As you prepare to send your children back to school, check out the new Nutrition Facts label to help you plan and give your kids the best meals possible.

The Nutrition Facts label has been updated for the first time in more than 20 years to reflect updated scientific information and new nutrition research. Use the label to compare packaged foods and beverages as you make lunches, pack snacks, and prepare meals for your loved ones.

Understanding and Using the Nutrition Facts Label:
This fact sheet: Understanding and Using the Nutrition Facts Label was developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics, according to a news release.

The fact sheet explains how you can use the Nutrition Facts label to make informed food choices that contribute to lifelong healthy eating habits. Some tips to get the whole family involved:

  • Lunchtime is a great time to read the label. Make it a family habit when packing lunches to look at the Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods and drinks … and remind your children to check out the label in the school cafeteria.
  • Measure out single servings of snacks. When your kids reach for their favorite snacks, challenge them to measure out what they think is one serving. Then have them measure out the serving size according to the label. Keep single servings in resealable plastic bags or containers so you can quickly grab and go!
  • Make the shopping list together. Have your children read the label on food and beverage packages in your pantry and refrigerator and add items to your family’s shopping list that are higher in nutrients to get more of and lower in nutrients to get less of.
  • Go food shopping together. Take your kids grocery shopping! It’s a great chance for them to read the label and compare and contrast their favorite foods and drinks.
  • Encourage your kids to learn more about the Nutrition Facts label. The Snack Shack Online Games is a cool place where kids ages 9–13 can play two games that test their knowledge about using the Nutrition Facts label and making healthier snack choices. Parents can also check out the Read the Label Youth Outreach materials with fun tools and tips to explore the Nutrition Facts label together.

These guidelines should help you create the best meals possible for your kids who are hopefully headed back to the classroom this fall.

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration