5 Resources That Make Reading Food Labels Easier

Shutterstock 

Reading food labels is a health-enhancing behavior that all students can learn, and with some practice, master.

A wide variety of online resources exist to help teach the skill. In addition to being used in your classroom, the resources below feature information geared toward parents, making reading food labels an activity the whole family can practice together.

Nourish Interactive/Chef Solus Website

The Nourish Interactive website has numerous resources relating to food labels, including interactive games and free printable handouts, many of which are available in Spanish. Although the site is mostly focused toward younger learners, it also contains information specifically for parents.

“Read the Label” Outreach Campaign

The FDA’s youth outreach campaign “Read the Label” offers printable handouts (in English and in Spanish) that are geared toward the teenage demographic and contain easy steps that teens can immediately implement in their daily lives. From a teaching perspective, I find the graphics helpful because they fit nicely with the NHES skill development model: Food labels are introduced, and students then practice their skills by comparing snack foods.

Food Label Comparison Activity

I have students work together to compare sets of food labels and determine which item is the healthier choice, keeping the identity of each food a secret by using this free online label creator instead of cutting them out. The activity blends student knowledge gained from nutrition lessons with the real-life skill of reading a food label.

Food Label “Top Trumps” Game

My Twitter friend and outstanding health educator Andy Milne created a card game called “Food Label Top Trumps” that his students love to play in class. Click here for a game description and example cards.

“The Food Label & You” Video

Another resource from the FDA, this video is a great food label review tool. Don’t be fooled by it’s tongue-in-cheek tone; it contains information on serving size, portions, reading food labels based on personal nutritional needs, and the 5/20 Rule. You can show the entire video at once or select certain parts that fit your curriculum needs.