We all know that the nutritional label is the “table of contents” for a food product. By scanning this handy box, we can learn fairly quickly whether the item is good for us or not. But our kids may not yet understand what a “trans fat” is or whether having “21% Daily Value of Sodium” is a good or bad thing! Teaching your kids a simple way to read food labels will help them quickly decode whether the item is OK to eat!
The best place to learn about labels is in your local supermarket. Take your children with you the next time you go shopping and have them try some of these exercises at the store or once you get home with your new purchases.
Tip #1 SERVING SIZE: Have your children portion out what they think is an appropriate portion for kids of their age. Then show them what the label lists as the portion size. Take out a measuring cup and show them the difference. Learning this critical aspect of the label will set them up for a lifetime of proper portion control. Especially with sugary drinks — often a bottle of soda doesn’t contain one serving, but 2 servings, which is very surprising for many!
Tip # 2 TRANS FAT: Even though the FDA allows for any food product with .05g of trans fat or less to state it is “Trans Fat Free”, savvy eaters know that no amount of trans fat should be accepted. Therefore, teaching your children to find that line on the label might be misleading. Instead, have them check that the item has 0g of trans fats, and that it does NOT have “Partially Hydrogenated Oils” in the ingredient list.
Tip #3 SUGARS: It’s true that fat doesn’t make us fat, sugar does. Studies routinely point to sugar as the major culprit in childhood obesity. So kids can easily scan the label for “Sugars” and aim for the lowest possible amounts. When shopping for breakfast cereal for instance, have them choose 2–3 they like and pick the one with the least amount of sugar. (6g or less in cereals would be ideal). As a bonus, your kids will get a little math workout too! For instance, if an item has 12 grams of sugar, they can divide that by four to find out the number of teaspoons of sugar per serving (4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon). That means, a cereal with 12 grams of sugar will have 3 teaspoons (or 1 tablespoon) of sugar PER serving.
Tip #4 FIND THE GOOD STUFF: Nutrients like fiber and vitamins are good for our kids (and for us too!) So have them get excited about eating foods that are high in fiber and vitamins – which can easily be found on the nutritional label.
With a little investigative work and a bit of fun, your kids can learn to be label sleuths and maybe get a little healthier in the process!
Incoming search terms:
- food labels for kids
Have a Healthy Halloween! By: Samantha Gotlib, Co-Founder Wholesome Tummies
Halloween is definitely a kid’s holiday– costumes, parties and tons of candy. It is also a dreaded night for parents who try desperately to curb the amount of sticky, chocolate or sugary treats that arrive home. Did you know that the average child will consume 3 cups of sugar from Halloween candy? Now that is frightening!
So, how do you let your kids have a great time and enjoy the festivities without sacrificing their health (and their teeth)?
1) Set an example. Choose your own Halloween candy with a bit more care. Opt for mini pretzels, natural fruit roll ups, granola bars or packages of sugar free gum. Even better, avoid candy all together. Who needs another package of M&M’s? Your house will sure to be the most popular if you give out things like, spider rings, mini bubbles or glow sticks this year!
2) Start the dialog early. Talk to your child before the “candy buying” rush starts in the stores. Ask them for ideas for some healthy treat ideas. Talk to them about dividing their candy so they can enjoy smaller amounts of it over a longer period of time.
3) Be firm when necessary. Set rules for Halloween night. Make sure your children know that all candy must be inspected at home before they are allowed to eat it. Knowing up front will help stop any temper tantrums on the 31st!
4) Handling the leftovers. Encourage your kids to make small baggies of the candy they want to keep and to donate the rest.
View Halloween as a great opportunity to educate your children about nutrition and help them make better choices on their own. Halloween is a fun holiday that involves candy, but does not only have to involve candy. A night out, strolling the neighborhood with their friends is a wonderful part of childhood!
The JCC is holding their annual Family Festival and this year will be their biggest ever. They are expecting over 25,000 people! (Wholesome Tummies will be exhibiting as well!)
magine a full day of fun, filled with main stage entertainment throughout the day (provided by Walt Disney World) a second stage of interactive children’s artists and programs, an inflatable forest and numerous interactive activity areas spanning the entire park! Admission is free and open to the community.
There will be many activity zones for you to enjoy.
