As a mother to two boys I have to admit that it is quite the task trying to get the best food I can into my kids while trying to avoid over processed items filled with chemicals. I have to admit it becomes even harder once school starts and their classmates clearly have “cool snack” favorites that I am just unwilling to buy into.
My boys from time to time have a hard time realizing just how awful some of those popular food items really can be, that is when I bust out the nutritional facts. That little graph of information goes a long way when it comes to trying to teach my boys what is good for their bodies and what is useless to their growing needs.
But how do you even start translating the nutritional facts??
Well there are three key things you need to think about when it come to them so here is the breakdown for you, all things I have learned from #FocusontheFacts!
- Serving Size – Information in the NFt is based on the listed quantity, so you need to make sure you are keeping in mind how much you are serving per person and if that makes sense in comparison to other products you are seeing.
- Percent of Daily Value – Use the % DV use this number, along with your Serving Size, to help you figure out the nutrient value per serving. This really helps you see if you are getting some bang for your buck when it comes to nutrients. It is a huge shame when you see products with super high calories and super low nutrients at all!
- Nutrient %: When you are looking at the nutrient percentages it is hard to figure out what is good and what is bad Health Canada has a quick tip for you: 5% DV or less is a little and 15% DV or more is a lot! Making sure you have small quantities of the bad things like sodium and saturated fats and lots of all the good stuff.
Your family comes first so learning about what is in your food should be a top priority, but I know learning how to decode them can be tricky so I really hope that helped you make those better food choices.
Using the serving size and % DV in the nutritional fact chart can really help you choose foods that have more of the nutrients you want in them: fibre, calcium, potassium etc… Again giving you the ability to get more back for your buck when shopping for your food. Another trick I like to use when shopping is doing everything I can to stay to the outside of the store and avoiding aisles. Aisles is where most of those food items with high sugar, high calories and high fat content like to live.
Now that I have taught you a couple things my awesome partners Health Canada wants to help you and your little ones can practice being “Nutritional Fact Finders” while out shopping next! You want to know how? With two great contests!! One here for just my readers below and one over at www.FocusontheFacts.ca.