Lesson 1.4: Read the Labels
The Nutrition Facts Labels on foods and beverages help consumers choose healthier diets. Changes in the Nutrition Facts Label now make it easier to compare items based on more realistic serving sizes and find out how much sugar is added to the product.
Nutrition education on reading food labels needs to include hands-on activities and to check-back for understanding. A study among Latinos in Los Angeles found that while 60% reported using the Nutrition Facts label, only 13% were able to correctly identify information on the label. More information on reading labels is especially needed among males, older Latinos, and those with less than a high school education.
Teaching Tip: This lesson reinforces messages taught in the “Shop with a List”. Encourage parents to teach their school-age children to look at the Nutrition Facts Label and find out how much sugar, saturated fat, sodium or fiber is in their favorite snack foods or cereals.
Target Audience: Latino families with young children, ages 3 to 8 years
Key Message: Use the Nutrition Facts label to make good food choices.
Objectives: By the end of the lesson, participants will be able to:
1) Compare the amount of calories and other components ( saturated fat, sodium, added sugar, and fiber) listed on food labels of similar types of foods; and
2) Use the Nutrition Facts label to identify which nutrients to limit (total fat, saturated fat, sodium) and which nutrients to increase (dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals).
Poster with Nutrition Fact Label;
Food labels from cereal boxes, yogurt containers and snack foods like crackers (choose a few items that have the same portion size for the activity);
White board or poster paper and markers; and
Supplies and recipes for the food demonstration (suggested Apple-glazed Sweet Potatoes)
Set-up: Prepare a large poster or set up a projector to display a Nutrition Facts Label. Make copies of food labels to group activity.
Click here to download English version lesson plan