It’s no secret that for the most part, we all strive to provide the best possible life for our family, especially our growing children. We do everything in our power to keep them safe, happy and healthy; that includes providing the best nutritional foods possible. But, how do we know what is good for our family and what is maybe, not so good? It’s easy, we become a Nutrition Fact Finder!
Okay, I know right now you’re probably thinking, what the heck is a Nutrition Fact Finder?
I’m referring to some easy steps you can take to make yourself and your family experts at reading the Nutrition Facts table (NFt). The table is found on most packaged food products in Canada.
Above is an example of a Nutrition Facts table (NFt)
Most of us have probably seen the NFt. This table is key to making a more informed food choice for you and your family.
It’s very easy to use, once you do it a couple of times, you will have no trouble at all. I’m talking minutes, not hours or days, to become an expert at reading them!
OVERVIEW ~ WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A NUTRITION FACTS TABLE (NFt)
A nutrition facts table gives you information on:
- serving size
- % DV
Next, I’m going to break down how to use the NFt into three easy steps:
Start with the serving size –
- Serving size can be found at the top of the nutrition facts table under the header “Nutrition Facts”.
- Information in the Nutrition Facts table is based on this quantity of food.
- Check to see if the Serving Sizes are similar when comparing packaged foods.
- You can also use a nutrition facts table to compare the serving size to the amount of food you actually eat.
- For example, the serving size of bread in a nutrition facts table could be 1 slice. But if you eat 2 slices, you need to double the number of calories and nutrients.
Then, look at the calories –
A calorie is a unit of energy. When you hear something has 100 calories, it’s a way of describing how much energy your body could get from eating or drinking it.
Calories aren’t bad for you. Your body needs calories for energy. But eating too many calories and not burning enough of them off through activity can lead to weight gain.
Average daily caloric intake is based on age, sex, and physical activity level. For Males 18+ it is about 2200-2800 calories and Females 18+ it is about 1800-2200 calories.
Look at Percent Daily Value (% DV) on the right side of the NFt –
- Use % Daily Value (%DV) to see if a Serving Size has a little or a lot of nutrients.
- 5% DV or less is a little
- 15% DV or more is a lot
- Choose packaged food that has more of the nutrients you want, like fibre and calcium and less of those you don’t want, like trans fats and sodium.
- Use can also use % DV to compare packaged food.
Determine if this food is a nutritious choice –
Use the % DV to see if the Serving Size has a little or a lot of a nutrient so you can make a better choice for you and your family. Remember, 5% DV or less is a little and 15% or more is a lot.
In this photo, I am looking at the Nutrition Facts table to see if this product is a nutritious choice for our family.
Remember, you can use the Nutrition Facts table to:
- Choose products more easily.
- Compare two products to make better food choices for you and your family.
- Learn about the nutrition information of the foods you eat.
- Better manage special diets.
- Increase or decrease your intake of any nutrient.
I love using the Nutrition Facts table as it gives me information on the 13 core nutrients and calories in an amount of food. I can then use this information and the % Daily Value (% DV) to choose and compare food products and make healthier choices.
You can learn even more about becoming an expert “Nutrition Fact Finder” by visiting Canada.ca/NutritionFacts and following the hashtag #FocusontheFacts
Using the Giveaway Tools form below, enter for your chance to win a $100.00 Sobeys Gift Card.
Finally, don’t forget to head over to Focus on the Facts, test your knowledge daily and enter for a chance to win one of seven, $300 grocery gift cards.
Are you familiar with the Nutrition Facts Table?
If not, are you going to look for them the next time you are in the grocery store? And, if you are familiar, do you use the table to make more nutritious choices for you and your family?