store starch in their trunks and roots before the winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in late winter and early spring. Maple trees are tapped by drilling holes into their trunks. The sap is then processed by heating to evaporate much of the water, leaving the concentrated syrup.

Maple syrup was first collected and used by the indigenous Canadians and European settlers adopted and refined the methods.  

The province of Quebec is the largest producer of Maple Syrup, responsible for 70% of the world's output.

Learn more about Maple Syrup here: 


School lunches for my boys are packed in a reusable lunch bag.  They typically get a sandwich made of various breads or buns, meats, cheese, or even jam and butter.  They eat a fruit, a vegetable, sometimes a yogurt, along with a reusable bottle of water, and a treat like a cookie.  Sometimes I pack a thermos with soup or pasta.  On weekends we like hot sandwiches, and soup.  When we attend a festival like the Canada Day one we always stop at the farmers market for some fresh berries and a hot dog! 


To make a cheaters version bake some fries (frozen or our favourite fresh cut from a potato and tossed in olive oil and salt and pepper).  Make some gravy (use leftover from Sunday dinner or use a package) and pour on top of the fries.  Then sprinkle cheese curds (although we have used mozzerella in a pinch).

Each province and territory offers something delicious! Here are a few ideas....

Jam Flag Snack:

Ingredients: Slice of bread, cream cheese, strawberry or raspberry (red) jam, a strawberry, two dried cranberries.

This recipe makes two flag snacks.

Step 1: Toast the bread if your child prefers but it doesn’t need to be.
Step 2: Cut the slice of bread in half.
Step 3: Spread cream cheese in the middle of one of the rectangular bread slices for the white part of the Canadian Flag.
Step 4: Spread red jam on either side on the white cream cheese.
Step 5: Cut the strawberry in half lengthwise and place one slice on the cream cheese (with the tip of the strawberry upwards).
Step 6: Place a dried cranberry underneath the strawberry as the stem of the strawberry “maple leaf.”

Photos: C. Wright


Me, at 13, trying lobster for the first time in PEI with one of my best friends!


Butter Tarts:

This is another treat served at various gatherings. There is a raisin or no raisin debate in Canada...I'm good either way!

Try this recipe:

Canadian cuisine varies widely depending on the regions of the nation...from farms to lakes, oceans to mountains, each province has specialities.

It is also heavily influenced by many different cultures as Canada is a multicultural nation. 

Pita Pizza Flags/ Tortilla Pizza Flags:

Ingredients: large pitas or tortillas, tomato/pizza/pasta sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, red pepper slices (cut horizontally).

Step 1:  Place pitas/tortillas on a baking sheet.
Step 2: Sprinkle mozzarella cheese down the middle of the pita as the white part of the Canadian Flag.
Step 3: Spread tomato/pizza/pasta sauce in the middle of one of the bread for the red part of the Canadian Flag.
Step 4: Add some red pepper on the mozzarella in the shape of a leaf. 
Step 5:  Set under a broiler on low heat for about 3 minutes or until melted (ovens will vary).

British Columbia


Pumpkin Pie:

Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October, not November like our neighbours in the United States. I do love pumpkin pie!

Here is a recipe:

Canada Flag Cake:

It’s easy to make a Canadian Flag Cake for Canada Day (July 1st).  Just bake your favourite type of cake in a rectangular cake pan and spread with white icing.  Arrange sliced strawberries in the shape of a maple leaf in the middle and along the sides.


NOTE: I was born and raised in Canada

and in 2007 moved back to Canada with my husband and 2 sons so we know a thing or two about how Canadians eat.

Breakfast can be either sweet or savory.  A typical school day breakfast often includes cereal, fruit and juice, or toast, fruit and milk.  My eldest loves eggs so that is often on the menu.  On weekends when there is more time we often make pancakes (a big batch so that left overs can be frozen and enjoyed during the week) or a big egg breakfast. 

Copyright 2017. Family Theme Days. All rights reserved.

Hawaiian Pizza/ Ham & Pineapple Pizza:

NOTE: Yes, I know it says "Hawaiian" in the name but this pizza creation was invented in Canada!  The founder, Sam Panopoulos, first made it in 1962 in Ontario. Sadly, Sam recently passed away at the age of 83 (June 2017). Thank you Sam! 

Poutine is a Canadian dish, originating in the province of Quebec.  We sometimes forget it is Canadian and my husband is downtrodden when he tries to order it when travelling across the border in the USA! 

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins:

Combining blueberries and oats (both Canadian grown) these make a delicious snack.

I can't find the original recipe I used but here is another: 

Bouche de Noel:

A Christmas Tradition in my family is to eat this lovely French Canadian dessert on Christmas Eve.  My mom has been making this since she was a teenager and for the past few years she has been teaching my Teen Chef how to make it!

Here is a recipe to try (not my mom's though, that's a family secret):