What should I be looking for in food labels?

Christina - posted on 12/03/2008 ( 8 moms have responded )




I have always thought that I offered relatively healthy foods to my son but according to a friend (who is more informed/educated on this) I could do much better. I have done some research but I find that there is way too much for me to retain and some is just confusing. So what should I be looking out for when reading labels? I need to keep it simple, perhaps the 5-8 main things that I should avoid. I have a 5.5 month old and I have a 22 month old. Thanks so much for your help!


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Hina - posted on 03/10/2009




Hi Christina,

I have three kids.
I would recommend joining the Mom Safety Alerts application on face book.
You will be notified of all food related recalls and health bulletins regarding allergies and child health.
It appears to be a new application but I have already received some really good information from them in a timely manner.



The app can be found at:


[deleted account]

My trick is to try to avoid everything that is pre-prepared - ie anything that has an ingredient's label!

I agree with Laurie above ie just stick with stuff that comes from nature. I've never been able to afford organic produce, but I think in general if food is fresh and natural, it must be better than something that's been fiddled with.

Samantha - posted on 02/13/2009




There is a great  site you can go to and build a pyramid for your two year old at least. It tells how much he should get of each food group and provides information for healthy snacks and what to look for on the labels. Its mypyrimid.gov. you can even do one for yourself and husband. I did one for the whole family. As far as you younger one. I make my daughter Kaitlyns food homemade. The best is organice food, then frozen, then canned. I use frozen and organic. You cook the veggie or fruit based on what they are aloud to eat at their age, then you put it into the blender on puree with 1/4 c water when it its all pureed, you pour the food into ice cube trays..layer the top of tray with foil, stack the trays. When frozen pop out into freezer bags , label them and date them. I use the Fresh Baby Book and Kit. I got it offline on babyrus.com. I hope that helps!

Christina - posted on 02/13/2009




Thanks everyone! With your suggestions we are making small steps to a healthier diet!

Denise - posted on 02/13/2009




Hydrogentated Oil

Particuly Hydrogentated Oil

High Fructose Corn Syrup

and anything with a color dye, like Red Lake 40, or No. 40 Red dye

and monosodium glutamate (msg), it is also labeled as other names like yeast extract.

Those are the basics, hope that helps.

Denise Romney, L.E.A.N. Kids Coach Certified 3-09

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/monosod..." rel="nofollow" target="_blank" onmousedown="track_link(this);">

Naomi - posted on 02/12/2009




Check this site out Christina


I use it as a cross reference all the time. There are so many colours and presevatives in our foods most of it isn't good for our kids and affects there behaviours, attention spans, and their little bodies without us even knowing. I have always fed my 3 yr old really well, or so I thought. My sister in law put me onto this site and I have never looked back. My son never had any allergys or behavioural problems but I noticed a difference within a few days and even more in 3 weeks after changing his diet only slightly. He slept better, had more energy and a longer attention span etc. It is truely amazing what a difference food can make. Good luck

Laurie - posted on 12/03/2008




Funny. I wish I was nearly as conscientious about what I put in my own body, as what I give my son. My rule is that all ingredients must occur in nature, as in "water, apples, sugar, milk etc.". Whenever possible and affordable I try to buy organic and local. In terms of exactly which foods to give versus avoid, like the great peanut, dairy and strawberry debates, I am not 100% sure, though I do recall my mom giving us peanut butter as kids, and all living to tell the tale.

Twilight - posted on 12/03/2008




i try to by low sodium, lowfat, organic/sustainable, and locally grown when possible. many foods have so many unnecessary chemicals, preservatives, and odd stuff the earth and people do not need.

definately avoid MSG. it is linked with migraines, growth defects, and more.

also try to buy frozen when fresh is not available. (although often in nonrecyled/nonrecyclabe platic bags) this tends to be healthier and have fewer preservatives. lots of canned fruit has lots of added refined sugar. canned veggies/soups/meats/pastas often have high fructose corn syrup, salt, and/or ummm...brain fart...

often dietary fiber is forgotten. children need this good fiber, too.

also check out the companies you are buying. kraft has a bad reputation and often uses the "natural" and organic label lightly. (just one example)

refined sugar is unfriendly. try raw sugar. it is SUPER good! and for baking use apple juice instead of

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