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Nutritional Information Panels

Manufacturers must put nutrition information panels (NIPs) on their foods.  These are usually found on the back of a food package. 

There are seven parts of the food that are shown on a nutrition panel.  These are energy (kilojoules = kj), protein (grams = g), total fat (g), fat that is saturated fat (g), total carbohydrate (g), carbohydrate that is present as sugars (g), and sodium (mg).

NIPs allow us to compare the amount of a substance across similar products using the per 100g column.  This is helpful if we want to find the food that has the lowest sugar, fat or salt.

Comparing foods template 1

Comparing Foods

When comparing sugar use the 100g column and look for foods that have 15g per 100g or less (unless it contains fruit, then allow up to 20g per 100g).

When comparing fat, aim for foods with the lowest levels of saturated fats, no trans fats and less than 10g of total fat per 100g.

Look for foods that are low in salt.  Ideally, choose foods with 120mg or less per 100g.

Weetbix serving
Lollies serving

Serving Sizes

The ‘per serve’ value on a nutrition panel shows how much of each substance we are likely to be getting in a particular food.

Manufacturers can decide how big or small to make their serves but they must be realistic.

Serving Sizes

The ‘per serve’ value on a nutrition panel shows how much of each substance we are likely to be getting in a particular food.

Manufacturers can decide how big or small to make their serves but they must be realistic.

Weetbix serving Lollies serving
Nutrigrain

Nutritional Claims

If a food promotes that it contains something like fibre, which is not covered as part of the seven things, then it must also have that information on the nutrition panel.

It’s not a good idea for kids to eat cereals or bars with more than 15g fibre per 100g but try to find ones with more than 6g per 100g.

Fish and chips

No NIP Required

Food that does not require a Nutrition Information Panel is food that is sold unpackaged or only packaged when it is sold.

Small packs (smaller than a pack of chewing gum) don’t have to have NIPs because you can’t fit all the information on them. Herbs, spices, mineral water, tea and coffee don’t have NIPs because they have no significant nutritional value.  

Packaging clues 6

Packaging Clues

You’ve completed the Packaging Clues module!

If you still want to know more you can read these handy factsheets below…

What is a balanced diet?

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