Living on a small farm and raising a family while working from home sounded like bliss, and don’t get me wrong, I do love it! But the visions I had in my head of our children picking fresh, organic fruits and vegetables from our garden and munching on them don’t quite exactly match the reality.
Our two girls are practical, resourceful young women. They eat what is offered, willingly trying new foods they haven’t seen or had the opportunity to eat. Our middle child is our true “waste not” realist, the one who is not against raising fowl for food to feed our family. We haven’t gotten there yet but she would be the first to declare it wasteful not to eat a hen who has given us eggs and cuddles but is at the end of it’s feathery life.
Our son, however, is an entirely different creature and from day one off the breast he has proven to be our biggest challenge.
My son is the most loving, caring little boy I think I’ve ever met. He loves our flock, the goats, the dogs and his adorable hamster, Henry, all equally. He is careful, thoughtful and kind. But these qualities also make him somewhat of a non-risktaker. He looks warily at things he doesn’t know, hesitant to take a leap of faith and try something new. This is particulary true of his diet.
From his first foray into solid foods our little guy has been quite determined to eat only what he likes, and absolutely nothing else. When he was very young we were able to sneak things into his meals, pureeing veggies in spaghetti sauce and adding protein powder to muffins. But as his palette developed he started to comment about the taste, and we quickly realized our days of fooling him were over. We also noticed he picked out all, and I mean ALL, the teeny bits of ground beef in my amazing pasta sauce, wouldn’t touch the chicken in his enchilada (which is quite a feat, have you tried NOT eating the shredded chicken in a chicken enchilada?), and generally avoided any meat on his plate. With either of our girls we would have easily substituted other protein rich foods, but given our son’s very selective and limited approved foods getting protein into him was proving very, very hard.
There is a new tool we are trying in our home to help us and our choosy little guy to make healthy decisions that give him all the nutrients he needs by becoming a Nutrition Fact Finder Detective .
A joint effort between the Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC), Health Canada, Retail Council of Canada (RCC)and the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG) has given us the Nutrition Facts Education Campaign (NFEC). This campaign is designed to increase Canadians’ awareness, use and understanding of the Serving Size and Percent Daily Value (% DV), on the Nutrition Facts table (NFt), to help them make informed food choices for their families.
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To help us Focus on the Facts, the NFEC has put out a guide to help Canadian families decipher the Nutrition Facts table found on packaged foods. Understanding what those numbers mean to us is often confusing, so by using this guide families can become Nutrition Detectives and make healthy and informed decisions that work with their nutritional needs.
We jumped into this with vigor, our kiddo quickly gobbling up the super sleuthing idea and he set upon finding out what his own needs were and how to meet them, using products he knows he likes and will eat. This was a bit of an eye opener for him and us, as we thought we were getting at least most of his daily nutritional needs met. We’ve been struggling to get him to try new foods, and with the nutrition guide he has composed a list of nutrient rich foods he’s keen to try, and a daily target for his nutritional needs.
Armed with the nutrition fact finder, we Use % DV to compare packaged food. Foods with a Nutrient value of 5% DV or less is a little and 15% DV or more is a lot. Now we Choose packaged food that has more of the nutrients we want, like protein, fibre and calcium, and less of those we don’t, like saturated and trans fats, sugar and sodium.
Raising a choosy eater on an organic home farm has been a struggle, but with the new nutrition facts table, courtesy of the Nutrition Facts Education Campaign, we are forging ahead into brave new territory, and having some fun along the way.
And right now, you can get a head start on using the fact finder for yourself! Click HERE to enter to WIN a $300 gift card to help you choose the BEST for your families dinner table. Or enter below to win a $100 gift card for Walmart Canada! (open to canada only, exl. quebec)