Healthy Children - December 2017

Reading a Food Label

  1. The first place to start when you look at the Nutrition Facts label is the serving size and the number of servings in the package. Serving sizes are standardized to make it easier to compare similar foods.
  2. Calories provide a measure of how much energy you get from a serving of this food. General Guide to Calories:
    • 40 calories is to low
    • 100 calories is moderate
    • 400 calories or more is high
  3. The nutrients listed first are the ones Americans generally eat in adequate amounts, or even too much. Eating too much fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, or sodium may increase your risk of certain chronic diseases, like heart disease, some cancers or high blood pressure.
  4. Most Americans don’t get enough dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron in their diets. For example, getting enough calcium may reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a condition that results in brittle bones as one ages.
  5. Not the * used after the heading “%Daily Value” on the Nutrition Facts label. It refers to the Footnote in the lower part of the nutrition label, which tells you “%DV are based on a 2,000 calorie diet”.
  6. The % Daily Values (%DVs) are based on a Daily Value recommendations for key nutrients but only for a 2,000 calorie daily diet.


Activity, How to Read a Food Label

  • Divided up in groups of 2 or 3
  • Distribute the food label activity kit
  • Ask the participants to use the information they just learned regarding the food labels.
  • Provide 15-20 minutes for the activity
  • Once the participants are done, ask then what they learned from reading the label and if any of their lifestyles will change because of it.