*Disclaimer* I received a gift card from Tom Thumb to try out the My SimpleNutrition program. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Do you shop at Tom Thumb?
To be honest… we usually don’t. I have in the past, but it is not the closest store to where I live right now, so it’s not the most convenient option. When I was contacted by Tom Thumb though, I was intrigued to check out the My SimpleNutrition program.
My SimpleNutrition is a personalized, completely free, online nutrition tool that helps people make healthier choices on their grocery trips. This program was designed by registered dieticians, and looks at what you purchase regularly to make healthier suggestions. It also recommends foods based on dietary needs, such as gluten-free or high fiber.
This program implements an in store tagging system that help customers find nutritious options or ones that fit their dietary needs. So, I made my way over to Tom Thumb to check it out!
How does it help you in the store?
Every time I go to the grocery, I start in the produce section. This is where I purchase the most items, because I make sure the fridge is stocked full with fruits and vegetables! Here’s a look at what I found there.
The tags are all easy to see. You could clearly distinguish nutritious foods from these tags.
Did you know onions are a good source of Vitamin C and fiber? I actually did not.
This label might be a bit hard to read. It says ‘Natural’, which by definition in the My SimpleNutriton page means it is identified as ‘natural’ by the manufacturer.
Moving on to the meat section. There were fewer tags to be found, but the ground turkey was marked ‘gluten-free’ and ‘natural’.
So were the chicken sausages I picked up.
Once I made my way into the aisles, there weren’t many tags around at all. Not surprising, since most processed food is less nutritious than whole foods.
I was happy to see which cereals they selected to be ‘nutritious.’ You can’t read the tag, but you can see that it’s next to the Cheerios, not the Cocoa Puffs.
Then I came to canned items. Most of the ones that were flagged were the low sodium versions.
Ok, so you get the idea.
I was wandering around the store a bit to try and find some tags on foods that I did not consider healthy myself. And I found one.
Fritos – ‘Gluten Free’
Now, let me walk you through my thought process…
Initial thought: Someone is going to see this tag that says ‘gluten free’ and assume that Fritos are healthy. When in fact, Fritos are high in fat and low in protein (know from general knowledge.)
Second thought: After looking at the ingredients list, there are only 3 ingredients: corn, corn oil, and salt. Specifically says no preservatives. Though I think maybe there could be a ‘better’ oil to use, they’re chips, and that is the shortest ingredient list I’ve seen on a bag of processed snacks.
Final thought: People who have gluten intolerance need to have ‘cheat’ snacks they enjoy too, and I’m glad that My SimpleNutrition could help point that out for them.
I found no other foods after that I wouldn’t consider purchasing myself.
On any normal grocery excursion, there are a few ‘cheat’ items. And some items we eat regularly anyways that aren’t necessarily considered the ‘healthiest’ options. But, we’re in general very healthy people and the 80/20 rule applies, so we go with it.
I logged on to the Tom Thumb website see how My SimpleNutrition recommended foods for me. You access this from the Quick Substitutes List. (I should mention you need to use your Tom Thumb card for this to work.) Here’s what I saw.
They recommended organic versions of the Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Also egg whites for our eggs, lower sodium organic chicken broth are two other examples. Pretty easy!
My thoughts overall
I think this program is really great. It could be very helpful for people just learning how to choose more nutritious foods. I even learned a few things myself! It’s an even better resource for people with dietary restrictions or have a food intolerance. It’s not always clear which foods in the grocery are ‘gluten free’, especially if it’s newly diagnosed and you have no clue what foods you can comfortably eat. A program like this should exist in all stores, in my opinion!
Have you heard of My SimpleNutrition? How do you make healthier choices while at the grocery?