We’re living in mystical times, when news is deemed ‘fake’ and talking points go unverified. Thankfully, in Canada, there are many vital pieces of information that we can trust with certainty. Facts are facts. And in times like these, when we actually have 100% true, real information in front of us, it’s our duty to actually know how to understand and decipher that information.
My kids have been driving me crazy, asking for slimy chocolate ‘breakfast’ spreads and arguing that their favourite granola bars and jelly beans (with real fruit flavour!) are ‘healthy’. I have been trying to teach them how to read a nutrition label, and Canada’s Nutrition Facts Education Campaign just made it super easy. A nutrition facts table is printed on every package in a grocery store – in both English and French. Real facts! Solid numbers! This vital information helps us make better choices about what fuels our bodies. Amazing.
Tasked with two comparable cracker choices in a ‘blind’ test, my older son had a lightbulb moment when he realized that the serving sizes cited in each portion were totally different. Suddenly he discovered that he needed to do a bit of math, and the result was that his original ‘healthier’ choice was the wrong one. In the cracker example below, he thought 9 crackers was a much larger serving than 4 but when he looked at the grams, saw that the 9 crackers weighed only 3 grams more yet had triple the sodium, more than double the fat, and 1/3 of the fibre.
- Look at Serving Size: Compare the volume and also the weight.
- Check the % Daily Value: You can see if the serving size has a little or a lot of the nutrient.
- Note the Nutrients: 5% or less of your daily value isn’t much, but over 15% is lots. Choose foods that have lots of the nutrients you want to consume (like calcium and fibre) and less of the ones you want to avoid (like fats and sodium).
Try it with your kids!! Here are packages for veggie burgers, canned peaches and cereal. Good luck!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the Focus on the Facts campaign. All opinions are my own.