09 April, 2010

Checking Labels

This week's literacy activity is geared toward children who can read pretty well already. Why?  Soy lecithin. Stearoyl lactylate. Azodicarbonamide. That's why.
Reading the labels on some food packaging can make you feel like you are transcribing hieroglyphics.For our activity this week, we will research the ingredients in our food.

  • food packages
  • paper 
  • pencil
  • computer
  1. Assemble 5-10 food packages on a table.
  2. Together with your child, read the "nutrition information" section on each package...Caution: Some of these words are tongue-twisters!
  3. Ask your child to write down the ingredients he/she does not understand. Many of these will be preservatives, additives, and colourings.
  4. Do a Google search to define each of those words.
  5. Discuss healthy eating habits with your child.
It is important to know what we are putting into our bodies. Many of the preservatives, additives, and colourings have been found to have harmful affects in scientific studies. A good rule of thumb for the next grocery shopping trip: purchase foods with short lists of ingredients. After reading the nutrition labels, maybe that broccoli on the plate won't look quite so eewy compared to that snow-white slice of bread laced with propionic acid.
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