Nutrition and allergy information on food labels help us to make informed food and drink choices.
Nutrition labels, including both mandatory and voluntary labelling, are in place to help us to make informed food and drink choices. It is important for pupils to be able to recall the key aspects of labelling information and apply to make an informed choice.
This area covers:
- food labelling;
- using food labels to help make healthier choices.
- As a starter activity, ask the pupils to state a piece of information that they have seen on a food label. Is it legally required or for consumer information only? Use the Food labelling information sheet to support this activity.
- To outline the information that should appear on food labels, show the Food labels presentation. Task the pupils to complete the Food labels worksheet. Check pupil’s knowledge with the Food labelling Kahoot quiz and Food labelling Kahoot quiz answers.
- 14 allergens must be identified on food labels, task the pupils to complete the Allergen labelling activity to recognise and highlight the allergens present in three recipes.
- Using a bean bag or small soft ball, play ‘pass the question’ using the questions on the Pass the question - food labelling questions. Arrange the pupils in a circle, gently throw the bean bag or ball to the first pupil who should answer a question. If they answer correctly, they should stay in the circle. If not, they should throw the bean bag or ball to another pupil and then sit down out of the circle. The game would then continue. There is more than one possible answer for some of the questions. Therefore, some questions are repeated enabling there to be enough questions for 20 pupils.
- Task the pupils to find out further information from the back of pack nutrition labels on a variety of foods. The Investigating information - back of pack nutrition labels and Investigating information - back of pack nutrition worksheet uses bread, yogurt and canned tuna as examples but, can be edited using labels from online supermarket websites.
- Challenge the pupils to find a piece of food packaging (that can be easily cleaned) and attach it (opened flat) to a large piece of paper. Using two different colours, task the pupils to identify the information that is required by law and the information that is for consumer/supermarket use only. In a third colour, they should explain the purpose of the information.
- Conduct the Food labelling class activity with the whole class. This activity uses wheat and non-wheat based foods to investigate the information found on labels and focuses on energy, carbohydrates and fibre, but can be edited. The pupils should use the Comparing food labels worksheet to record their results.
Further information about the use of food labels to ensure food is safe to eat can be found in the Hygiene and safety area.
- Task the pupils to complete the Front of pack nutrition labels worksheet and Front of pack nutrition labels to understand how to use food labels to make healthier choices.
- Using a nutritional analysis programme, such as Explore food, can help pupils understand how to use food labels to make healthier choices. Use the following activities:
- Comparing the label worksheet - uses nutritional analysis to understand and compare nutrition labels;
- High, medium or low – applying traffic light labelling to recipes;
- Nutrition labels worksheet - analyse a recipe a complete the back of pack nutrition information.
- Provide the pupils with the clean packaging from a range of standard and healthy option foods. Task the pupils to read and compare the food labels and discuss the findings. What is the first ingredient listed in each product? How does the amount of energy, fat, sugar and salt compare in each product? A simple example would be to compare a full fat yogurt with a low or fat free yogurt. If using yogurt, discuss with the pupils the reason why there may be more sugars in the low or fat free version - when fat is removed, sugars are often added to provide texture and mouthfeel.
Further information and resources to support teaching and learning about nutritional analysis and food labelling can be found in the Explore food area.
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