How to Become a Nutrition Fact Finder + Giveaway

As a working mom, I will be the first to admit that feeding a family of four on a budget and on a tight schedule is no simple task.  Yes, I love to cook and I take pride in the fact that I make almost all our meals from scratch. (notice I said ALMOST) But let's be honest, feeding a busy family a balanced and nutritious meal isn't always easy.

Sometimes you just gotta grab that frozen meal from the store just to make it through a Wednesday night,  and that's OK.  But did you know every can, box, and package in your grocery store has a handy label to help you make better choices when it comes to feeding your family?  Yup, there's an entire chart with loads of useful nutritional information on just about everything.

So if you thought reading those nutrition labels was out of your league or that they were written in some alien language, I figured I would share a couple simple steps on how to read them and use them to make healthier choices for you and your family.

3 Simple Steps to Reading Nutrition Facts Tables

  • Serving Size - start here when check out those labels. You' ll find this number right under the Nutrition Facts header.  Essentially this means that all the information on the Nutrition Label is based on that serving size.  So pay close attention to what is considered a serving, especially when comparing similar products.  One may look like a better, healthier option, but it may have a totally different serving size than the other and it may not turn out to the better option. 
  • % Daily Value - on the right side of the Nutrition Facts table you will see % Daily Value for each of the nutrients listed.  This shows you how much of each nutrient you would get from that serving size we just talked about.  Here's a good rule of thumb when trying to figure out if a food is a good source of a certain nutrient: 5% of Daily Value or less = a little bit ; 15% of Daily Value or more = a lot
  • Nutrients- the next thing to consider, now that you have mastered the serving size and % daily value, is the nutrients in the food. In simple terms, choose foods that have more of the nutrients you want and less of the nutrients you don't want. Nutrients that you want a lot of are things like Calcium, Fibre, Vitamin A and Iron.  And the nutrients that you don't want very much of are things like Sodium, Saturated Fats and Trans Fats.

And there you go... the simple way to read a Nutrition Facts Table!  But that's just the beginning.  Those tables can give you a wealth of information when it comes to selecting foods and making informed choices. By keeping those bad fats in check and maximizing your fibre and nutrient intake, you'll help keep your family happy and healthy.

Want to know more?  Click here for more great information on how to interpret those labels, compare products and make food choices that you can feel good about.  So don't be frightened of those labels, with just a few simple clicks and a little research you too can become a Nutrition Fact Finder!

Want to test out your Nutrition Fact Finding skills?  How about a sweet giveaway for some free groceries?  Enter below for your chance to win a $100 Grocery Gift Card! Woohoo!  Contest is open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec.

Cheers,

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post as a joint effort by the Food &Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC), Health Canada, Retail Council of Canada (RCC), the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG), the Nutrition Facts Education Campaign (NFEC).  As always, the opinions expressed are my own.

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Overnight Apple Pie Hemp Oats Recipe & Giveaway

Treat yourself to dessert for breakfast! Well, not really, but you will sure feel like you're being naughty when your start your day with these protein-packed Overnight Apple Pie Hemp Oats.  This recipe is incredibly simple and full of wholesome ingredients that will keep your motor running.  And with all the protein they are perfect  for pre or post workout!

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Overnight Apple Pie Hemp Oats

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Oatmeal

3 tbsp

Manitoba Harvest

Hemp Hearts

1 tbsp Chia Seeds

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder

3-4 tbsp Unsweetened Apple Sauce

1 tsp Maple Syrup

1 - 1.5 cups Dairy-free Milk

1 tbsp chopped Pecans or Walnuts (optional)

Instructions:

OK, so possibly the easiest thing ever.  Place all ingredients (except nuts) into a mason jar (or tight sealing container), secure the lid and shake! Or stir if you prefer.  Just ensure all your ingredients are well combined.  Then place in your refrigerator overnight.  And voila...breakfast! Top with nuts if you desire and you can even sprinkle a little nutmeg or pie spice for a little more kick.

These Apple Pie Overnight Hemp Oats will keep you feeling full all morning long.  The hemp hearts from Manitoba Harvest add a great nutty taste and a little extra crunch, and not to mention an additional 10g of protein on top of your protein powder! These nutty little seeds are tiny, delicious super foods packed with protein, Omega 3s, and taste delicious sprinkled on just about everything, from salads to smoothies to oatmeal. Plus, who doesn't love apple pie for breakfast?!

Want to try some hemp hearts for yourself? Check out my great giveaway courtesy of Manitoba Harvest and you could win your very own  2 oz bag! The giveaway is open to US & Canada residents only and sorry, no PO Boxes.  So enter today, giveaway ends March 9!

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts as part of my affiliation with Sweat Pink.  I was not compensated for this post and as always the opinions expressed are my own. 

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Saving the Planet and Your Sanity with Squishy Snak Pak

I'm sure you are like me when it comes to the morning madness.  Between dogs and kids and school and breakfast and getting dressed, we always seem to be cutting it close for time.

So anything that makes our morning a slightly less manic is gold in my books.  Recently I found this cool company in Saskatchewan called Squishy Snak Pak.  This business was started by Michelle, a mom of 4 looking to for an easy, healthy, fun way to feed her family on the go.  And what an amazing idea!  Refillable food pouches.  I'm sure you've seen them in the baby food isle;  they are so handy, but pricey and so much waste.  Squishy Snak Paks are the eco- friendly way to feed your little ones on the go.  And Squishy Snak Pak was kind enough to send me one of these awesome pouches to review.


And I can honestly say I'm very impressed and dying to get a few more.

Firstly, the Pak itself has very little packaging itself and what it does have is made from recycled paper products.  Woohoo! The second thing  I loved was the adorable pattern.  Both my kids were instantly excited and fighting over who got to use it first.

I loved the simplicity and practicality of this product.  With a simple Ziploc-type closure on the bottom and an easy screw-off and choke-proof cap it was easy for my 4 yr old to manage on her own.The pouch holds 1/2 cup of what ever deliciousness you choose to fill it with.  We started with homemade apple sauce and what a hit!  Alice slurped it up in record time and wanted a second round.  I then refilled it and packed it in Stella's lunch for school.  She hardly made it into the school before pulling it out of her lunch bag.  And she managed to bring it back, complete with the lid at the end of the day!  I can't wait to try out some of the great recipes that are on the Squishy website.

Cleaning the Squishy Snak Pak is a cinch.  You can easily wash it by hand, but it totally goes in the dishwasher too!  Amazing!


Overall, the Squishy Snak Pak is a hit and a must-have for our busy homestead.  Kids love it and toddlers can feed themselves brekkie in the morning!  It's reusable, portable, BPA-free and just plain awesome! Squishy Snak Pak is made by a Canadian mom and it will definitely help us with the morning madness.

Wouldn't you love one for your homestead? Here's your chance:
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Disclaimer: I received the Squishy Snak Pak free of charge for the purposes of this review. All views and opinions expressed are my own.
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