I don’t know about you but when I go grocery shopping it’s always a confusing mad dash through the store. Living in downtown Toronto we try to go grocery shopping at least once a week and usually both the hubs and I tend to do the grocery run together. Yes, both kids also join us so you can just imagine what it’s like as the four of us go aisle by aisle trying to determine which old classics and potential new favourites to purchase. Read on because we have a $100 Presidents Choice gift card up for grabs!
When it comes to buying our food, I tend to grab the basics like fruits, veggies, meats and milk. I pretty much never used to look at labels while the hubs spent his time (much to my chagrin) reading through the nutrition facts table. The what you ask? Oh you know, that box with all those random numbers tossed in there? Yeah…he made it a mission to teach me how to read the table because I kept buying new items I saw on shelf thinking it was a healthy option, but apparently it wasn’t the case. Sure the school snacks I once bought tasted great but were they healthy? Hah. It seems not! Apparently I needed to learn how to read those boxes called the Nutrition Facts Table.
Disclosure : This post is in partnership with Focus On The Facts but, as always, opinions are TOTALLY ours.
The hubs made it his mission to teach me how to use and understand the Serving Size and Percent Daily Value (%DV) on the Nutrition Facts Table so that I could make informed food choices for our family when he wasn’t around to grab that newly discovered bag of crackers and confirm that it was better than an alternate box nearby. Looking at calories can be misleading is what he taught me.
First of all, let me tell you; Serving size isn’t the suggested quantity of food you should eat. The serving size tells you the quantity of food used to calculate the numbers in the nutrition facts table. Phew! So it IS okay to eat that entire pudding pack! Luckily fresh fruits, veggies and meat (and anything purchased at a farmer’s market) don’t have a Nutrition Facts Table, so I can still dash through half the grocery list.
We now choose foods that have more of the nutrients we want (like fibre and calcium) and less of those we don’t want (like saturated and trans fats and sodium)
The kids are too young to really understand the Nutrition Facts Table (or even the meaning of the word Nutrition!) but they got in on the fun and Little Monkey came to the conclusion that “sometimes yummy things can be bad for you”. She’s right you know…just looking at calories and picking things up isn’t the way to do it. We have to ensure that we compare similar serving sizes and determine the % of daily value the food provides. One box of burgers may seem OBVIOUSLY better at first glance but you need to determine what you need. For example one of the boxes below has more fibre and less calories than the other but it also has less iron. They say on average that anything 5% or less is fairly little and that 15% and above is lot. You definitely want sodium to be on the lower scale but you want calcium to be on the higher spectrum.
Be sure to learn more about the Focus on the Facts campaign and take their quiz to win some prizes. One thing is for sure, making informed decisions is a powerful feeling. I may still grab for that pack of pudding, but at least now I choose one of the healthier options out there!
We want to send one of you on a grocery run!! Enter below for a chance to win a $100 Loblaw gift card!
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