Your Toddler and NuVal™: An Innovative Way to Keep (Food) Score!

Source: By Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers

With so many choices in the grocery store, it is often difficult to pick out the healthiest foods for your family. Recently, a system was introduced to help consumers make these important decisions. It is called the NuVal™ System, a nutritional scoring system developed by a team of healthcare professionals led by David Katz, MD, a nationally recognized authority on nutrition and funded by Yale University School of Medicine.

With the NuVal System, foods receive a simple numeric score between 1 and 100. This score summarizes the overall nutritional value of the food. The score considers many factors, including the presence of nutrients and the quality of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. With this system, you can compare items across food groups. For example, you can compare veggie burgers to actual veggies or cheese to chicken.

Through a partnership with retailers, the NuVal System will soon be seen in supermarket aisles. NuVal scores will be displayed right at the point of purchase. You will be able to see and compare the nutritional value of products at a glance, which will support your ability to make informed, healthy food choices!

Here's a sample of common toddler favorites with HIGH scores:

100 Broccoli
100 Blueberries
96 Apples
91 Banana
89 Avocado
61 Instant Oatmeal

And some common toddler foods with LOWER scores (< than 25):

1 Popsicle
5 Hot Dog
2 Saltine Crackers
11 Pretzel Sticks
20 Chocolate Pudding 23 Peanut Butter
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About the authors: Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers are sisters, the mothers of five children, and founders of Fresh Baby ( They are the creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit and Good Clean Fun Placemats, available at many fine specialty stores and national chains, including Target and Whole Foods Markets.