The first six months of a baby’s life are easiest for a mother, in terms of food. From birth till six months, baby is exclusively on mother’s milk. This means that you can be sure of the food that is entering your little one’s system. You can be rest assured that baby is getting nothing but the best.
As your baby crosses the sixth month, she is introduced to outside food for the first time. With each passing year, your baby will start developing new tastes and preferences. Very soon, she will start getting tempted by packaged and fast foods. As hard as you may try, there will be times when you may have to give in to your kid’s demands for the same.
Importance Of Reading Nutrition Labels For Kids:
If you are picking up that pack of packaged food from the grocery store, there is still a way you can keep an eye on the nutrition.
Most of us know there is a nutrition label chart in each packet of food item. But there are very few who actually know how to read it correctly. Reading nutrition labels on packages can be extremely efficient when it comes to giving your kid the right choice of foods.
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The nutrition facts label is mostly given at the back of each package of food item. Here is how do you read a nutrition label correctly:
1. Check The Serving Size:
We all tend to get this one wrong!
- The values of each nutrient listed on a food label generally refer to one single serving
- However, the pack itself may be equivalent to 2-3 servings.
- You may have read that the sodium and fat values are low, but the truth is that it is so for just a single serving.
2. Percentage Of Daily Value:
This is another important factor you need to consider.
- Daily value percentage will give you an idea about how much percent of your daily requirement of a particular nutrient in the content of the product meets.
- This will help you choose the right foods for the rest of your baby’s day so that you don’t fall short of or exceed any particular nutrient.
Before you compare the total fat in every food item that you buy, remember there are certain fats that are ‘healthy’ while others are not.
- Focus on foods that contain lower amounts of trans-fats and saturated fats.
- Have more of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
- Remember that fat free doesn’t necessarily mean calorie free.
Cholesterol is a fat like substance that covers the nerve cells fibres and acts as a building block for hormones.
- void processed and cured meats since they contain higher levels cholesterol.
- The daily limit of intake of cholesterol should be around 300 mg.
- Make sure you check this on the food packet.
Excess sodium is responsible for everything from high blood pressure to heart diseases.
- Generally, the rule of the thumb is to hunt for foods that have sodium levels that go down below 140 milligrams.
- A single serving of frozen dinner contains around 1000 milligrams of sodium. This is more than the recommended intake.
In this age of processed food, it is extremely important to check the nutrition facts label before picking up a food item for your child. With so many options available today, you can skim through the packs and find out the one that’s healthiest. This will help you pick the one that contains the least amount of harmful substances. Pay extra attention to the trans-fat and sodium content since they are the most harmful.
Make sure you check this on your next trip to the supermarket and try and make your children learn this habit too. Share your thoughts regarding the topic with us:
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