Meet Deirdre, NuVal’s Mom of the Month for September!
Quincy, MA – Sept. 6, 2012– Since NuVal Scores launched almost four years ago, moms across the country have experienced the “score shock” moment, the point where they realize the nutritional truth about some of the foods they’ve been buying. For some, it’s learning that certain fruit juices are as nutritious as carbonated sodas. For others, it’s finding out that the cereal they thought was healthy is actually only minimally more nutritious than Froot Loops. For Deirdre Goldsmith, a mom from Tolland, CT, her “score shock” moment came when she saw the NuVal Score for yogurt-covered raisins.
“Since my kids like raisins and they are so easy to include in school lunches for the kids, I’ve been purchasing them for years. Sometimes I would substitute yogurt raisins, or dehydrated cranberries just for variety,” she said. “That was before I started incorporating NuVal Scores into my decision-making!”
While Deirdre learned that plain raisins score an 87 on the NuVal Scale, covering them with yogurt knocks them all the way down to single digits. Even worse, dried cranberries, which are covered with sugar during processing, score no better.
Looking at these scores made Deirdre reconsider how to pack lunch for her three daughters.
“Using NuVal scores helped me to quickly reconsider the occasional substitutions in my children’s lunchboxes,” Deirdre said. “I don’t need to sacrifice healthy eating in order to offer alternatives to our nutritious favorites. In fact, NuVal scores on nearby dried apricots at (a NuVal Score of) 91 provide a delicious alternate!
“After the yogurt raisin fall-out, I have frequently taken to enlisting the help of my kids when I shop. In fact, we make a game out of it,” Deirdre said. “Most recently, I sent them on a quest to find the most nutritious cereal bar. “ Deirdre said while her oldest daughter was disappointed to find out her previous favorite, Quaker Chewy Dipps, scored in the low single digits, she was happy to find a trade-up from Nutri-Grain that has a NuVal Score in the 30s.
“The best thing about sharing NuVal scores with my children is that the scores aren’t subjective,” she said. “Instead of my having to debate the claims and implications of commercials and packaging, all I need to do now is point to that NuVal score and Voila – argument avoided – the numbers speak for themselves!”
Even foods that Deirdre knew weren’t healthy choices gave her a greater sense of “score shock” as she realized just how low on the NuVal Scale they resided. For instance, the Lunchables “Ham and American,” packaged meal, which comes with Sour Patch candies and a drink, scores a 7 out of 100. “That is actually lower than potato chips!” She said.
Through NuVal Scores, Deirdre also learned that packaged dried blueberries (that has added sugar) had a score of 1 out of 100, the lowest score possible. This was especially surprising since plain, fresh blueberries come in at a 100, the exact opposite end of the scale. “I assumed they would have come in with a very high score,” she said.
Even products aimed at getting people healthy, such as low-calorie Lean Cuisine microwaveable meals, Deirdre noticed, had scores in the low teens.
Seeing these scores, along with the thousands of others along the supermarket shelves, drove Deirdre to make two major changes. First, she switched out most of their favorite packaged foods for the highest-scoring products in the same category. “This has been easiest in basic everyday foods such as pasta, pasta sauces, cereal, crackers and yogurt,” she said. Because of this rule, you will no longer find Pop Tarts, boxed macaroni and cheese, prepackaged kids’ lunches, or yogurt-covered anything in the Goldsmith’s shopping cart.
The second change, Deirdre said, was about substituting canned vegetables with frozen. While both frozen and canned vegetables have both high-and low-scoring options, Deirdre said her experience in the store told her that more higher-scoring options existed in the frozen aisle. “It was an easy substitution to make, and the taste is generally better as well,” she said.
“I feel that (NuVal Scores have) simplified my shopping experiences,” she said. “I have always wanted to believe I was making healthy food decisions; now I don’t have to guess anymore. I can make selections without questioning myself, since the work’s been done for me!
“The best thing about NuVal is that it takes the ambiguity out of making healthy food selections for our family!” Deirdre said. “No longer am I left to interpret the claims made on the packaging.”
We Want To Hear From You!
We want to hear from you moms out there with great stories to tell. How has The NuVal System impacted your life? Do you feel more confident in your shopping? Are your kids eating better? Have you lost weight or changed your life as a result of NuVal?
If you’re willing to share your story with others, please email it along with a photo or two to firstname.lastname@example.org. For each story that we receive, we’ll mail you a NuVal Moms shirt, and welcome you to our Moms Club and enter you to win a $100 American Express gift card! And, we’ll select a NuVal Mom of the Month who will receive a big prize and be one of the celebrated faces of NuVal. We can’t wait to hear from you!
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. NuVal® Scores can be found at Price Cutter, King Soopers, Tops, King Kullen, Price Chopper, Hy-Vee, Meijer, Brookshire’s, Big Y, Skogen’s Festival Foods, Food City, United Supermarkets, Mariano’s Fresh Market, Lowes Foods, Scolari’s Food and Drug, Raley’s, Robért Fresh market, Coborn’s, and select Giant Eagle and 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.