Providing good nutrition for their children can be a top priority for parents. Developing healthy habits at a young age can set the groundwork for a lifetime of positive well being.

“We are often bombarded with low-fat, reduced-calorie products when walking the aisle of the grocery store,” says Sherry Torkos, pharmacist and author of The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. “While the claims draw us in, educating ourselves can help empower us to make more informed choices.”

GetAttachment.aspxSherry provides tips on how to be a smart shopper when looking for healthier options:

• Be careful of low fat labeling: Sometimes when manufactures try to reduce the amount of fat in a product, sugar and starch content may go up to retain flavor. Always be sure to check the nutrition facts label and ingredients to know exactly what you are buying.

• Chips vs. Popcorn: We can crave a crunchy snack from time to time. Instead of grabbing chips, which can contribute extra fat and sodium to your diet, opt for plain popcorn (one cup of popcorn is approximately 30 calories vs. one cup of plain potato chips is approximately 115 calories). You can also play with flavors. For sweeter popcorn, try dusting it with cinnamon, and for a more savory option, try adding oregano, garlic or cumin.

• Swap your sugar sweetened beverage: Soft drinks provide additional calories to your total diet. For a healthy alternative, try swapping your sugar sweetened beverages for sparkling water. Nestle Pure Life Sparkling Natural Spring Water, for example, has zero sugar, zero calories and no artificial sweeteners.

Sherry’s number one tip when grocery shopping is to always read the nutrition facts label and ingredient list on a product to ensure that you are making an informed choice for you and your family.

Written by Cleo Neufeld

Cleo Neufeld

Before meeting the love of her life, Cleo was a single mother to a beautiful little girl for many years. She shares her expertise in single parenting, building a relationship, living on a budget and more.