Information on our nutrition page is written by: Kristen Giuliani, RD, LDN, CLC, North Suburban WIC Senior Nutritionist Nutritional Boost Winter 2017
  • A Quick Guide to Reading the Nutrition Label Facts

    Start with the Serving Size

    • Look here for both the serving size (the amount for one

      serving), and the number of servings in the package.

    • Remember to check your portion size to the serving size listed

      on the label. If the label serving size is one cup, and you eat

      two cups, you are getting twice the calories, fat and other

      nutrients listed on the label.


    Check Out the Total Calories and Fat

    Find out how many calories are in a single serving and the number of calories from fat. It’s smart to cut back on calories and fat if you are watching your weight!


    Let the Percent Daily Values Be Your Guide

    Use percent Daily Values (DV) to help you evaluate how a particular food fits into your daily meal plan:

    • Daily Values are average levels of nutrients for a person eating

      2,000 calories a day. A food item with a 5% DV means 5% of

      the amount of fat that a person consuming 2,000 calories a day

      would eat.

    • Remember: percent DV are for the entire day — not just for

      one meal or snack.

    • You may need more or less than 2,000 calories per day. For some nutrients you

      may need more or less than 100% DV.


    The High and Low of Daily Values

    • 5 percent or less is low — try to aim low in total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium

    • 20 percent or more is high — try to aim high in vitamins, minerals and fiber


    Limit Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium

    Eating less of these nutrients may help reduce your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer:

    • Total fat includes saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. Limit to 100% DV

      or less per day.

    • Saturated fat and trans fat are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

    • Sodium — high levels can add up to high blood pressure.

    • Remember to aim low for % DV of these nutrients.


    Get Enough Vitamins, Minerals and Fiber

    • Eat more fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron to maintain good health and help

      reduce your risk of certain health problems such as osteoporosis and anemia.

    • Choose more fruits and vegetables to get more of these nutrients.

    • Remember to aim high for % DV of these nutrients.


    Additional Nutrients

    • Carbohydrates — There are three types of carbohydrates: sugars, starches and fiber.

      Select whole-grain breads, cereals, rice and pasta plus fruits and vegetables.

    • Sugars — simple carbohydrates or sugars occur naturally in foods such as fruit juice

      (fructose), or come from refined sources such as table sugar (sucrose) or corn syrup.


    Check the Ingredient List

    Foods with more than one ingredient must have an ingredient list on the label. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. Those in the largest amounts are listed first. Effective January 2006, manufacturers are required to clearly state if food products contain any ingredients that contain protein derived from the eight major allergenic foods. These foods are milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans.


    What Health Claims on Food Labels Really Mean

    FDA has strict guidelines on how certain food label terms can be used. Some of the most common claims seen on food packages:

    Low calorie — Less than 40 calories per serving.

    Low cholesterol — Less than 20 mg of cholesterol and 2 gm or less of saturated fat per


    Reduced — 25% less of the specified nutrient or calories than the usual product.

    Good source of — Provides at least 10% of the DV of a particular vitamin or nutrient per


    Calorie free — Less than 5 calories per serving.

    Fat free / sugar free — Less than 1⁄2 gram of fat or sugar per serving.

    Low sodium — Less than 140 mg of sodium per serving.

    High in — Provides 20% or more of the Daily Value of a specified nutrient per serving.

    High fiber — 5 or more grams of fiber per serving.


    FDA also sets standards for health-related claims on food labels to help consumers identify foods that are rich in nutrients and may help to reduce their risk for certain diseases. For example, health claims may highlight the link between calcium and osteoporosis, fiber and calcium, heart disease and fat or high blood pressure and sodium.


 This season, aim to buy (or try) some fruits/veggies from this list. In-season produce is usually cheaper to purchase, and are at the peak of freshness and flavor! Yum… And many of these are favorites in your holiday dishes and baked goods! Apples Bell Peppers Brussel Sprouts Cabbage Carrots How to Survive All of Those Holiday Parties….

1) Drink plenty of water, as alcohol & caffeine can dehydrate your body! Also you will reduce the amount of calories you take in from beverages!

2) Include a fruit or a vegetable with each meal. This way you will not only get a boost of fiber and vitamins/minerals, you will also fill up on low-calorie foods which will make you less likely to over-eat those higher- calorie foods!

3) Bring a healthy dish so that you can ensure there is at least one healthy option available to fill your plate with! Try the easy “Chicken, Spinach & Mozzarella Salad” below as your potluck item.

4) Be aware of portion sizes so that you can sample and enjoy a variety of foods options served at the party.

5) And lastly, never go to a party hungry because people tend to consume more calories overall and at a faster pace than if they had had a small snack prior to attending. Try some veggie sticks with hummus or apple slices with low-fat cheese or peanut butter.


Make Your Holidays A Little Bit Healthier With These Recipe Substitutions! Cranberries Eggplant Turnips Green beans Your Best Bet To Enjoy The Holiday Flavors? Eating In-Season Produce This Winter! Instead of: Try: Eggs Egg Whites (2 Whites per Whole Egg) Cream Cheese Low-Fat Cream Cheese or Low-fat Ricotta Cheese Whole Milk Low-Fat Milk/Fat-Free Milk or Soy Milk 1 ounce Chocolate 3 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder + 1 Tbsp. Canola Oil Sour Cream Low-Fat/Fat-Free Regular OR Greek Yogurts Butter/Oil For Baked Goods Applesauce Cream Low-Fat/Fat-Free Evaporated Milk Bacon Canadian Bacon OR Turkey Bacon White Pasta, Bread & Crackers 100% Whole Wheat/Grain Pasta, Bread and Crackers White Rice Brown Rice


Chicken, Spinach & Mozzarella Salad (Serves 4) 1 bag baby spinach 2C cooked chicken breast (chopped) 2C cherry tomatoes (halved) 1 cucumber (sliced) 1/2C low-fat Italian dressing 1C low-fat mozzarella cheese (shredded) • Toss all ingredients in a bowl, mix in dressing & sprinkle with cheese! You’re done! *300 calories per serving Try this Quick & Easy Recipe!
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