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A Lesson in Labels: What's Healthy, What's Not

Once you know what to look for on labels, feeding your kids healthy foods is a piece of cake (um, we mean a cinch!).
woman unloading groceries Reading Labels 101

Finding wholesome fare for our families should be easy -- new products constantly arrive on the supermarket shelves, promising great nutrition and taste, even for the pickiest eaters. So what's the problem? "At face value, many choices seem healthy and may have some healthy ingredients, but if you look beyond the appealing packaging, they simply have 'health halos' and are no better than the junk you're trying to avoid," says Kristen Rudolph, R.D., a pediatric nutritionist affiliated with Cincinnati Children's Hospital and a mother of two. Children should get no more than 40 grams of fat, 1,500 milligrams of sodium, and 32 grams of sugar a day. Peek at the label on your typical snack, and you may be shocked at how fast you reach those allowances in a single serving. But with a little education (read on!) and some savvy label reading, you can bypass the unwholesome stuff and stock your fridge and pantry with good-for-you foods that are tasty, too. We help you decode the labels of seven kitchen staples.