Last week I took my family to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. It was our first time going but I knew the boys would love it. Having visited several farms, earlier in the year, I knew they would enjoy this type of experience. Except, we walked away with so much more than I expected. The exhibits at the Fair were amazing and extremely appealing to kids. In particular, the exhibit that highlights the food journey, including where food comes from, nutritional aspects, how food is consumed and ultimately disposed was especially great. There were a lot of play-based learning type of activities for kids and tons of great information for parents. It doesn’t matter how much you think you know about food, you will learn something new; like proper portion size for a variety of foods and how over the centuries, the calorie count has increased for the same food product.
One of the things we learned while there, that we were able to apply almost immediately was how to properly read the Nutrition Facts Table on food packaging. I’m all about giving power to the consumer and making things easy, and the Focus on the Facts exhibit nailed it! So here is the easy, 3 step process, that will help you feel good about the food you buy and feed your family.
Step 1: Start with the SERVING SIZE
Find the serving size under the header ‘Nutriiton Facts’. Information in the table is based on this quantity of food. When comparing two similar food products (i.e. a package of crackers), make sure you’re comparing similar serving sizes when making your ultimate decision. If the serving sizes differ, make sure you calculate the difference in all of the nutrients . For example, if one package has a serving size of 2 crackers and the other package has a serving size of 4 crackers, double the nutrition values noted on the package with the serving size of 2 to make an equal comparison.
Step 2: Use % Daily Value (DV)
The % DV is found on the right side of the Nutrition Facts table. Check to see if the serving size has a little or a lot of a nutrient. As a guide, 5% DV or less is considered a little and 15% DV or more is considered a lot.
Step 3: Look at the Nutrient
Select those packaged food that have more of the nutrients you want and less of the nutrients you don’t want. For example, you likely want a lot of Fibre, vitamin A, Calcium and Iron and a little of Saturated and Trans Fat and Sodium.
To learn more information, please visit Canada.ca/NutritionFacts
To help you get started Focusing on the Facts and making an informed food choice, I’m giving away a $100 grocery gift-card to one lucky reader. Enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter (please give it a few seconds to load). Contest is open to all residents of Canada. Contest ends Monday November 28, 2016.
Disclosure: I received compensation as part of my participation in the #FocusOnTheFacts campaign. The opinions are all my own.