Providing nutritional information about the dish along with the food can make your teenagers make better and healthier food decisions. Student cafeterias can use cards to display information about the food served in order to help teenagers decide better.
For most of the foods, it is not very difficult to find the nutritional information as more and more packaged foods are providing the information on the packaging itself. These can be used in displaying information, for starters.
Researchers of Penn State university had found that on seeing the displayed information, the teenagers may not switch to a totally different food habit, but they are more inclined to choose the healthier option even while staying in the same framework of their individual tastes in foods. Students had chosen less of calories and fat in their foods, like they have shifted from cheeseburgers to hamburgers and pizza with extra cheese to a standard pizza etc, when they saw the nutrition information on display.
Some of the information provide to the students were serving size, calories per servings, total fat and saturated fats, carbohydrate and sodium content etc. Calorie content and fat level seemed to be the main input that affected the choice of the teens the most.
Reference: Journal of Child Nutrition and Management, July 2005