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Understanding Nutritional Claims

Parents face day to day hurdles and when it comes to understanding nutritional terms it can seem as if you’re reading a whole other language. 

If you are a busy parent and constantly on the go, no doubt you will find yourself looking for ready-made snacks to bridge the gap until you can get in the kitchen. However, we never want to compromise on nutrition when it comes to family. FUNCH Founder Lisa says “knowing we are all getting the nutrition we need is a huge task, as a parent. With so much to juggle in life, FUNCH cuts us some slack and gives us more time to spend together”.

That’s where we come in, at FUNCH we aim to provide families with healthy, natural alternatives for meal time and snacks.

We believe that all food companies should aspire to be as transparent as possible when it comes to what goes into their products. We know how important it is for parents and caregivers to know what is going into the foods they feed their little ones. That’s why we thought it would be beneficial to share what nutritional terms mean on those pesky baby food packages. Nutritional information that is required for companies to share on their packaging is set out by government food regulations.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Before you even decide which baby food to buy, make sure to do some comparisons. This part may be time consuming but once you’ve found that trustful brand it’ll be easier from there on out. Hopefully FUNCH is that brand for you. 

When comparing brands of food products, there are some key indicators to look out for. Pay attention to the difference in nutrition indicators on the nutrition panel ‘per serve’ and ‘per 100g’. Per 100g is important when you are comparing two different products and can’t decide which is the better choice, this will help you. For example,  Protein -  which is a vital nutrient for little ones, especially if they are not being fed breast milk/formula. 

CLAIMS

The ingredients list on a product is in descending order by how much of that ingredient is in the product, but what about the nutritional claims? Every country has their own standards when it comes to Claims. FSANZ (Food Standards Australia and New Zealand) set the guidelines for claims that we, FUNCH obey. If you are found to be in breach of those standards then you can be penalised by ACCC.  

Nutritional claims are about the content of certain nutrients or substances in a food, such as 'low in fat' or 'good source of calcium'. These claims need to meet certain criteria. For example, food with a 'good source of calcium' needs to contain at least the amount of calcium specified in the Standard.

Then there are the claims of good source and excellent source of a specific nutritional benefit. The difference between the ‘good’ and the ‘excellent’ source is that to be a good source is to provide at least 10% to 19% of daily value of a particular nutrient and an excellent source has more than 20% of the daily value of a particular nutrient.

‘No added sugars’ does not mean a food is sugar free but rather no extra sugar has been added to it. For example, in our products we use natural sweeteners such as fruits and any sugar is naturally occurring.

If a packet of food has stated that the product inside is free from artificial colours or flavours, it means that all flavour and colouring has been derived from natural flavours and colours, whether that be added natural flavours and colours or those naturally occurring in the food product itself. Naturally flavouring has been an ongoing development as technology advances. We are learning new ways that we can combine natural resources to create new flavours and colours. Natural means it could be sourced from spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, fermented products such as wine, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf, seed or similar plant material. These natural flavouring substances are blended together to create a natural flavour.

We hope that in this blog we have opened up your understanding of the different types of nutritional claims, and the guidelines companies have to follow to meet certain standards/criterias. If you ever have any uncertainty or questions about the claims we state on our packaging, please feel free to email us and we will respond promptly.

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