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Session: 2 of 11

Food Label Reading


Introduction:
It is important during pregnancy that a woman knows what she is putting in her body. Food
labels are essential to that knowledge. They help people everyday learn what they are consuming. This is
also essential to a heart healthy diet. It is also important to be able to navigate a food label and know
what ingredients mean and how much are actually in the food product. This skill is not only important
for pregnant women, but any consumer. (AHA, 2014)
Goals:
1. Clients will learn how to read a food label.
2. Clients will value the importance of food label reading.
Objectives:
1a. At the conclusion of the session, clients will be able to determine the amount of calories per gram of
fat on an in class assignment.
1b. At the conclusion of the session, clients will be able to determine what they should and should not
eat on an in class group discussion.
2a. At the conclusion of the session, clients will be able to show that they can read a food label and
understand what it means on an in class assignment.
Initiation:
At the beginning of the session I will ask the clients to think about what they may know about
food labels. We will have a group discussion and write everything down on the board. After all of the
ideas have exhausted we will then begin class and correct anything false on the board.
Content Outline:
Content

Method

Time

Materials

I. Initiation

Group Discussion

5 min

White board

II. Identifying the parts


a. Pass out food label
b. Identify major parts

Lecture

5 min

Power point

III. Serving size


a. Identify serving size
b. How many servings are
you consuming.
c. Examples of serving size

Lecture

10 min

Power point

IV. Calories and calories from Lecture


fat
a. Define calorie
b. Explain how most Americans
consume more than needed
c. Describe low calorie intake
can mange weight
d. General guide to calories

10 min

Power point

V. The Nutrients- How much?


a. Identify which nutrients
to limit
b. Total fat
i. definition
c. Cholesterol
i. definition
d. Sodium
i. definition
e. Identify which nutrients
to get enough of
f. Dietary fiber
i. definition
g. Vitamins
i. definition
h. Minerals
i. definition

Lecture

10 min

Power point

VI. Calculating Results


a. Pass out worksheet
b. Assist with first label
c. Group students to
fill out together
d. Bring everyone together
and show results

Group Discussion

10 min

Worksheets

VII. Conclusion
a. Discuss initiation

Group Discussion

10 min

White board

Content Core:
I. Initiation
Ask clients what they know about food labels.
Record their answers on the white board.
Save the answers for the end to see which was correct and which was incorrect.
II. Identifying the Parts
The information in the main or top section can vary with each food product; it contains productspecific information (serving size, calories, and nutrient information). The bottom part contains

a footnote with Daily Values (DVs) for 2,000 and 2,500 calorie diets. This footnote provides
recommended dietary information for important nutrients, including fats, sodium and fiber. The
footnote is found only on larger packages and does not change from product to product.

III. Serving Size


Serving size is the portion of food used as a reference on the nutrition label of that food or the
recommended portion of food to be eaten.
The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released in January 2011, recommend that all
adults eat at least half their grains as whole grains that's at least 3 to 5 servings of whole
grains. Even children need 2 to 3 servings or more.
For a person who needs 2,000 calories a day to maintain weight and health, this translates into
nine servings or 4 cups per day (2 cups of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables). For most fresh or
cooked vegetables and fruits, 1 cup is just what you would put in a household measuring cup.
Most other people should have 2 servings daily. Interestingly, cottage cheese is lower in calcium
that most other cheeses - one cup counts as only 1/2 serving of milk. Go easy on high-fat cheese
and ice cream. Choose non-fat milk and yogurt and cheeses made from skim milk because they
are lowest in fat.
Fats are oils are to be eaten sparingly.
Non-meat foods such as dried peas and beans also provide many of these nutrients. The Food
Pyramid suggests 2 to 3 servings of cooked meat, fish or poultry. Each serving should be
between 2 and 3 ounces.
Grains
o 1 slice bread
o 1 oz dry cereal (check nutrition label for cup measurements of different products)
o 1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal (about the size of a baseball)
Fruits
o 1 medium fruit (about the size of a baseball)
o 1/4 cup dried fruit
o 1/2 cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit
o 1/2 cup fruit juice
Vegetables
o 1 cup raw leafy vegetables (about the size of a small fist)
o 1/2 cup cut-up raw or cooked vegetables
o 1/2 cup vegetable juice
Milk
o 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
o 1 cup fat-free or low-fat yogurt
o 1 and 1/2 oz fat-free or low-fat cheese (about the size of 6 stacked dice)
Oils
o 1 tsp soft margarine
o 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
o 1 tsp vegetable oil
o 1 Tbsp regular or 2 Tbsp low-fat salad dressing (fat-free dressing does not count as a
serving)
o 1 Tbsp sugar
o 1 Tbsp jelly or jam

o
o

1/2 cup sorbet and ices


1 cup lemonade

Meat and Beans


o 3 oz cooked meat (about the size of a computer mouse)
o 3 oz grilled fish (about the size of a checkbook)
o 1/3 cup or 1 and 1/2 oz nuts
o 2 Tbsp peanut butter
o 2 Tbsp or 1/2 oz seeds
o 1/2 cup dry beans or peas

