Information on our nutrition page is written by: Kristen Giuliani, RD, LDN, CLC, North Suburban WIC Senior Nutritionist Nutritional Boost Summer 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.


Summer is the best time to visit your local Farmer’s Market (search the web for one near you)! You will find veggies, fruits and herbs at peak freshness and they are locally grown within Massachusetts and New England! Try these: Basil Cucumbers Strawberries Dill Raspberries Zucchini Ways to have a Yummy yet Nutritious Summer Season! Yellow Squash Tomatoes Watermelon Peppers Blueberries
  • Going to a party? Bring one or two healthy dishes to guarantee that you will have at least a few healthy items to nibble on. Consider an easy to make Caprese Salad with fresh cut tomatoes slices, fresh basil leaves, and low-fat mozzarella cheese slices. Drizzle on some olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle a small amount of balsamic vinegar if desired as well.
  • Eat More Berries! They are in season for the summer months. Use them for a sweet snack; add them to cereals, yogurt or smoothies.
  • Go for fresh salads this summer. They are quick and easy to prepare. Add a healthy protein such as beans, chicken, tofu or low-fat shredded cheese.
  • It’s ok to enjoy one small treat (dessert) a day. Maybe a couple cookies, small dish of low-fat ice cream with fresh fruit, small piece of chocolate etc. These foods may taste good but they provide mostly “empty calories”. Meaning these foods provide little or no nutrition for the amount of calories that they provide.
  • Try a smoothie this summer! Again, get some fresh fruits, low-fat Greek or Icelandic yogurt (super thick and creamy), milk/soymilk and toss in a blender.
  • Summer is the perfect time to amp up your veggies! Grilling is a tasty way o prepare them with a pinch of salt and pepper tossed with some olive oil. Try mixed veggie kebabs, or even a fresh veggie stick (carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower & peppers) platter with hummus.


Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (serves 4) Calories per serving 450 4 large (green, orange, red or yellow) bell peppers 2 cups brown rice, uncooked 1 cup onion (peeled and chopped) 1 ½ cup tomato sauce, no added salt ½ cup low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese black pepper to taste • Cut around the stem of the peppers. Remove seeds and pulp. • Boil peppers for five minutes. Drain. • In saucepan, add rice, onion, ½ cup tomato sauce and black pepper. • Stuff peppers with the mixture and place in casserole dish. • Pour the remaining tomato sauce over peppers. • Sprinkle cheese on top. • Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degree Tomato-Basil Penne Pasta (serves 4) Calories per serving 325 1 package of pasta 2 fresh tomatoes (chopped) ½ cup olive oil 2 cloves garlic (minced) ½ cup fresh basil (chopped) -pinch salt & pepper • Cook pasta, drain, • Mix with other ingredients Sizzling Summer Recipes to Try!
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