Lets face it,reading food labels isn't the easiest habit to form which is why its best to teach kids when they're young! Teaching them to read labels at an early age helps them make healthier food choices and also children with food allergies can learn to read what snacks they should avoid. Here are a few ways to help make teaching these habits a bit easier as well as a breakdown of how certain ingredients aren't good for you.
1.) Start by getting two containers of their favorite foods,like two boxes of cereal and compare food labels of sugar and fiber content. Explain how even though sugar can help boost energy too much intake can cause weight gain and effect their teeth.
2.)Be sure to point out the words saturated fat,trans fat and cholesterol on the label of your child's favorite cookies or chips.Explain how these can effect the heart. Play a game,finding which snack has little or none of these on label.
3.) Have them look for the words High Fructose Corn Syrup in the ingredients of their juices,drinks and fruit yogurt. Explain how if high fructose corn syrup is at the top of the ingredients list that means its used the most. Make a game of them finding a juice with none or high fructose corn syrup at the end of the list.
1.) Ask your child to read the serving size of their favorite chips,cookie,juice and as a bit of a science experiment,measure out the exact serving size so they can have a visual of what a serving size looks like and they'll know how much of a snack the should be having.
2.)Read the amount of calories that your child has in the serving measured out. Compare the calories to the 2,000 calories most people consume in a day.
3.)Teach them to pick foods with less sodium and explain how little sodium is needed for fuel.
4.) Look at the protein content in food with an explanation of importance of protein for our organs,muscles and blood.
5.) Last but not LEAST teach them that a short ingredient list with ingredients they recognize is more likely to be a healthier choice than a long list of chemicals!!