Bottles Bars and Bags Need Label Reading

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We had a lot of fun preparing our 2 most recent food label posters. While we were working on a new PowerPoint show for label reading in three steps, we realized that the first section, calories, is probably more important as an overview lesson of packaged foods and better choices, than the lesson itself.

We found 3 "B's" that really drive this lesson about calories home to your clients, students and patients.

Bottles- many times, drinks with sugar are in bottles that look like one serving but are really more. And these are bought "on the go" so they are likely to be consumed all at once - you are not going to put it in your purse, car, or desk for tomorrow. Additionally, most bottles look really small when compared to fast food beverage cups. - Lesson: compare one measuring cup, one bottle, one fast food cup and see the differences in size. The Big Gulp and the fast food cups have desensitized everyone as to the real serving size of soda or other sugared drink. Be aware of the number of calories in a bottled soda or tea drink with sugar. How many extra calories per day and per week come from sugared beverages? What are the savings to switch to water and not worry about it?

1) 1 bottle chai tea = 640 calories

2) 1 bottle cola = 200 calories

3) 1 bottle water = 0 calories

Bars - this one gets us every time we check out in the grocery store. Our love: the Hershey Special Dark Chocolate bar. We love chocolate. It is tempting to throw in a bar for the hard work of the shopper, right? Well, a quick glance at the back of the package shows 200 calories but worse still is the fact that a bar is 4 servings so it brings in 800 calories!! Chocolate bars always ring in a lot of calories.
- Lesson: Bars of chocolate are always really high in calories for their size. Compare chocolate to fruit:
1) chocolate bar, 4 ounces = 800 calories
2) package of 6 chocolate bars = 1380 calories
3) 1 banana = 105 calories

Bags - our rabbits hear the crinkle of a plastic bag and they stop eating their lettuce and run to the door of the cage. How is it that all creatures just love calorie dense food? A plastic bag is a sure sign that something calorie dense is inside, unless you are talking about the ones filled with produce.
Lesson - limit the number of bags in your cart before you get to the bagging area
1) Chocolate chip cookies = 160 calories per ounce or 2080 for the whole bag
2) Chips = 150 calories per ounce or 1500 per bag
3) 1 apple, 4 ounces = 94 calories

Reading calories and portion sizes on these packaged/processed foods is important for the realization that they are high in calories and should not fill their whole cart.

Snapshot of our shopping cart in preparation for one of our salad photo shoots includes bags of carrots, apples and potatoes:
healthy shopping cart

See what is new, including our label posters, in our store here:

Soon to come: photos, recipes and tips from our salad photo shoot - we are nearing 100 great salads to share - keep checking back for more.

Enjoy! Let me know if you need anything for the week, just click contact us at the top of the page.
Judy Doherty, PCII

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