FOODUCATE will help answer this question! Here at Eat the Chocolate we share the Fooducate app with our clients and use it in our Healthy Kids Cooking Classes. It’s FREE and can be downloaded to your smart phone. By scanning the bar codes of foods, the app will give the food a grade with an explanation of that grade.

We focus on ingredient list first. Clean eating involves eating whole, natural foods with ingredients you recognize and can pronounce. Simply put, if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. We often tell our Healthy Kid Chefs, 5 or less ingredients on a label is best.

You may want to start by doing a little detective work in your own fridge or pantry. Read the labels on some of your foods first to familiarize yourself with ingredients you DON’T want to see. A few you want to try to stay away from are High Fructose Corn Syrup, Aspartame, and Partially Hydrogenated Oils.

For example, most bread on store shelves contain high fructose corn syrup. Look at the ingredient label on the loaf of bread you have in your pantry. Is HFC there? My husband and I have made the switch to Ezekiel bread (usually found in the organic frozen section of your local grocery store). Our kids aren’t fans of the Ezekiel brand but they do like whole wheat bread. Beware, there are many whole wheat bread brands where the very first ingredient on the list is high fructose corn syrup. Check out this article on the “Healthiest Brands of Bread to Buy” from the Food Babe.

I know for our family, when we started implementing clean eating into our diets we went into our pantry and “fooducated” everything! My oldest son had a sharpie marker and wrote the grade on each item. It was amazing how many C’s and D’s were lurking on our shelves! We dare you to use it!
When I have to take the kids with me to the grocery store (believe me, I try to avoid this at all costs!) I allow them to bring their ipods so they can “Fooducate” while we shop. They love trying to find the highest and lowest grades. They are pretty good at distinguishing which foods are good for them and those that highly processed. We strive to only but A’s and B’s in our cart.

Here are a few screen shots from my phone after I scanned a box of Frosted Mini-Wheats. You can see the detailed information given with each product. Foodcuate even recommends “healthier” alternatives. Love this app!

We would love to hear how this app is helping your family make better choices. Comment below!