Heading to the grocery store, kids in tow, may not be as rough an experience as it was for Jeff Bridges buying cream for his morning libation in "The Big Lebowski." But steering children clear of sugary, chemical-laden, "Mom, can I have that?" treats requires more skill than tightrope-walking. And what about your purchases - stuff that seems good but contains hidden nutritional bombs?
We want to help you decipher food labels on produce and packaged food. Smart reading will tell you where it's from, if it's genetically modified and what food colorings, fats, sugars and preservatives are in it.
Did you know that the little tag on fruits and vegetables holds a world of info?
-A four-digit code starting with the number 4 equals conventionally grown and may have been sprayed with synthetic pesticides; not genetically modified.
-A five-digit code beginning with 9 equals organic; not genetically modified.
-A five-digit code starting with an 8? Genetically modified produce.
To know what's in your other food purchases, and get kids involved in making healthy food choices, go for a smart app. Like a cool video game, Fooducate (for Androids) and Good Guide (from iTunes) are free mobile apps that scan bar codes and tell you what's in that sports drink, canned soup, cupcake or frozen meal. And they offer you healthy alternatives. Kids love the game of it, and they can discover first-hand why you say, "No, we're not buying that!" Better yet, soon they'll be saying it too.
© 2012 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.