Let NuVal be your guide to a Healthy New Year!
We’ve made it simple to select healthier foods for your family. At Meijer you can shop and compare nutrition values at a glance. Look for the NuVal scores on shelf price tags and store signage to help guide you to healthier choices.
NuVal scores range from one to 100. Foods with higher NuVal scores offer more nutrition. Think of it as taking all the information from the food product’s nutrition facts panel, analyzing the quality of the food ingredients, and then giving that food a single score. It’s that simple!
Food categories have varying score ranges, so compare foods within a food group (like comparing vegetables to vegetables) or across an eating occasion, such as snacks (like comparing popcorn to chips). Using NuVal in this way will help you achieve the best nutrition for all the foods your family consumes.
We don’t recommend trying to eat foods that exceed a set score, such as “I won’t eat anything below a NuVal score of 50”. You’ll end up eliminating food groups if you try this strategy. Instead, choose the higher scoring foods in each food group. For example, choose Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheat Cereal with a NuVal score of 33 instead of puffed fruity cereal with a NuVal score of 23 to get more nutrition in your bowl of cereal.
Combine foods with higher and lower NuVal scores to get more nutrition at any meal. In our cereal example above, you could add fat free milk with a NuVal score of 91 and fresh strawberries with a NuVal score of 100 to really boost the nutrition value of your breakfast meal.
Your Meijer healthy living team is working hard to make healthy eating easy for you. Use our resources including menus, recipes, nutrition and fitness tips and NuVal to achieve your health goals and simplify your life. You’ll find these tools and more anytime at meijermealbox.com/healthy-living.
Seven Steps to a Healthier New Year:
1. Start with A Plan: Make it a point to plan your family meals each week. Planning not only helps you control what and how much you eat, it will also help to manage your family budget.
Simplify Planning: Let us do the work for you! Each week use our “Weekly Nutritious Menu and Recipes” posted at our healthy living website (www.meijermealbox.com/healthy-living)
2. Eat breakfast tend to eat fewer calories, weigh less and have more energy and focus throughout the day.
3. Get More Whole Grains: Replace refined grains with whole grains such as whole wheat bread, cereal and Meijer Multigrain Extra pasta. Whole grain foods help to maintain a healthy body weight, lower cholesterol, improve digestion and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
4. Fit in Fitness: Schedule time for regular fitness activities that are fun and suitable to your level of fitness. Health experts recommend a brisk walk or other form of activity just 30 minutes a day 4 to 5 days a week.
5. Do the “D”: Vitamin D is essential for bone health, positive mood, and may play a role in preventing certain types of cancer. Sunshine helps your body make vitamin D. Talk to your Meijer Pharmacist about whether you should consider a supplement since sunshine exposure is limited during winter months.
6. Be Mindful of Portions: Learn to recognize standard serving sizes so that you don’t overeat. For instance, a standard serving size of pasta is only a half cup (cooked) or about the size of a tennis ball. A serving of meat is only 3 ounces, or about the size of a deck of cards.
Visualize Your Plate: Half your plate should be plant foods (non-starchy vegetables and fruit), one-quarter should be your protein foods (meat, poultry, fish, etc) and the final quarter should be a starchy vegetable (such as corn or potato) or a whole grain (such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta).
7. Use NuVal for Nutrition: Check the NuVal scores of foods that you eat – higher scoring foods tend to be lower in calories, higher in fiber, and be more nutrient rich.
Pantry Makeover Challenge
How healthy is the food in your home? Now is the perfect time to put your pantry and refrigerator to the test! Here’s what you need to do:
1. Download the “NuVal Makeover Challenge” form from our website
2. For each of the following food categories, write in one or more items that are currently in your refrigerator or pantry.
3. Take this sheet to your Meijer store and write in the NuVal score for each item that you listed from your home.
4. Now, trade up to a healthier choice! Next to each item write in the name and NuVal score for a similar food item that has a higher NuVal score.
Start your new year with a freshly stocked pantry and refrigerator, filled with foods boasting higher NuVal scores.
Healthy Living Team Picks:
Check out these convenient food items that offer some surprising health benefits:
Hormel Natural Choice lunch meats and pepperoni. What we like: Nothing artificial in these wholesome products. These lunchmeats are also Gluten free. Grab these products from the lunchmeat case and head home with a healthier choice for you and your family.
McCormick Spices. What we like: Excellent quality spices packed with disease fighting antioxidants. Think outside the spice cabinet and use a dash or McCormick Cinnamon or Nutmeg in your daily coffee and tea to boost immune health. As a bonus, spices add flavor without adding calories or sodium!
Delmonte Canned Fruit and Vegetables. What we like: Fast and easy products to help you achieve your goal of 5 cups fruit and vegetables everyday Juice pack can fruit makes a great quick dessert and 50% less sodium Delmonte vegetables are a fast and easy addition to any dish or meal. Keep Delmonte juice pack fruit and reduced sodium can vegetables on hand in your pantry.
Motts Apple Sauce: What we like: All natural apple sauce is perfect to use as a substitute for fat in baked goods or just yummy heated with cinnamon on top of pancakes for breakfast. Single Serve Mott’s applesauce are the perfect addition to your lunch box.
Mott’s Light Apple Juice: What we like: All the flavor of apple juice with half the calories and sugar found in regular apple juice.
Quaker 50% Less Sugar Instant Oatmeal. What we like: All the convenience with half the sugar as a healthier breakfast or snack in an instant. Keep these in your desk drawer at work for breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack (when that sweet tooth kicks in!)
StarKist Tuna Water Pack Pouch. What we like: These go anywhere for lunch or a snack. Packed with protein and brain boosting omega-3 fatty acids.
Dannon Light 'n Fit Yogurt: What we like: A delicious sweet treat or grab and go breakfast packed with vitamin D and immune system boosting probiotics.
Healthy Living Recipe:
1 Tbsp Meijer olive oil (NuVal Score 11)
1 cup onion, chopped (NuVal Score 93)
1 large red pepper, chopped (NuVal Score 96)
1 cup celery, chopped (NuVal Score 96)
3/4 pound extra lean ground beef (NuVal Score 29)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp McCormick ground black pepper
1/2 tsp McCormick dried oregano
1/2 tsp McCormick garlic powder
2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms (NuVal Score 96)
1 (14.5 ounce) can Delmonte Diced Tomatoes, No Salt Added (NuVal Score 82)
2 cups Meijer Naturals Marinara sauce (NuVal Score 60)
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups 2% Milk shredded mozzarella (NuVal Score 23)
1 3/4 cups uncooked Meijer Whole Wheat elbow macaroni (NuVal Score 81)
1. In a skillet, saute onion, red pepper and celery in butter.
2. Add ground beef and brown, breaking it up with a spoon.
3. Add mushrooms, salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic powder.
4. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and water to the pan. Simmer, covered for 20 minutes.
5. Spoon enough mixture to cover the bottom of a 9″ X 13″ pan. Layer with uncooked elbows. Spoon remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with cheese.
6. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove and let stand for 5 minutes.
Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories 318, Fat 13g, Cholesterol 62, Sodium 562 mg, Carbohydrate 28g, Fiber 4g, Protein 22g.
Recipe adapted from NuVal.com