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Valley View summer students receive tips on how to read food labels

Published: Friday, July 12, 2013 2:12 p.m. CST
(Photo provided)
Valley View School District Nutrition Services summer intern Alexis D’Ascenzo shows first-grader Emily Kirman how to read a food label Friday at R.C. Hill Elementary School in Romeoville.

BOLINGBROOK – Valley View School District Summer Learning Experience students are learning to differentiate fiber from fats.

On Friday, Valley View Nutrition Services Department summer intern Alexis D’Ascenzo led a health seminar at Romeoville’s R.C. Hill Elementary School, teaching children how to read food labels and nutritional facts.

“The label tells you about the good things you get and some of the not-so-good things,” said D’Ascenzo. “You want vitamins and fiber because vitamins make you strong and fiber makes you full. And you want to limit sugar, fat and calories.”

After reviewing a previous lesson about the five major food groups, D’Ascenzo gave each student a label from a food item and walked them through how to find serving sizes, calories, calories from fat, total fat, sodium, potassium, fiber, sugar and protein content among other things.

“Fiber is something we want to get more of,” D’Ascenzo said. “If you eat something that doesn’t have much fiber, you’re not going to be full and you’re going to go outside and be hungry.”

After a healthy snack of grapes and water, D’Ascenzo helped students compare the labels of Frosted Flakes and Cheerios leading them to the conclusion that Cheerios was the healthier option. The students also successfully passed a “pop quiz” to test what they learned.

“It’s important to read labels. That’s how you know what’s going into your body when you eat,” D’Ascenzo said. “Go home and read your labels and show your friends and family too.”

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