Focus On the Facts: Teach Your Kids to Make Informed Food Choices! #FocusOnTheFacts
Focus on the Facts.
Make Informed Food Choices.
When many people think about food, they are not often thinking about nutrition or the benefit of eating that type of food. They are thinking about how the food is going to help them stop being hungry at the moment. The question that they should be asking themselves however is how long will I stop being hungry or is this food really the best choice I can make? When it comes to making better choices, the nutrition facts table can definitely help.
My girls can be picky eaters, in fact, I myself am a picky eater. But, one thing is for certain. I am a label reader and when we go shopping, I always compare several options before choosing the food item that we take home with us. I look at calories, fat content, sodium levels and the ingredients just to name a few.
Teach Your Kids.
The girls absolutely love to help us shopping every week and with the help of some really great tools; we were able to let them play detective and Focus on the Facts when it comes to choosing food. In Sherlock Holmes’ fashion, anyone can be a Focus on the Facts detective.
You could start by looking at the serving size and then the percent daily value for that food. These two categories can help you find foods that have more of the nutrients that they want in their diet. It is also a way for you to avoid foods that are high in saturated fats, trans fats and sodium.
The “Focus on the Facts” was created to help Canadians use the Nutrition Facts table (NFt) to make informed food choices by starting with the Serving Size and then looking at the Percent Daily Value (% DV). It is really easy to find this information on the nutrition facts table.
First the girls took a look at the serving size which is located under the nutrition facts heading. It can be found on the right hand side of the nutrition facts table is the percent daily value. By taking a look at this info, you can see how much your favorite foods have of each nutrient. The percent daily value is considered low if it is five percent or less and high if it is at least fifteen percent.
They were shocked to see that some of their favorite foods were high in sodium and sugar. They learned that foods that need a nutrition facts table are ones that have been processed. That is why the healthiest foods you can buy are fresh fruits and vegetables. You really can’t go wrong with those! But, if you choose to have foods that aren’t fresh, you can still make the best decision by focusing on the facts.
Start a Conversation.
One of the best detective duties we assigned was to have the girls take a look at Nutrition Facts Table and write them down. That way, they could see exactly what was in their food and how much.
While everyone can benefit from using the nutrition facts table, I think it is us parents that benefit the most. Every parent wants to prepare foods that are healthy for their families and they want to teach their children to make healthier choices as well.
Get Out There!
If you’re looking to get healthier and show your kids how to read labels, try taking them to the store with you. As you are walking through the store, try comparing nutrition facts tables on multiple food items. This is the perfect time to explain why they should be choosing one food over another. It is a great way to get your kids to actively be involved in making healthier choices. It is a known fact that kids will be more willing to try to new foods if they have been part of the shopping process.
Teach Habits That Last.
After they have taken part in shopping, you’ll find that they will do it every time they pick up a product. When you get home, have them take a look at some of the labels that are already in the pantry. It creates an awareness that I think is an excellent habit to have throughout life.
Focus on the Facts.
By choosing the correct foods, you are able to give your families healthier snacks. These healthy snacks will allow you to feel satisfied afterwards instead of getting hungry again in an hour. Choosing the right foods will also mean that people will have more energy and their health will benefit as well.
Learn more about how you can “Focus on the Facts” and how to use the Nutrition Fact Tables at Canada.ca/NutritionFacts. You can even take a fun quiz and enter to WIN a wicked prize, take the quiz here.
Do you and your family read labels?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.
It is so important to read labels. We can't assume our government is advocating for us because they aren't.
It is great to be able to make informed decisions.
,I love the idea of teaching kids to read food labels and make informed food choices. It can be all too easy for kids not to think about what they're eating these days, but it's important to teach them to be mindful of it!
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That is exactly it! 🙂
Teaching kids to make good food choices is really important. It will help them immensely when you're no longer the one buying food for them.
Exactly! It sets them up with a great foundation.
what a great idea! kids always get distracted with the way the boxes and wrappings look like that nothing else matters… good solution here!
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Yes,i always read the fact chart because hubby has salt and sugar restrictions sometimes im very surprised what i read.
It can be surprising sometimes, good and bad.
What a great way to teach kids about being health conscious. We should think about the long-term effect of food.
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We definitely should!
This is really great to involve the whole family in this, very cool! Thanks for sharing the information for me to learn more!
My pleasure, hope it helps!
This looks like a excellent way to teach kids how to be a label reader. I need to do a better job of it myself.
I think we can all do it more often!
This is such a great activity! It is important that kids understand nutritional values and what they are consuming.
Yes, it is very beneficial!
It's a good idea to be in the habit of checking those labels all the time. There is important info on there!
I completely agree!
I have to say I definitely do not read labels as much as I should! It is something I need to get into the habit of more. x
It is never too late to start!
This is such a great reminder for me. I'll be honest, I don't read the labels as often as I should. So important for the whole family to know about.
So very true!
I am so proud that my 9 year old daughter has made it a point to make healthy choices! Don't get me wrong, she will still ask for chocolate and candy, but when meal time comes, she's reaching for fruit instead of fries!
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That is amazing, great job mama!
Teaching kids to make food choices is really important and I love the idea to read food levels!!
Yes, it is very important.
I've not thought about teaching the kids to read labels but I need to start. My daughter is glucose intolerant and she needs to start learning to read the labels to see what is healthy as well.
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It is definitely a great time to start, never too late.
I love this idea! I've been trying to teach to this to my kids. I would totally use this to help them figure out what' are healthy choices.
Such a good thing to teach them!
Your family is beautiful. You're teaching them such a valuable lesson. Good job!
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Thanks so much! 🙂
What an awesome way to teach kids! It's always great making it fun.
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I agree! 🙂
I love this so important to teach kids the value of nutrition, starating at a young age
Since you posted this we have been reading labels on everything we buy and i am totally shocked …wow the sodium content on most products is just terrible.
That is what I am most surprised about!
My grandkids now read the label on all their food and they are making better choices as to what they put in their body,i am so proud of them !