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Festival Foods

Health & Wellness FAQ
Where can I find delicious recipes that are better for me?

Every week, our registered dietitians post recipes to our blog. All recipes are selected, tested and tasted by our own team of dietitians, and have received their stamp of approval!

  • Our 20 Minute Meals Blog has ideas to help get a nutritious meal on the table in 20 minutes or less. It features quick and easy recipes that are often kid-friendly and affordable, too!
  • The Sides, Snacks & Sweets blog features a new, delicious and better-for-you side dish, snack or sweet treat each week.

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Do you have the nutrition information for your in-house made products?

You can quickly access nutrition facts for our in-house deli, meat, produce and bakery items by clicking here. If you are unable to locate a particular item, please reach out to our dietitians via the "Ask Our Dietitians" feature and our dietitians are happy to send you the nutrition information.

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Do you offer gluten free and allergen friendly products?

Absolutely! While many allergen friendly options are found in our Natural & Organic Department, we also offer a wide range of products throughout the entire store that are gluten free or allergen friendly. Please visit our Allergen Friendly guide to learn more about the free resources Festival offers for our gluten free and allergen-sensitive guests!

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Do you carry gluten free items in your bakery?

Our bakery departments are not certified gluten-free or allergen-free facilities, as products are produced and ingredients may be manufactured in a facility that also processes gluten-containing products. That being said, the products produced by our bakery department are not certified gluten free.

However, our natural and organic departments do carry many pre-made gluten free bakery-type items including breads, buns, cookies, pies, cheesecakes and baking mixes to easily prepare your own gluten free baked goods at home. For more information about our gluten free resources at Festival, please check out the gluten free page on our website.

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Do you have a low sodium or low carb section in your stores?

As many of the products throughout our stores could be classified as low in sodium or low in carbohydrates, it's difficult to create designated sections for these specific diets. Learn more about the free resources Festival offers for helping our guests shop heart healthy.

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Do you have any tips for seasoning without salt?

Our dietitians have curated lots of great tips for seasoning without salt. Check out our blog for tips on adding fresh flavor with herbs or our guide to secretly seasoning soups without the salt.

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Do you carry gluten free items in your deli and meat departments?

We have created lists of products that are made with no gluten containing ingredients in our deli and meat departments. These lists are available online and at each deli and meat counter in our stores.

Although we prepare many deli and meat department items without gluten-containing ingredients and take care to avoid cross contamination, we acknowledge the fact that we are not a certified gluten free facility.

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Do you have plans to eliminate trans fats from your in-house made products?

The FDA recently ruled partially hydrogenated oils as not generally recognized as safe (GRAS). Festival will comply with the FDA's ruling and we will work to phase out all trans fats in our prepared foods, including bakery products, completely by June 18, 2018. During this process, we will also work with our suppliers to reformulate our products and recreate the nutrition facts' panels for these products.

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What are the differences between grass fed beef and conventional beef?

Unlike conventionally-raised cattle, grass fed cattle have never been fed grain products. They have eaten nothing but grass and forage from weaning to harvest, have not been raised in confinement and have never been fed antibiotics or growth hormones. Conventionally raised cattle are typically fed primarily grains, like corn and soy. Furthermore, on a gram-for-gram basis, grass fed beef has been found to contain higher levels of heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid. However, the amount of heart healthy fats found in grass fed has not been shown to have any significant impact on the overall health of the consumer to date.

Ultimately the choice comes down to personal preference and we encourage the consumption of either wholesome option. Festival is proud to offer high quality grass fed beef options, as well as our conventional Legendary Beef option (produced right here in Wisconsin) in our meat department.

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Is your Dad's Chicken Breast free from hormones and steroids?

All of our Dad's Chicken Breast varieties do not have added hormones or steroids. In fact, federal regulations do not allow the use of hormones or steroids in chicken. In addition, our Dad's chicken breasts have no fillers, extenders, animal by-products, added water or salt – just pure, natural chicken.

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What is a Registered Dietitian?

A registered dietitian is an expert in nearly everything related to diet and nutrition. While dietitians work in a variety of settings, the dietitian team at Festival Foods is here to serve as your nutrition resource for your specialized nutrition needs. Whether it's help with locating specific products, nutrition information, developing better-for-you recipes for you and your family or providing education on complex nutrition concepts, Festival's Dietitians are dedicated to providing quality services and education to the communities they serve. Learn more about our dietitian team.

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I want to lose weight, what should I eat?

First and foremost, we believe that all foods have a place and can fit into a healthy, balanced diet. In general, we recommend eating a balance of fruits, vegetables, lean protein foods, nonfat or low-fat dairy products and whole grains, the majority of the time. While the journey to weight loss is complex and different for each individual, a great place to start is ChooseMyPlate.gov for more information on general healthy eating recommendations from MyPlate. MyPlate is a great, visual meal-planning tool that helps ensure you are getting a proper balance of these nutritious foods. You may also find their SuperTracker feature helpful in tracking daily physical activity and eating patterns.

The NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System found at Festival Foods is another great tool to help you find more nutritious products throughout the store. We like to compare it to a nutrition GPS, used to guide you to better products throughout the store. NuVal is a Nutritional Scoring System that gives foods a score ranging from 1-100; the higher the score, the better the nutrition. These Scores take into account more than 30 different nutrient factors, boiling them down into a single score that you can find directly on our price tags. You will notice the score in the double-hexagon NuVal logo in the upper, right-hand corner of the shelf tag. We encourage our guests to use NuVal as a tool to help you "trade up for better nutrition." For example, if you typically drink 2% milk which gets a NuVal score of 84, try switching to skim milk that scores a 100 and has fewer calories and less saturated fat. It's important to remember that small positive changes can add up and impact your nutrition and health in a big way!