- Workshop Village
- Health & Safety Zone
- Teddy Bear Clinic
- Circus Town
- Planet Earth & Go Green
The GO Green area sounds awesome with Earth friendly crafts and activities!
Please come on out and have a wonderful, fun day at Lake Eola and stop by the Wholesome Tummies booth to say hello and grab some fun giveaways!
Great article from the Baltimore Sun. I am guilty of this pleasure as well. Chicken “nuggets” were a favorite of my childhood and I still have a hard time not finishing off the kids’ plates when they have them. What do you think? Do you think that even the “healthy” ones are O.K? I thought I was doing an alright thing buying them from Whole Foods– organic, baked nuggets..but perhaps not?
We were strongly considering baked chicken nuggets on the Wholesome Tummies menu so please share your thoughts!
Nuggets, or not?
Chicken nuggets have gotten more healthful — even gourmet — in the last 25 years, but parents still struggle with whether to feed them to their kids
By Tanika WhiteSun ReporterOctober 10, 2007Here’s a twist on an age-old question: Which came first, the chicken or the nugget?
After all, it’s hard for many parents to remember a time when tiny dinner plates decorated with cartoon characters weren’t filled, in part, with golden-brown, roundish or boot-shaped objects, and accented with a colorful dipping sauce.
Twenty-five years after McDonald’s introduced the Chicken McNugget to the world, the boneless, battered treat has clucked its way to the top of the list of kids’ favorite foods — no matter if the nugget comes with fries and a toy in a little cardboard box or is poured out of a bag from the family freezer and microwaved for a quick post-soccer-game, pre-bath-time meal.
Kids love chicken nuggets so much, says author Michael Pollan in his best-selling book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, that the finger food is the reason chicken has edged out beef as the most popular food in
So what is a parent to do?
The good news is moms and dads aren’t the only ones to realize that the chicken nugget is here to stay. And in the past few years, many chefs, retailers, school-dining programs and even fast-food companies have come up with ways to make the finger food more healthful.
Some have dumped the dark meat in favor of all-white meat breast pieces. Others have cut out the “chicken” in the chicken nugget all together, opting for soy, veggie or tofu nuggets.
In a new cookbook, funnyman Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica, says she hides vegetables such as spinach, broccoli or beet puree in the homemade chicken nuggets she prepares for her three children, or she makes “faux” nuggets out of tofu and flaxseed meal.
“When I serve [tofu nuggets], my kids think they’re eating chicken or cheese,” Seinfeld says in her book, Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food.
Perdue recently launched a baked whole-grain nugget made with white chicken meat toasted with whole-grain bread crumbs, says Chris Alexander, senior marketing manager of Perdue Ready-to-Eat Chicken.
This past summer, Ian’s Natural Foods company — which specializes in more healthful food choices for kids — unveiled what it calls the first ever organic chicken nugget, made with organic chicken and bread crumbs, and without bleached flours or hydrogenated oils.
Even some college campuses have spruced up their cafeteria menus to get fast-food-loving students to choose more healthful chicken nuggets.
“Rather than pull run-of-the-mill, chopped, formed, who-knows-what’s-in-it from the freezer and drop them in the fryer, we now serve boneless, skinless chicken breast” carved into pieces, says Dave Furhman, director of dining programs at the
Even more nuggets? The idea makes Cooper cluck her tongue.
“What if we didn’t have chicken nuggets?” Cooper, who also is the director of nutrition services at the
For those not yet aware, Wholesome Tummies is a brand new, exciting kids’ food initiative. We are seeking to change the way our kids view their school lunches and to assist those time starved parents everywhere with a task that represents nothing but a hassle each day!
WT will provide to your child each day a healthy, fun and delicious lunch that is delivered directly to their school! We will use only fresh ingredients — never processed with no hydrogenated oils, refined sugars or artificial anything. “The Dirty Dozen“
will always be organic, hormone and pesticide free — only the best for your children.
Imagine the day when you will no longer have to stare into the refrigerator and think “What do I make for lunch today?” Imagine the day when your child will enthusiastically look forward to lunchtime! With menu items such as Whole Grain Pizza Dippers with Veggie filled Tomato Sauce or Sweet Potato Pancake sandwiches, lunch will never be boring again.
We look forward to launching this at your child’s school by Fall of 08. For more info, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.