A big thank you to all those who participated in the discussion on my last blog article Fruity Cheerios vs Froot Loops where I shared how we managed to switch my daughter to Cheeios from Froot Loops. This was a big deal because she is so fond of Froot Loops that she doesn’t want to try anything else.
But I need to give a special word of thanks to Selmada who left a comment about teaching her to read labels. I tried this idea over the weekend, first with her reading the label on the Fruity Cheerios just to get her used to the contents of a nutrition facts label. She got quite interested in it running her tiny forefinger down the long list as she read out vitamin D, calcium and iron. Later that night at dinner, we talked about the food label and the different items it contains and what they mean. We talked about sugar, fat, protein, vitamin D and calcium. We talked about how calcium and vitamin D made our bodies strong and gave us good bones. We talked about how junk food is full of sugar and fat. We also talked about how different breakfast foods contain different things and why some of them may be better for us. All this conversation happened without the box of cereal on the table as we ate our dinner together.
The next morning, I was quite surprised when she asked for a bowl of instant oatmeal with milk instead of the usual Cheerios! She even insisted on helping me take out 1/2 cup of instant oatmeal mix and mix with a cup of milk; reading the label of course! It was ready in a few minutes and she happily sat down on the table to begin eating it after it had cooled down a little.
I encouraged her to look at the label and find how much sugar the oatmeal had. She ran her tiny finger again and read 1 g. Then I showed her the box of Fruity Cheerios and she read 9 g. As she made the connection, she exclaimed “Cheerios has more sugar than oatmeal”! I said it was ok and we could still enjoy it once in a while.
Then I pointed to the bottle of honey and helped her find the amount of sugar – it was very difficult to find because the label is small and not easy to read.
“16 grams”, she exclaimed in a loud, surprised tone of voice.
“..and that is why we should use only a little bit of honey in the oatmeal”, she suggested after the difference in amount had registered in her mind.
“Yes”, said I as I watched her squeeze out a smaller than usual amount of honey from the bottle.
Her twin brother got interested in checking out the label once he had his own bowl of oatmeal in front of him.
Wow, sometimes things just have a way of coming together!