Adapted from the Health Canada Using the Nutrition Facts table: % Daily Value (Fact Sheet).
The Nutrition Facts table gives you information on calories and 13 core nutrients. Use the amount of food and the % Daily Value (% DV) to choose healthier food products.
Follow these three steps:
- Look at the amount of food per portion and compare to package size. Nutrition Facts are based on a specific amount of food. Compare this to the amount you actually eat.
- Read the % DV (Daily Value). The % DV helps you see if a specific amount of food has a little or a lot of a nutrient:
• 5% DV or less is a little
• 15% DV or more is a lot
- Choose. Make a better choice for you. Here are some nutrients you may want…
|Fat – saturated and trans
Here is an example of how to choose
You are at the grocery store looking at yogurt. The small container (175 g) of yogurt you pick has a little fat (4% DV) and a lot of calcium (17% DV) – this is a better choice if you are trying to eat less fat and more calcium as part of a healthy lifestyle!
How to Compare
Use the amount of food and the % Daily Value (% DV) to compare and choose healthier food products.
Follow these three steps:
- Look at the amounts of food |
compare the amounts of food in the Nutrition Facts tables.
Cracker A has 9 crackers and weighs 23 grams. Cracker B has 4 crackers and weighs 20 grams.
Because the weights are similar, you can compare these Nutrition Facts tables.
- Read the % DVs | you may be able to compare products that don’t have similar amounts of food.
For example, you could compare the % DVs of a bagel (90 g) to the % DVs of 2 slices of bread (70 g) because you would most likely eat either amount of food at one meal.
Since you are comparing crackers, you may want to look at the % DVs for saturated and trans fats, sodium and fibre.
Cracker A has 13% DV for saturated and trans fats, 12% DV for sodium and 4% DV for fibre.
Cracker B has 2% DV for saturated and trans fats, 4% DV for sodium and 12% DV for fibre.
Remember: 5% DV or less is a little and 15% DV or more is a lot. This applies to all nutrients.
- Choose |
In this case, Cracker B would be a better choice if you are trying to eat less saturated and trans fats, less sodium and more fibre as part of a healthy lifestyle.
The sale of Natural Health Products (NHP) and Homeopathic Medicine Products (DIN-HM) contravenes the Calgary Board of Education Administrative Regulation 6002 with respect to the administration of medication to students which is the responsibility of the parent and the student's physician.
Part of Alberta's Health and Wellness Program, the Nutrition Calculator can help you compare the nutrition criteria from a Nutrition Facts Table to find out if your food or beverage choice is a Choose Most Often, Choose Sometimes or Choose Least Often according to the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines.
nutrition criteria documents
Printable Nutrition Criteria documents (pdfs):
school implementation resource
Nutrition is an important consideration within many day-to-day activities in schools. The School Implementation Resource (pdf) can help you ensure that nutrition is consistent with the Chief Superintendent's Directive on nutrition.
School Nutrition Education Resource List | The Alberta Health Services School Nutrition Education Resource List provides school teachers and other child educators, administrators, health professionals and parents with helpful information and materials to teach students and children about nutrition and healthy food choices.
Single Serving Packaged Food List | developed by Nutrition Services, the Single Serving Packaged Food List has been created to assist schools, childcare facilities and recreation/community centres in implementing the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth.
Healthy U | was developed as a public information and education campaign to support and encourage Albertans to lead healthier lifestyles by providing them with access to information on healthy eating and active living.
CBE Comprehensive School Health | Teaming Up! 4 Healthy Learners
School Nutrition | Alberta Health Services provides teachers, principals, and other school staff with School Nutrition education resources.
Ever Active | schools facilitate the development of healthy children and youth by fostering social and physical environments that support healthy, active school communities.