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Pregnant or Breastfeeding? Read the Caution Labels!

Calling all pregnant or breastfeeding people! In the quest for making informed choices about our health, food labels serve as indispensable tools, guiding our decisions at the grocery store. Recently, some changes have been made to these labels, particularly for supplemented foods. It’s especially important for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding to understand these modifications to ensure informed decision-making. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here’s what you need to know!

Supplemented foods are foods or drinks with one or more supplemental ingredients added for reasons other than nutrition. These are different from fortified foods, which contain added ingredients for a nutritional purpose like adding folic acid to flour to help prevent brain and spine defects in babies.

Examples of supplemented foods can include snack bars, fruit drinks and carbonated beverages. Supplemental ingredients can include:

  • caffeine
  • minerals such as calcium
  • vitamins such as vitamin C
  • amino acids such as L-leucine

Knowing how to recognize supplemented foods is especially important for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and want to make the best choices for their baby. Unlike conventional foods, some supplemented foods may not be suitable for eating or drinking as often or as much as we want. The reason for this is that some of these added ingredients can pose a risk if overconsumed by the general population or if consumed at all by people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Health Canada recently introduced regulations that require new labels for these foods. As of January 1st, 2026, all supplemented foods will be required to have these labels, but you might start seeing them sooner. These products will have a supplemented food facts table, instead of a nutrition facts table, that includes a “Supplemented with” section, listing all the supplemental ingredients added. Some will also carry a caution identifier on the front of the label. This tells us to turn to the back or side of the product for more detailed cautions, such as “Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women” or “Do not drink on the same day as any other supplemented foods or supplements with the same supplemental ingredients.”

Find out more about supplemented foods and their new labels at canada.ca/supplemented-foods.


Jenn Giurgevich is the founder of Spark Nutrition & Health, a virtual nutrition consulting business.
Visit www.sparknutritionandhealth.ca for more information.


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