IV. Calories and Calories from Fat


Calorie: a unit equivalent to the large calorie expressing heat-producing or energy-producing
value in food when oxidized in the body
The average number of calories consumed falls within the USDA guidelines, but it's unclear if
these numbers are accurate or appropriate for the size and activity level of each person. In
2010, the average adult woman reported consuming 1,785 calories per day and adult man,
2,640 per day. The USDA suggests that these numbers are probably lower than what is
consumed in reality.
Health professionals agree that the most sensible approach to weight loss is a balanced diet
eating a variety of foods, all in moderation combined with exercise. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture, the American Heart Association, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the
American Medical Association all recommend this combined approach.
Your weight is determined by the number of calories you consume and the number of calories
your body uses as energy. If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. You
will lose weight by eating less, by being more active or preferably by doing both.
An easy way to figure out if you're eating too many calories is to monitor your weight over
several weeks. If it steadily creeps up, examine your diet and first eliminate the "extra" calories
from non-nutritive foods -- such as sodas and sweets. Just as weight gain results from
consuming too many calories, weight loss occurs when you eat fewer than you burn daily.
Physical activity, portion control and opting for more veggies and fruits over refined
carbohydrates and saturated fats help you trim calories without obsessing over the numbers.
V. The Nutrients- How much?
The nutrients listed first are the ones Americans generally eat in adequate amounts, or even too
much. They are identified in yellow as Limit these Nutrients. Eating too much fat, saturated fat,
trans fat, cholesterol, or sodium may increase your risk of certain chronic diseases, like heart
disease, some cancers, or high blood pressure
o Fat, cholesterol, sodium.
Fat
o Definition: a natural oily or greasy substance occurring in animal bodies, especially when
deposited as a layer under the skin or around certain organs
Cholesterol
o Definition: a type of fat found in your blood. Your liver makes cholesterol for your body.
You also can get cholesterol from the foods you eat. Meat, fish, eggs, butter, cheese,
and whole or low-fat milk all have cholesterol in them.

Sodium
o Definition: a major mineral found in the fluid surrounding the cells in your body where it
helps to regulate blood pressure and fluid volume, and it also helps maintain pH
balance. Your muscles and nervous system also need sodium to function properly.
Most Americans don't get enough dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron in their
diets. Eating enough of these nutrients can improve your health and help reduce the risk of
some diseases and conditions. For example, getting enough calcium may reduce the risk of
osteoporosis, a condition that results in brittle bones as one ages. Eating a diet high in dietary
fiber promotes healthy bowel function. Additionally, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and grain
products that contain dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber, and low in saturated fat and
cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Dietary Fiber
o Definition: indigestible portion of food derived from plants.
Vitamins
o Definition: any of a group of organic compounds that are essential for normal growth
and nutrition and are required in small quantities in the diet because they cannot be
synthesized by the body.
Minerals
o Definition: Minerals are inorganic nutrients. That is, they are materials found in foods
that are essential for growth and health and do not contain the element carbon. The
minerals that are relevant to human nutrition are water, sodium, potassium, chloride,
calcium, phosphate, sulfate, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, iodine,
selenium, and molybdenum.

VI. Calculating Results


Pass out worksheet and help students with the first label.
Assign groups and give each group a label.
Bring the class back together and review every groups label.
VII. Conclusion
Refer back to the brainstorming activity in the beginning and discuss which things are right and
which are wrong.
Culmination:
At the end of the session we will go over the initiation from the beginning and correct any false
information and discuss the correct answers. We will also touch upon what we will be learning during
the next session.
Anticipated Problems and Possible Solutions:
One problem may be an issue with the technology. In that case I will have to write on the white
board. Another problem could be time. If this is the problem we will have to use some time from the
next class session. The last problem would be participation and the clients will be told that this is all
voluntary but will be very beneficial for the future.
Evaluation:
I will be evaluating the students through the group discussion in the beginning. Also, I will be
evaluating their food labels, but they will be able to take them home for future reference.