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Playing Sherlock Holmes with food

08/02/2017 Isabelle Racicot

Eating properly has become an important issue in our society, which is a good thing. Without having necessarily more time to browse the aisles of the supermarkets, we want to be able to make the best choices for ourselves and our family.

Since we have taught our children to read the nutrition facts table (I have acted as a spokesperson for the campaign since 2015), they make more informed decisions. These tools will help them for the rest of their lives. The day they leave the family nest (I imagine that that day will happen), they will be able to make choices according to THEIR needs.

It is an exercise that I suggest you do too with your children. To help you explain it to them, here are some important steps required to read the nutrition facts table.

  1. Let’s look at the serving size

    The serving size is always at the top of the table. PHOTO 1 The serving size is not necessarily the amount of food that should eaten. It tells you the amount of food used to calculate the quantities indicated in the nutrition facts table. The serving size helps you identify the nutrients you eat and compare the calories and nutrients between 2 similar packaged foods.

  2. Daily value
    The % indicates the amount of nutrients contained in the product. The golden rule is as follows: 5% or less is a little and 15% or more is a lot.
  3. Nutrients
    Do we need a lot of fiber or not? Do we want a lot of calcium or not? For example in this case, 18% of sodium means there is a lot of salt in our product.

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For questions about the labels or the changes made to the labels or for more information, please contact Health Canada by e-mail at [email protected].