3 Ways to Make Your Bulletin Board More Interactive for Label Reading
Make a big poster with a Nutrition Facts Label. Section it into 3 different parts: Calories, Heart Safety, Fiber/Nutrients
In the calories section, ask how many calories per package? And how many servings? And how many calories per serving?
In the heart safety section, ask about fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium. All should stay at 5% or less for the Daily Value.
For benefits, how much fiber, and how many nutrients does this item contain.
Show packages that look like one serving but they are more. Compare the labels on 2 cartons of milk - skim versus whole.
Show a high fiber choice such as a whole grain food.
Show a tricky item that says no trans fat but it is very high in saturated fat (frozen fried fish).
You can offer a package lesson each week and offer prizes for the right answers to your questions.
Finally, print and cut out QR codes for the FDA.gov for label reading tips and for many of their favorite fast food restaurants - that way they can walk away with the information on their smartphone. You can make your own QR codes for free at http://qrstuff.com.
Learn with playdoh
How to play with playdoh? Did you know that yellow clay or Playdoh is the perfect fat simulator? Hand out playdoh to your class, along with fast food nutrition facts printouts from websites (McDonalds.com, BK.com and KFC. com) and have each person create the amount of fat in the big burgers and big fries on each menu. Choose other foods to research and make fat models as well.
1 teaspoon of fat equals 5 grams of fat.
One Big Mac has 38 grams of fat so that is like 7 teaspoons.
Using playdoh is very tactile and it is fun so participants have a hands on way to learn what is in their foods.
Learn with sugar
You can also use sugar to make a visual model for how much sugar is in donuts, yogurt, toaster pastries, cereals, sodas and other high-sugar items. 1 teaspoon contains about 4 grams of sugar. If you have a soda that has 40 grams of sugar you will use 10 teaspoons.
Let’s play with cups
Acquire paper beverage cups from various foodservice establishments in various sizes. What is small, medium or regular, large, extra large? And how many cups are in these?
Have participants measure each one and write the ounces and the number of cups contained in each one. Then have them practice filling a small paper cup so it holds just a cup of water.
Table salt contains 590 mg. of sodium per 1/4 teaspoon. You really only need 3/4 of a teaspoon per day. Find high-sodium foods and measure out the equivalent for a great visual.
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.