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How to Make Nutrition Labels for Homemade Foods

By Jody Braverman

Whether you're interested in tracking your own nutrient intake, preparing foods for friends or selling snacks at a farmer's market, you can make nutrition labels that look just like those found on your favorite store-bought foods. Using an online nutrition label generator, you can clearly display serving size, calorie, macronutrient and micronutrient information so you and your friends or patrons know exactly what a serving of your culinary creation contains.

Nutrition Label Details

Nutrition labels range in complexity, with some containing only basic information about serving size and calorie and macronutrient content. Other labels contain additional information such as ingredients, detailed vitamin and mineral contents and information on food allergens the product might contain. What you decide to include on your label will depend on how much space you have on the food package and what purpose you want your label to serve.

Breaking It Down

If you're labeling a granola bar, you're not going to be able to list the amount of every B vitamin in a serving -- you simply won't have room. Choose a label that will fit on your package. If the label is for personal use and you're most interested in calorie and fat content or fiber content, you may not want to include other information that isn't of interest to you, such as vitamin A content. An online label generator allows you to skip content that you don't want on your label, so feel free to leave spaces blank to focus on what's most important.

Collecting Your Data

Before using the online label generator, you must gather all your data based on the ingredients in your food. You'll need to know how much of each ingredient is in the dish you made, then gather the calorie and nutrient amounts. For packaged ingredients, like lasagna noodles, you can use the label on the box. For foods without a label, such as tomatoes, you can use an online nutrient database, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's. Use paper and pen or a Word document to record the data for the dish, then divide the totals by the number of servings in your dish.

Sample Dish

You've made a lasagna that you plan to portion and freeze. Because you're carefully tracking your calorie, fat, protein and fiber intake to aid weight loss, you want to create labels for each portion that include just that information. Your ingredients were lasagna noodles, low-fat ricotta, low-fat mozzarella, bottled pasta sauce, eggplant, onions and mushrooms. Using the labels of the packaged foods, find the calorie, fat, protein and fiber totals for the amounts used. Then, search the online nutrition database to find your chosen nutrient facts for the vegetables you used. Once you have totals for all the categories, divide those numbers by the number of servings in your lasagna. You're now ready to fill in your label, print it and stick it on your freezer bags.

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