In six months, our oldest child will be moving out on his own. Excuse me while I cry a little… He will be attending a university 4,500 kilometres away!! For the first time in his life, he will be 100% responsible for feeding himself. So this week I took some time to teach him how to read the Nutrition Facts table on the side of some of his favourite foods. In order to make informed food choices, my 18 year old son needs to understand the levels of nutrition he’ll be getting from the food he will have to choose on his own.
I’m not even sure they’ve noticed the side of the box of cereal before this….
In 2015 my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, it took this tragedy to realize how important what we put in our bellies is to our overall health. In caring for him, I learned all about the Nutrition Facts table (NFt) which is found on most packaged food products in Canada.
After you read this blog post and take the Nutrition Test below… I challenge you to carve in an extra 30 minutes into your next grocery shopping trip. Take the time to read the Nutrition Facts table on the packaged items before you put them in your cart. Maybe there’s a similar packaged food product that is a better choice for your family.
Ultimately, what you chose to feed your family is up to you, all I ask is that you make the most informed choice you can.
There are three quick steps to help you focus on the facts and help you learn how to read a Nutrition Facts table:
Step 1: Start with SERVING SIZE
Look at the amount of food. Compare this to the amount you actually eat. Serving size is not necessarily 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.
By checking a product’s serving size, you can:
- understand how much of a nutrient you are eating
- compare calories and nutrients between 2 similar packaged food products
- compare it to the amount you actually eat
Step 2: Use the % DAILY VALUE
Read the % Daily Value (% DV). The serving size has a little or a lot of a nutrient. The % DV is found on the right-hand side of a Nutrition Facts table. Use the % DV to compare packaged foods.
Step 3: Look at a NUTRIENT
Let this help you make a better choice for you and your family. Choose packaged foods that have more of the nutrients you want in your diet, like fibre and calcium, and less of those you don’t, like saturated and trans fats and sodium.
- 5% DV or less is a little
- 15% DV or more is a lot
This applies to all nutrients with a % DV.
Learn how to use the Nutrition Facts table with a four-step quiz, test your knowledge daily for your chance to win a $300 grocery gift card from RCC and FCPC, click here to take the quiz until March 31, 2017. Make informed food choices for you and your family.
I’m also giving away $100 gift card to Walmart. Enter to win below, my giveaway ends March 15, 2017 at 11:59pm EST. Open to Canadian readers only.
Do you know what you’re eating? Follow along on social media using the hashtag #FocusontheFacts to share tips and learn facts on health and safety topics, such as the Nutrition Facts table.
Disclaimer: In a joint effort between the Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC), Health Canada, Retail Council of Canada (RCC), the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG), the Nutrition Facts Education Campaign (NFEC) ~ of which I am participating in and receiving compensation for ~ is designed to increase Canadians’ awareness, use and understanding of the Serving Size and % Daily Value (% DV), on the Nutrition Facts table (NFt), to help them make informed food choices for their families.