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FACS: Food Labels (Nutri/Food)

Main Core Tie

FCS 6th Grade
Strand 1

Time Frame

2 class periods of 45 minutes each

Group Size

Small Groups

Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Employability


Utah LessonPlans


The label on a food product gives us many different types of information: ingredients, serving size, nutrition, etc.


Various food labels for students to read. Supplies for the product of choice.

Background for Teachers

Give the students actual food labels and food packages and have them complete the student activity guide, Let's Read Labels. Labels and packages may be given to students individually, in pairs, or as lab groups.

The concept of mandatory vs. voluntary information can be introduced using the following definitions. To help you teach them, consider making posters.

Mandatory information: information that is required by law to be on a food label.

Voluntary information: information found on a food label that is not required by law.

Mandatory information includes

  • The name of the product
  • The style of the product (type of liquid, size of pieces, etc.).
  • The net weight of the contents (this does not include the weight of the container).
  • The name, address, and zip code of the company.
  • Any special information that affects people with health problems.
  • Presence of artificial color, flavor, or preservatives.
  • A list of ingredients in order of weight in the package: the ingredient of the heaviest amount is listed first.
  • Nutrition information, including the number of calories and the number of calories from fat.

    Voluntary information includes

  • The brand name
  • A picture of the food
  • The number of servings per package
  • Recipes and serving suggestions
  • Freshness dates

    Introduce the terms, calories, and empty calories, with these definitions:

  • Calories: a standard of measurement for energy from food
  • Empty calories: food high in calories and low in nutrients

    Student Prior Knowledge

    Basic cooking terminology.

    Intended Learning Outcomes

    Students will learn to read labels and compare the nutrients and ingredients in foods.

    Instructional Procedures

    LABEL EASE (Note: This video is no longer available.)

    Use the materials from the Dairy Council of Utah to introduce the students to the concept of becoming familiar with information provided on labels. This material helps the students understand labeling terminology and how to interpret it. Student activity guides are provided as part of the materials. You will need to purchase the cards for students, but they are inexpensive. (Label Ease, Dairy Council of Utah, 1213 East 2100 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84106. 801--487--9976. Cost: $5.25)

  • Created: 08/08/2002
    Updated: 02/05/2018