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How to Read a Nutrition Label

AllKids Pediatric Urgent Care wants to be a part of your family’s overall health and happiness. Today, let’s learn how to read food labels. At first glance, food labels, or the Nutrition Facts Label, found on the side or back of packaged foods, can seem confusing, but they give us vital information about which nutrients are in the food. Your body needs the right combination of nutrients including vitamins, to work properly and grow. Food companies are required by law to give you these facts but it takes some practice to read the labels and understand what they’re saying.

Start with the Serving Size. The information listed is based on one serving and are usually shown in common measurements like cups or pieces. One package may contain more than one serving, so double check that number, if you eat multiple servings you’re getting multiples on the calories and nutrients too.

Next you’ll find calories. This will tell you how much energy you will get from on serving of this food. If you don’t use up that energy, it gets stored as fat. 400 calories or more per serving is high, 100 calories per serving is moderate.

The section under the calories is where you’ll find nutrient information. Food contains fat, protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. Food also contains vitamins, such as A and C, and minerals, such as calcium and iron. Nutrition specialists know how much of each one kids and adults should get every day to have a healthy diet. The percent daily value on a food label tells you how this food can help someone meet these daily goals.

The ingredient list is another important part of the label. Ingredients are listed in order so you get an idea of how much of each ingredient is in the food. When something is listed first, second, or third, you know that this food probably contains a lot of it. The food will contain smaller amounts of the ingredients mentioned at the end of the list.

With that in mind, check ingredient lists to see where sugar appears. Limit foods that mention sugar in the first few ingredients. That means it’s a very sugary food. Sugar has different names, so it might also be called high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sucrose, or glucose.

Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care and Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care

AllKids Urgent Care believes that all kids deserve the best. Both our Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care and our Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care are open from noon to 10 pm daily, including holidays, so we are available when kids (and parents) need us most. For more information on our pediatric urgent care clinics, click here for more information

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