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Label Decoder


3-14 Years Old


10 Min

What You Need

Nutrition labels

To find out how this lesson fits Physical Education and Health Education standards click here.


Have students bring in one or two Nutrition Facts Labels from home or provide them with one. Have the student read the ingredient list. (If the student is too young to read, the teacher can read the list.) When reading the label, look for words that:

  • are hard to say
  • do not sound like whole food ingredients, for example, apple (foods that you eat that contain one ingredient)
  • sounds like chemicals are artificial colors or flavors.

Tell the students to jump up vertically for each number of words in the ingredient list (i.e. 6 ingredients=6 vertical jumps) and then have them jump side to side for every word that they cannot pronounce or don’t know how to say (i.e. can’t pronounce 3 words=jump side to side 3 times).

Note: Any other variations of body movements will work for this activity.

Compare these “foods” to foods that do not have an ingredient list, like apples or celery.  The more ingredients listed on a food package and the more words that are hard to pronounce means that the food is likely more processed and may not be as healthful for us.

Another version would be to compare a homemade recipe, such as mayonnaise, to a store bought version.  What are the differences?

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