As my son has grown, I feel it’s become increasingly important to teach him how to make informed choices about the foods he eats. As you know from many of my recipes, this is a house that LOVES comfort food and all things sinfully delicious! I know we’re not the only ones! lol
While Dishes and Dust Bunnies does focus quite a bit on rich and decadent foods, I also believe it’s extremely important to have these in moderation. We do our best to make the right decisions when it comes to portion sizes and maintaining our health but honestly, sometimes it can be confusing to make the right choices with all the info out there!
Recently, I had a wonderful opportunity to take part in the Nutrition Education Campaign “Focus on the Facts”, which is in collaboration with Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC), Health Canada, Retail Council of Canada (RCC), and the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG).
Even with my love for rich foods, I‘ve always made an effort to look at the Nutrition Facts table on the packages of our food, but was I reading it correctly?
Well, let’s just say there was something I missed – so I’m glad to have been part of this and to pass the knowledge onto my son!
What is “Focus on the Facts”?
Focus on the Facts was created to help Canadians use the Nutrition Facts table (also known as the NFt) to make informed food choices by starting with the Serving Size and then looking at the Percent Daily Value (or the % DV as it’s shown on food packaging).
By using the Serving Size and % DV in the NFt, we can choose foods that have more of the nutrients we want and need like fibre and calcium, and less of the those we don’t want like saturated and trans fats and sodium.
So what did I miss on the nutrition table?
The truth is, I was only paying attention to the calorie amount! Ooops!
As part of Focus on the Facts and to help educate my son on how to properly read the Nutrition Facts table on food packaging, I was provided with a kit which included some example food packages and a “Fill in the Blank” NFt dry-erase board.
As my son Donnie is 3 years old, he LOVES to play dress up and pretend!
He got dressed in his suit and put on a detective hat. With his magnifying glass in hand, he was off to investigate the kitchen as my little Nutrition Fact Finder Detective! <3
I hid the provided packages in the kitchen cupboards for him to search for and investigate. This was a great way to teach Donnie to compare the numbers on each of the packages.
He was excited (and surprised!) to learn that just because a package looks the same, it doesn’t mean they contain the same nutrients!
Honestly, he’s not the only one who had fun with this!
I really took great pride in seeing just how much he was actually learning from using the magnifying glass to “Focus on the Facts” and from writing down the numbers from the packaging on his “Fill in the Blank” dry-erase board.
Ever since Donnie started to talk, he’s been obsessed with numbers and counting so he really enjoyed writing down (Mama helped!) and comparing the numbers, then erasing them from the board – once we finished comparing one package, he wanted to keep comparing again and again!
This was such a fun and hands on way to teach Donnie!
You don’t see this in the pictures of the post, but after comparing the packages provided for “Focus on the Facts”, he decided to look even deeper into the cupboards and pull out more boxes! Boxes and packages were all over the place! Haha 🙂
It was worth it though, since he was having so much fun and learning something new!
Now, after showing Donnie how to read the NFt, he’s been constantly reminding me “Did you look at the facts Mama?”. 😀 lol
Seriously, never underestimate the power of learning something from play!
You can do something similar at home to help teach your kids how to read the Nutrition Facts table on food packaging.
Teach your Child how to be a Nutrition Fact Finder Detective!
- Be creative and get the kids to dress up as little Nutrition Fact Finder Detectives. You can find simple and inexpensive props, such as a magnifying glass at your local dollar store or use what you already have on hand! 🙂
- Visit the Focus on the Facts website to find out more about making informed food choices and also print out your own Serving Size Fact Sheet.
- Get the kids to do their own investigation of the food packages you already have at home. Like what my son and I did, you can use a small dry-erase board (from a dollar store) to write down the numbers associated with the nutritional information on each label. Your child will have fun with this!
How to Read the Nutrition Facts Table
When choosing food to nourish our bodies, it’s important to look at the Nutrition Facts Table and:
- Start with the Serving Size, found under the header “Nutrition Facts”
- Then look at the 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.
You can find out more about the Nutrition Facts Table and how to use it to make informed food decisions at their site.
I know that after doing this activity with my son Donnie, we’ll both be paying closer attention to the facts! 😀
Disclosure – This blog post was sponsored by Mosaic Digital, FCPC, RCC, CFIG and Health Canada but the opinions are completely my own based on my experience.