Be a smart consumer and read Nutrition Facts labels to make the best decisions for you and your family!
Labels give us information about calories, fat, sodium, sugar, and nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They also let us know the serving size in common household measurements and the food’s Daily Value. The Daily Value is the amount of a nutrient in one serving of food compared to what is recommended for a 2,000 calorie diet.
What can you do with your child to make healthier food choices?
Have fun and try the following food label activities, then discuss the information on the label.
Play a game in the store with your child
Have your child find snacks that are low in sugar and fat. Then have your child find bread that is 100% whole wheat. Check the ingredient list to see if “whole” or “whole-grain” is the first ingredient listed.
Serving size guessing game
When you bring snacks home, have your child guess what the serving size is. Then show your child a serving size with a measuring cup.
Repackaging snacks into smaller serving
When we eat snacks directly from the package, we aren’t aware of how much we’re eating. Repackaging snacks into smaller serving containers or plastic bags helps us from eating too much at one time.
Use the 5-20 rule as a quick guide to label reading
- The 5-20 rule doesn’t define a food as good or bad; it shows how the food fits into our daily diet.
- 5% Daily Value (DV) or less, is low—for nutrients. You want to get less of these. Reduce saturated fat, trans fat, added sugars, and sodium by choosing foods with a low % DV.
- 20% DV or more is high—for nutrients. You want to get more of these. Increase your fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium by choosing foods with a high % DV.