Reading Nutrition Labels

Creating a healthy relationship with food is a great way to encourage your child to develop and continue healthy habits as they grow. The nutrition label — found on any box of candy or bag of chips — is a great way to educate your child about serving sizes, calories, and nutrients. Lake Forrest Prep, an Orlando private school, can help you frame the conversation. 

Child standing at the stove with a skillet and a pastry brush.

Framing the Conversation

When teaching your child about nutrition labels, it’s important to monitor how you talk about food. There are no “good” foods or “bad” foods. There are simply foods that help them feel fuller for longer. Stereotypical “unhealthy” foods can be worked into even the healthiest of diets. By framing foods as nutrient-dense, you can encourage healthy eating habits as well as a healthy relationship with food. 

Serving Size

Serving sizes are a great way to teach your child about portioning food appropriately. Oftentimes, kids can be handed a bag of chips and not realize that there are 14 servings in the bag. Show them what a portion size for their favorite foods looks like. This will help them learn to build a nutrient-rich, yet filling plate. 

Calories

The number of calories found in a serving of food is the amount of energy that that food provides. Calories are made up of three components: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Help show your child that they should get their calories from a variety of nutrient-dense foods. This includes fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Calories are what make your child be able to run, play, grow, and even do homework. Emphasize that eating too few calories can cause them to feel low on energy. 

Plate of assorted fruits on a yellow background

Nutrients

The amount of nutrients to keep track of can be overwhelming to adults, let alone a child. Focus on the nutrients that will help them grow, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, protein, and calcium. Try to teach them what foods will help them become big and strong but emphasizing foods they already love, such as blueberries, apples, and carrots. 

At Lake Forrest Prep, an Orlando private school, we encourage our students to choose fruits, vegetables, and to eat intuitively. To learn more about our teaching philosophy, give us a call at (407) 331-5144.

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