Today’s Nutrition Play of the Day from the Ripken Playbook will teach you how to read and understand Nutrition Facts labels so you can learn what is inside your favorite foods and create a more nutritious diet.
What are Nutrition Facts Labels?
Nutrition Facts labels are labels mandated by the Food & Drug Administration to be placed on all packaged foods and drinks denoting calories, fats, cholesterol, sodium, fiber, sugar, protein, and vitamins per serving.
Guide to Reading a Nutrition Facts Label
Serving size: the recommended portion to consume per day
Servings per container: the amount of servings in the entire package of food/drink
The following are denoted "per serving" on a Nutrition Facts label:
Calories: a unit of energy your body will consume from a serving of the food/drink
Total Fat: the combined quantities of different types of fats
Cholesterol: a fatty-like substance found in your cells which helps all your organs function
Sodium: quantity of salt necessary to control blood volume and pressure, and the functioning of muscles and nerves
Carbohydrates: a main source of energy for your body
Protein: build, maintain, and replace tissues in your body that make up your organs and muscles
Vitamin A: a vitamin important for your immune system, eyesight, and other organs
Vitamin C: a vitamin important for immune system and the growth/development of body tissues
Calcium: a nutrient which keeps your bones strong and healthy
Iron: promotes the movement of oxygen throughout the body
- Nutrition Facts worksheet
- Color-coded Nutrition Facts label
- Four packaged food/drink products of your choosing
- Using the color-coded Nutrition Facts label provided, to fill out the color information on the top.
- Then use the Nutrition Facts worksheet to track of the nutritional information of the four packaged foods/drinks products of your choosing.
- Track how many calories, sodium, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and iron are in each of these products.
- When you fill out all the rows for each product, compare them.
- Which nutritional categories are a high percentage per serving?
- Which nutritional factors are in a low percentage per serving?
- Can you determine which products are healthiest and most nutritious? Which products would you limit consuming in the future?
Share your nutritious discoveries with us on social media!
For more about nutrition, check out the Healthy Choices, Healthy Children – Nutrition edition!