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Reading Food Labels

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Updated January 24, 2008

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Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and Minerals

Vincent Iannelli, MD
Reading food labels can also help you find foods that are high in certain vitamins and minerals that your kids need, like calcium and iron.

Remember that 5% DV or less is low and 20% DV or more is high for a food component. Foods that are a good source for a particular vitamin contain between 10 to 19% DV of that nutrient in each serving. So this example is not a good source for any of the vitamins or minerals listed on the food label.

Keep in mind that calcium rich foods contain about 20 to 30 percent of a child's percent daily value per serving. If your child doesn't drink a lot of milk or other dairy products that are high in calcium, be sure to check the food labels and find foods high in calcium to make sure that your child gets enough.

Also be aware that teens need more than the 100% DV listed on food labels. They actually need 130% DV of calcium and that makes choosing high calcium foods even more important.

By checking the Calcium % in foods, you will see that certain products, like orange juice, can have any where between 5 and 30% calcium, so check those food labels.

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