Finally, a diet rich in plant-based foods has proven effective for individuals who are trying to lose weight. To read more about the facets and benefits of following a plant based diet, please click here.

Please remember there is no such thing as a "one size fits all" diet. Our team of dietitians is here to help you find healthful options.

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How do I get my kids to eat healthier meals?

Parents can play a very important role in helping children build healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. One of the best ways to instill good eating habits in your children is to be a good role model by eating well yourself. That being said, you may find the following tips helpful as well:

  • Buy and serve more fruits and vegetables, including fresh, frozen, canned, dried or 100% juice. All forms of fruits and veggies matter and contribute to better health!
  • Go lean with protein! Lean protein choices are lower in saturated fat and calories. Try substituting ground chicken or ground turkey breast for ground beef in recipes or look for a leaner ground beef (i.e. 85% lean ground beef vs. 80% lean). Other lean protein food choices include nuts, seeds, seafood, beans, peas, eggs and soy products.
  • Make at least half your grains, whole grain. Whole grains are rich in fiber, iron and many B vitamins. They also tend to have more protein than refined grains. If you are choosing breads, look for the word "whole" on the package to ensure the product is 100% whole grain vs. made with whole grains. For example, choose whole wheat bread vs. wheat bread. Other whole grain food choices include brown rice, oatmeal, rolled oats, popcorn, quinoa and corn meal.
  • Choose low-fat or nonfat dairy products, which contain less saturated fat and calories than full fat dairy products. Dairy foods are often rich in protein, calcium and vitamin D, which are very important for overall health. Low-fat or nonfat milk, yogurt and cheese are all great options.
  • Eat with your children. Ideally, parents should eat what their children are eating, when they are eating it. Short order cooking, preparing different meals, and having different mealtimes for the family makes monitoring healthy eating habits difficult. If it is impossible to eat together as a family, keep the kids company at the table during their mealtimes by snacking on a salad, fruit, or crudités, which is a great way to model desired behaviors.
  • Focus on the little things. Offering children small bites, little pieces and easy-to-eat "trials" of fruits and vegetables can make tasting foods less overwhelming. When kids ask for more or finish what was given, they feel they were successful, which will help them repeat the behavior.
  • Have it accessible. Have fruits and vegetables ready to eat - already washed, sliced and at eye level in the refrigerator, packed in backpacks and ready for eating in the car after school. Known as the original fast food, fruits and vegetables are portable and convenient, if you are prepared.
  • Make eating an enjoyable time. Children are more likely to try new foods if the atmosphere is relaxed and without pressure. Power struggles, bribes, threats, negotiations and ultimatums make fruits and vegetables less appealing.
  • Encourage and praise children for tasting and trying fruits and vegetables to build their confidence.

Although it is never too late to get a child on track with eating fruits and vegetables, the earlier you start to implement the above points, the more successful the outcome. Eating behaviors that begin in childhood last forever.

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Why do some products throughout your store not have NuVal scores?

Roughly 85% of products throughout our stores have NuVal scores. Reasons products would not have NuVal scores are as follows:

  • Since NuVal scores are based on the information on a product's Nutrition Facts Panel and ingredient list, items which do not have that information available or have negligible calories do not receive scores. For example, wine & spirits, baby food and products that contain no calories such as plain water, seltzer water, club soda, plain coffee/tea, spices and rubs, corn starch, vinegar, salt, baking soda, and lime or lemon juice are all items that are not scored. In the coffee aisle specifically, the few items that receive scores are those that have ingredients which add calories, such as sweetened coffee mixes or cappuccino/hot chocolate powders.
  • Another reason an item may not have a score is if it's a new product or has been reformulated and hasn't gone through the scoring process yet. NuVal scores change as products change. That being said, there is lag time between NuVal obtaining a product's information, sending it through the algorithm to obtain a score, sending files out to retailers, and retailers dropping the files into pricing for the new scores to print on our shelf tags and be replaced on the shelf.

If there is a specific product you would like scored, please let our dietitians know and we would be happy to submit to NuVal.

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What is the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System?

The NuVal® Nutritional Scoring System found at Festival Foods is another great tool to help you find more nutritious products throughout the store. We like to compare it to a nutrition GPS, used to guide you to better products throughout the store. NuVal is a Nutritional Scoring System that gives foods a score ranging from 1-100; the higher the score, the better the nutrition. These Scores take into account more than 30 different nutrient factors, boiling them down into a single score that you can find directly on our price tags. You will notice the score in the double-hexagon NuVal logo in the upper, right-hand corner of the shelf tag. We encourage our guests to use NuVal as a tool to help you "trade up for better nutrition." For example, if you typically drink 2% milk which gets a NuVal score of 84, try switching to skim milk that scores a 100 and has fewer calories and less saturated fat.

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What is the difference between salt and sea salt?

Sea salt has increased in popularity for its crunchy texture and stronger flavor. In addition, sea salt is generally less processed than table salt, and therefore may retain trace levels of minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium. It is important to note that these minute amounts of trace minerals found in sea salt are easily obtained from other healthy foods.

Table salt, on the other hand, has iodine added, which is important for preventing iodine deficiency. However, there is little difference in sodium content between table salt and sea salt. One of the keys to maintaining a heart-healthy diet is to control your sodium intake, whether you prefer sea salt or table salt. Ultimately, it's a matter of letting your taste buds decide, but keep in mind that both usually contain the same amount of sodium.

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Are Festival's Deli and Meat Departments allergen free?
  • We are NOT an allergen free facility
  • We cannot/will not claim an entire Festival Signature Item to be "gluten free" even if it is certified gluten free
  • We do not label entire products that are certified gluten free as "gluten free" because we cannot account for cross contact within our own allergen containing facility

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