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MM-6: Label Logic - Potatoes

MM-6: Label Logic - Potatoes

DID YOU KNOW?

The majority of vegetables eaten by children are in the form of french fries. Potatoes can be a nutritious choice, but not all foods made from potatoes are equal in nutritional value. In this activity, children will read labels from potato products and learn how cooking foods certain ways can make vegetables unhealthful.

MATERIALS:

ACTIVITY:

  1. Explain %DV and quickly review vitamin C and fat (see Key Talking Points below). If you have it, refer to the Read It Before You Eat It poster.
  2. Split children into small groups of two or three, and give each group one set of label sheets.
  3. In the spaces below each label, fill in the numbers for %DV of vitamin C, grams of fat, and %DV of fat.
  4. Compare the amount of fat in the different types of potato products.
  5. Rank the labels from lowest to highest amount of fat. Ask:
    • “Which has the most fat? The least?”
    • “Why do you think that is? They’re all potatoes, what’s the difference?”
  6. Compare the amount of vitamin C in the different types of potato products.
  7. Rank the labels from lowest to highest amount of vitamin C. Ask:
    • “What happens to the vitamin C in a potato when it is fried to make other foods?”
    • “Which of the potato products do you think is the most nutritious?”
    • “Why?”

KEY TALKING POINTS:

  1. Potatoes are a healthy vegetable, high in carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamin C.
    • Carbohydrates give you energy to run, jump, and grow.
    • Fiber works like a broom to sweep out your digestive system.
    • Vitamin C helps your body heal wounds and keep you from getting sick.
  2. Most potatoes are fried and eaten as french fries and potato chips. Frying adds a lot of calories in the form of fat and reduces the amount of vitamins normally found in potatoes.
  3. Chips and french fries are referred to as having empty calories because of the vitamin and mineral losses during frying. A plain baked potato is more nutrient-dense.
  4. %DV stands for percent daily value. Everyone needs a certain amount of each kind of nutrient to stay healthy; these are called the daily values. Food labels tell you what percent of that amount is in a food. Example: if a food has 50% DV of vitamin C you only need two servings of that food to get all the vitamin C you need for the day).
  5. Fat has a lot of extra calories that can make you too full to eat other foods, like fruits and vegetables, which have more of the nutrients children need to grow up strong.

AT THE END OF THIS ACTIVITY, CHILDREN WILL BE ABLE TO:

  1. Read and understand food labels.
  2. Recognize the nutritional difference between one food (potatoes) cooked different ways.

GO FURTHER:

  1. Have the class taste test baked and regular potato chips. How are they different? How are they the same? Put the regular chips and the backed chips on a paper towel. Which ones have more fat absorbed into the paper towels?
  2. After looking at potato labels, you may choose to have a potato chip snack. Complete activity Bet You Can’t Eat Just One while eating the potato chip snack. This could be done with a larger group including younger children, and those who have read the labels can now discuss the potato information with their younger peers.
  3. Send home Family Outreach Tip Sheet TS-11: What’s In It? Advertisements and package designs may be misleading and encourage children to choose foods and drinks that are not very healthy. This tip sheet explains how to read Nutrition Facts on food labels, and recommends ways and reasons to make healthier choices!

ADAPTED FROM:

How to teach Nutrition to Kids/Leader Activity Guide, Connie Liakos Evers, MS RD.