Over the course of the next 4 months follow hashtag #GuidingStarsCA #PCStars where I and a handful of Canadian bloggers will track our healthy eating journey with the Guiding Stars Program available exclusively at Loblaws stores. This is my first article of the 4 month feature.
Loblaws has always been my go-to store since my small town doesn’t have too many options, I count on Loblaws for most of my shopping such as; clothes from their Joe Fresh line, kitchenware, seasonal products, and since our healthy eating journey that took place last fall, Loblaws has been able to cover off all my specialty brands that work with my families food sensitivities to dairy, eggs and our choice to eat as much gluten- free as possible.
Have you heard of the PC Plus program Loblaws has?
I was a little late to jump on board during their launch but I finally signed up for one of the free points cards this year. Too be honest, I didn’t know much about it but I didn’t want to be asked any more to register. Seriously, I have been using my PC Plus card since January and I still haven’t looked into it much.
This whole time PC has been tracking my spending habits. Besides my husband, I didn’t know anyone else was tracking my spending, LOL. This article is not about the PC Plus card, although you need it to take part in the Guiding Stars program I do want to share with you.
Healthier Choices Made Simple: Guiding Stars Program
Like I mentioned before, I shop at Loblaws all the time, I seen these stars showing on the shelf tags but I had no clue what they meant and too be honest I never asked. I just carried on buying the products I knew my family would like and brands I felt was the healthy choices for my family.
Have you noticed these tags with the Guiding Stars in your local Loblaws?
Now do you know what they mean?
With endless of options available to you in your local Loblaws chains decoding nutrition labels can be confusing. Especially, if you are taking a new healthy approach to feeding your family. Now you can lean onto the Guiding Stars to take the guesswork out of choosing foods that are nutritious for you and your family.
Let’s break down Guiding Stars…
- Foods are rated based on a balance of credits(+) and debits(-).
- Foods are credited for vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, whole grains, and Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Foods are debited for saturated fats, trans fats, added sodium and added sugar.
- The Guiding Stars program is based on the nation and international dietary recommendations with Canada’s Food Guide.
- As you go through each aisle of the store, look for the easy-to-follow Guiding Stars shelf tags indicating 1, 2, or 3 stars.
- Here is a more detailed breakdown: Understanding the Science behind the Guiding Stars Program for Canada
As I walked around my local Loblaws with an idea of how the Guiding Stars system worked I really was shocked at some of the shelf-labels with no stars. Products I thought were considered healthy. So I asked the cashier, she sent me to customer service who called the store manager.
My question to the store manager was, “are you currently in the transition to moving to the Guiding Star program?” He looked at me puzzled. Then I commented “I noticed so many un-rated products, especially in the health food section that I assumed the store wasn’t completely converted over to the program.” He walked me over to the health food section and assured me the store was transitioned already. To my surprise, the self-labels with no star rating either don’t meet the nutritional criteria of the Guiding Star program or are not rated yet.
Here is a great example of why I was a little confused.
- The food doesn’t meet the nutritional criteria for a Guiding Star. Eating well balanced meals and including star rated foods to your diet will assure you are moving towards a healthier lifestyle. As always, you can read the Nutrition Facts panel and ingredient list to help you make informed choices that work best for you and your family.
- The food is not rated. Products like bottled water, dried spices, coffee and tea are not rated by Guiding Stars because they contain fewer than 5 calories per serving.
- The food hasn’t yet been rated. There is a chance that a new item has hit the shelf and has not yet gone through the full rating process. Check back during your next visit!
I have to say I gave myself a pat on the back once I seen how well I was doing “Year to Date” without even putting any efforts into the Guiding Star program. Now that I have the knowledge I look forward to moving forward taking the Guiding Stars program into consideration when making healthy choices for my family.
Thanks for reading In R Dream!
Although this post has been generously sponsored by Loblaws, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect Loblaws.
Please note: Guiding Stars is not intended to tell you what to buy, but rather point you toward nutritious choices. Guiding Stars is also not a substitute for a physician’s advice, diagnosis or treatment of a pre-existing condition.