Reading nutrition label- a smart puzzle to healthy living for children

  • Fitterfly - Team Nutrition

  • Posted On August 04, 2017


How many of us know how to read a food label correctly? Reading the small square charts printed on food packets accurately is an important step towards good health. It can help parents inculcate the sense of right and wrong foods in their young ones lives, surely at a very young age.


Nutrition labels are small printed tabular charts seen on every packaged food that gives detailed information on nutrients contained in that particular food. Parents must obtain knowledge of each of the nutrients displayed on the nutrition label to be able to teach children the importance of reading nutrition labels.


  • Many nutrients weigh in grams(g) and milligrams(mg) whereas some nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron are given in percentages (%) indicating the”%” of nutrient present per 100g of the food product.
  • The term serving size at the top of every nutrition label is the amount of food that is ideally consumed in one serving and the nutrients listed below are listed per 100g or as per serving size. Eg. 1 cup of cereal, 1 oz (28g) of beef, serving per container etc.


  • Sugar and fiber- the basic difference: Make your child understand the terms carefully that helps them choose their favorite cereals correctly. Sugar is a source of energy during play time but excess consumption causes dental caries and weight gain. Dietary fiber on the other hand helps improve digestion.
  • Good vs Bad fat: Reading out aloud terms like saturated fats, trans fats and total fats from your child’s cookies and chocolates helps your kid understand the basic difference between good and bad sources of fat. Parents can help children understand saturated and trans fats are harmful sources of fat and cause heart diseases.
  • Save your child from allergies: Food labels mention allergens like soy, tree nuts, corn syrup, milk, egg etc which help prevent food allergies in children, if any.
  • Calculate nutrients: Read out values of calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat, fiber from your child’s favorite cereal box or chocolate and compare with amount suggested as per recommended dietary allowances or percent daily values.
  • Highlight other nutrients: Help your child understand the role of nutrients like dietary fiber, vitamin A, calcium and iron mentioned on food labels.
  • Pick on low salt: Teaching children to pick foods with low sodium is essential. Explaining them the importance of less intake of salt to stay healthy can help your child avoid picking salted pretzels and chips at snack time and on their way back home.
  • Go protein friendly: Protein content of the food and also foods with high and low protein content from different food labels must be highlighted. Children make a genuine effort to pick on foods rich in protein when explained the importance of proteins for building muscles and strong bones.


  1. Concentrate only on one to two aspects at a time while reading out food labels to avoid boredom associated to detailed boring information.
  2. Engage in fun activities with your children while shopping, cooking and sharing nutritional information about foods.
  3. A daily activity of reading food labels can help a child develop a conscious habit of choosing healthy snacks over unhealthy junk foods, at the time of purchasing foods without parental guidance.



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Disclaimer: All information here, including text, images, tables, videos and any other content is for your knowledge only and we do not guarantee any specific result by following these recommendations as it may vary from person to person. The information is not a substitute for qualified medical advice from a doctor or other medical health expert.