Provided By: Maribel Alchin, MBA, RD, LDN, Dietitian and Meijer Healthy Living Advisor
NuVal- Nutritional Scoring System
Meijer wants to help people make healthy choices for themselves and their families. That’s why in 2009, we introduced the NuVal program in all of our stores.
The NuVal nutrition scoring system considers over 30 nutrients and boils it all down into one simple number you can trust to help you choose healthier food. Scores range from 1 – 100, higher numbers are more nutritious foods. The NuVal scores can be found on Meijer shelf price tags on store brand and national brand products and can be used to compare foods within similar food groups. “Trade up” foods to get a higher score at your next meal or snack; for example, trade up your regular pretzel sticks (NuVal score: 5) for Meijer Honey Wheat Pretzel Braids (NuVal score: 23).
Healthy Snacks for the Busy Soccer Mom
Soccer players love to snack. That’s because soccer is a super energy intensive sport. Snacks help the players recharge. A soccer snack helps provide nutrients and the energy your child needs to focus and play well. Use NuVal to help make healthy choices for your kid’s soccer game snacks. Here are some quick and easy snack ideas that have more staying power to keep your kids full longer during a practice or game:
- Fresh fruit such as orange slices, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon or honeydew chunks, grapes and apple slices. Fruits score high on the NuVal scale 80-100 and are low in calories and full of antioxidants.
· Water helps your child replenish and quenches their thirst after a long game.
Peanut Butter & Jelly on whole wheat bread, cut into quarters.
Try Krema Natural peanut butter (NuVal score of 51) vs. regular peanut butter (average NuVal score of 20).
- Bring small 4-6 oz yogurts with whole grain graham crackers. Select yogurts with fiber and no added sugar such as Yoplait Light Fat Free Strawberry Yogurt (NuVal score 60) vs. regular yogurt (average NuVal score 28).
- Make your own whole grain muffins. Use white whole wheat flour and add banana, no sugar added applesauce or blueberries (NuVal score 100) to the mix.
- Whole grain crackers with cheese sticks or squares. Look for crackers that are high in fiber and made with whole grain. Try Multigrain Wheat Thins (NuVal score 28) vs. regular crackers (average NuVal score 16).
- Fruit Kabobs. Simply put pineapple chunks, grapes and cheese on skewers. They have the taste kids love and nutritious.
- Bagels. Cut half a bagel into quarters and spread with peanut butter or lowfat cream cheese. Choose bagels that are high in fiber. Thomas Whole Wheat Bagels (NuVal score of 25) vs. regular bagel (average NuVal score 14).
- Granola bars. Select granola bars that are high in fiber and lowfat. Try Kashi Honey Almond Flax bars (NuVal score 38) vs. regular granola bar (average NuVal score 20).
- Trail Mix. Make your own trail mix by mixing whole grain cereal, raisins, peanuts, whole grain pretzels and dried cherries. Look for cereals that are high in fiber, low in sodium and sugar. For example, General Mills Cheerios (NuVal score of 34) vs. regular cereal (average NuVal score 27).