The NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System Helps Moms Pack a Better Lunchbox
Braintree, MA (January 30, 2012) – New Federal guidelines now require schools to provide meals with more whole grains, fruits, and veggies, and less fat and salt. Experts hope this can help reverse the current growing trends of obesity and other diet-related ailments.
But what about those who pack a lunch? Many families only buy school lunches sporadically (if at all). How can they guarantee their children are eating the right foods?
Consumers at more than 1,600 supermarkets in the country have a powerful answer in the NuVal System. The NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System is a unique way for consumers to find the most nutritious foods on supermarket shelves. Taking in 30 different attributes of foods, from fiber to folate, NuVal Scores give all foods a score between 1-100; the higher the number, the better the overall nutrition. NuVal scores are provided right on the supermarket shelf next to the price.
“These new guidelines fit exactly into how our system scores foods,” said NuVal General Manager Mike Nugent. “Fruits and vegetables are at the top of our scoring scale, and products with higher amounts of sodium and fat score lower under our system.”
Using NuVal Scores, it’s easier to find easy-to-pack, wholesome foods that your kids will eat and that will truly nourish them:
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich:
To make a classic PB&J, convenience can come at the expense of nutrition. While Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly Sandwiches may shave a couple of minutes off your morning routine, they only score a 5 out of 100 on the NuVal Scale. For better nutrition, you can try Teddie Unsalted Old Fashioned Natural Peanut Butter with a NuVal Score of 49, and Polaner Sugar-Free Concord Grape Jelly with a Score of 82. For better nutrition, spread them both on Pepperidge Farm 100% Whole Wheat Bread (NuVal Score 43).
They may look similar, but granola bars can be very different when it comes to nutrition. For instance, Quaker Chewy Peanut Butter Nutty Granola Bars receive a NuVal Score of 13, while Kashi TLC Chewy Almond Honey Flax Granola Bars get a score of 40.
Those looking for “fruity” snacks should be warned—many of them are a far cry from the real thing. Fruit gushers and Fruit Roll-Ups each score a 1, as they offer a large amount of sugar but little nutrition. Even a snack pack of Mott’s Original Applesauce only receives a NuVal Score of 4. Trading up to the Del Monte Apples & Oranges in Extra Light Syrup fruit cup (NuVal Score 21), is an improvement. But for the best nutrition, you are better off packing real apples (NuVal Score 96), oranges (NuVal Score 100), grapes (NuVal Score 91) and strawberries (NuVal Score 100).
If your child likes crackers and cheese, you may be tempted to pack Oscar Meyer Lunchables Ham and Swiss with Crackers, which receive a NuVal Score of 8. But if you have a few extra minutes, you can make something similar with “Hint of Salt” Triscuits (NuVal Score 38), Kraft American Cheese Singles (NuVal Score 26), and sliced skinless turkey breast (NuVal Score 48).
Many kids’ juices provide a lot of sugar and little else. Capri Sun fruit punch, for instance, scores a 2 on the NuVal Scale. Even apple-cranberry juice, though it sounds better, receives the same low score. As an alternative, Langers Apple Juice Cocktail receives a score of 34.
As for milk, a little bit of chocolate can make a big difference in the NuVal Score, as chocolate milk scores a 27 on the NuVal Scale, while whole white milk scores a 52. Lower-fat milks score even higher. The highest-scoring milk is fat-free or skim milk, which gets a 91.
NuVal is currently in more than 1,600 supermarkets across the country, with more planned in the near future. Customers at Tops, Price Chopper, Meijer, Hy-Vee, Brookshire’s, and other stores get the benefit of NuVal Scores every time they shop. NuVal’s database has tens of thousands of items scored in the produce, meat, pasta, frozen food, cereal, and salty snack aisles. Visitors to NuVal’s website (www.nuval.com) can view sample scores and learn more about this unique system which promises to change the way we think about the foods we eat.
About NuVal LLC:
The NuVal Nutritional Scoring System is a unique food labeling system which ranks all foods between 1 and 100; the higher the score, the higher the food’s overall nutrition. NuVal Scores can be found in participating grocery stores, where they are posted on shelf tags next to the product price and on in-store signage. NuValTM Scores can be found at Tops, King Kullen, Price Chopper, Hy-Vee, Meijer, Brookshire’s, Big Y, Skogen’s Festival Foods, Food City, United Supermarkets, Mariano’s Fresh Market, King Soopers, Raley's, City Market, Scolari’s, Price Cuttter, Robért Fresh Market, Coborn’s and select Metro Market locations. Visitors to nuval.com can find sample scores in a variety of categories. NuVal LLC is a joint venture formed in 2008 by Topco Associates, LLC, and Griffin Hospital. Retailers interested in learning more about the NuVal System can contact NuVal LLC at partners@NuVal.com or (781) 228-5800.