It's crucial to make sure your child is healthy, and one way to do that is by teaching them how to read food labels. Sure, they're not the ones doing the grocery shopping, but this type of information can be very helpful as they grow older. For example, understanding what's in a food product (as listed on the label) can assist your child in making more conscious decisions about the type of food they're eating in the school's cafeteria.
Here are a few ideas to teach your kid about and how to read food labels:
1. Explain why it's important
Understanding how to read a food label is important, but your child probably won't know why. Explain to them the health implications of knowing what's in their food – knowledge is power. Then discuss how this information can help them make better decisions about what they eat either at school (like we noted previously) or when they're out with their friends.
2. Explain the label
It's not good enough to just read the label. Make sure you explain what each nutritional fact means. For example, explain what calories are and how they can help and hurt a person. Discuss total fat, saturated fat and trans fat. Then work your way down to the different types of vitamins, and don't forget about that footnote!
3. Answer questions
Reading a food label isn't difficult, but it can often be confusing to understand. Ask your child whether he or she has any questions, and be open to providing as much information as necessary.
4. Bring them to a supermarket
Test their skills by creating a shopping list together and bringing them to a supermarket. While there, point out certain foods, ask them to read and interpret the label and have them compare and contrast this label to other products.
If you're wondering how you can better comply with new U.S. food labeling standards, contact us today.