Reading Labels

Reading Labels

A PLANT-BASED WHOLE FOODS lifestyle is meant to make your baby thrive.

Whole PLANT FOOD should make up the bulk of your meals. However, for moms on the go, packaged food can be a savior. Read the labels well on packaged foods to ensure that they are consistent with the plant-based whole foods lifestyle.

What To Look For

Ingredients:

The ingredients are listed in descending order of weight, so read through the whole list to ensure they are PLANT-BASED WHOLE FOODS, especially taking care to check that no dairy products or pesticides are in the food. Many manufacturers indulge in label manipulation, a practice called ‘ingredient splitting’, wherein they use more than one kind of substance as a sweetener. This breaks them into smaller components, allowing the healthier ingredients to be listed on top. Specific ingredients to watch out for:

  • Sugar: Be weary of words ending in ‘ose’ – sucrose, fructose, maltose are all sugars.
  • Cholesterol: Plants contain no cholesterol, so if the cholesterol amount is anything more than zero, put the product back.
  • Sodium: Packaged foods can have excess salt. If the amount of sodium is higher than the total calories, do not buy the product.
 

Serving Size:

Manufacturers deliberately list very small serving sizes so the quantity of ingredients they must list reduces, giving the overall impression that some ‘bad’ substances are present in negligible quantities. Read the serving sizes carefully.

Cooking Techniques:

Having whole foods means ensuring that they are minimally processed. Dried or dehydrated, ground, powdered, or sprouted are safe process labels. Do not believe the term ‘made from whole grains’ unless it is certified ‘100% whole grains’.

Traps:

When a label says ‘fat-free’ it could have excess sugar to make up for not having fat. Some so-called ‘dairy-free’ foods may still contain dairy derivatives, listed using unrecognizable names such as: rennin, rennet, lactic acid, lactose, sodium caseinate, caseinate, albumen, whey protein, whey, and casein.

Other Terms

Look for the PLANT-BASED WHOLE FOODS symbol which stands for Plant-Based Whole Food. If you see a product with this symbol, you can rest assured that it is the best for your baby!