6 Not-So-Healthy Food Labels

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Many manufacturers are phasing out high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and the food label, "Now made with real sugar!” has turned into a selling point. Navigating food labels can sometimes make a mom batty!

You work hard to provide healthy food options to your kids, but according to dietitians, food labels aimed at luring moms in may not really be healthy at all. Here are six current food labels for you to get smart about:

“100% Daily Value for Vitamin C”
This one’s often used as a selling point on super sugary beverages. In reality, we don’t need so much vitamin C every day; it’s not very hard to get, and it’s not a nutrient of concern for kids like iron is. Children ages 4-8 can get an entire day’s worth of Vitamin C by eating just three medium strawberries!

“Good Source of Protein”
Are you one of the many obsessed by protein these days? While it has its perks (it’s the most filling of the nutrients), kids and adults typically get more than they need anyway … so when you see “good source of protein!” on a package of frozen pizza rolls, for example … don’t fall for it!

“All Natural”
All natural doesn’t mean it’s automatically wholesome! It simply means there’s nothing artificial in the product. For instance, all-natural soda is  loaded with sugar and all-natural chips are still chips!

“No High Fructose Corn Syrup”
Many manufacturers are phasing out high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and the label “Now made with real sugar!” has turned into a selling point. Research is still mixed on whether we should worry about HFCS … but there’s definitely evidence that too much of any added sugar can have negative effects on health.

“Made With Whole Grains”
Whole grains are important because they’re richer in protein, fiber, and vitamins compared to refined grains. But you can now see “made with whole grains” on packages of snack chips and boxes of sugary cereal. Not exactly the best way to get your whole grains.

“Organic”
Yes, eat local and organic whenever possible. But sometimes these kinds of claims make any food seem especially healthy. Organic milk is one thing, but organic ice cream and lollipops? Still ice cream and lollipops.

Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.

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