“Mommy, can I help you buy groceries today?” My seven year old hurriedly skipped to my side as I combed through the kitchen checking for items we needed.
“Sure, if you want to. Did you want to help me out by checking to see if we still have more cereal?” I replied while typing the contents into my smartphone.
She happily nodded and excitedly opened the cabinet door to check for cereal.
While finishing up my list, I turned to glance at my little helper girl who was taking much longer than expected to provide the simple answer I needed, only to find her crouched on the ground in front of the cereal cabinet fixated on the almost-empty cereal box.
“So…? Did we need more cereal, sweetie?” I asked, checking to see what she was so focused on.
“Mommy, what is this?” She pointed at the NFt (Nutrition Facts table) on the side of the cereal box.
I thought it was the perfect opportunity to teach my daughter the importance of the NFt and how it can help us make more informed food choices. This would prove so helpful on our grocery shopping trips together too!
Using some helpful tools, I allowed my daughter the opportunity to play detective and to play a little game called Focus on the Facts. As the special Nutrition Fact Finder Detective, she would be comparing a few food items’ NFt’s and spotting the difference.
The first thing she would look at is the Serving Size and the % Daily Value.
By using the Serving Size and % DV in the NFt, consumers can choose foods that have more of the nutrients they want like fibre and calcium, and less of those they don’t want, like saturated and trans fats and sodium.
She was equal parts elated at learning all these new things about nutrition and also pretty appalled at how much salt (sodium) and saturated and trans fat was in some food products she loved. This was actually a huge win for me as it gave my daughter the chance to understand why mommy prefers certain foods/snacks over others for her and the rest of the family. This was the start of even more conversation around healthier food choices and what good food does for your body.
The Nutrition Facts Education Campaign: “Focus on the Facts” is such a fantastic educational tool! This encourages people to look at the NFt and start with Serving Size, found under the header “Nutrition Facts”; then look at Percent Daily Value (% DV) on the right side of the NFt; then use the % DV to see if the Serving Size has a little or a lot of a nutrient – 5% DV or less is a little and 15% DV or more is a lot.
After learning about the Nutrition Facts table and how to focus on the facts, she went ahead and searched the kitchen, but first checking on a few of her favourite snacks in the house, of course.
Have you taught your children how to read the Nutrition Facts Table?
You can learn more about how to read the Nutrition Facts table and its benefits by visiting Canada.ca/NutritionFacts.
Test your knowledge, learn something new and also a chance to win!
Learn how to use the Nutrition Facts table to make informed food choices for you and your family with this four-step fun and interactive quiz here!