YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
This lesson is designed to provide students with an enhanced
understanding of the relationship between proper nutrition and good health.
Through use of video, hands-on activities and interaction, students learn
to measure energy in food, recognize sources of vitamins and minerals, classify
foods into basic groups and learn to interpret labels found on processed
NEWTON'S APPLE CLASSICS
Cooking and Chemistry #108
Students will be able to:
- count calories for measuring energy in food;
- identify main classes of nutrients;
- describe functions of carbo-hydrates, fats and proteins;
- list foods that contain carbohydrates, fats and proteins;
- explain functions and sources of vitamins and minerals;
- classify foods into basic food groups;
- interpret information found on food labels;
- discuss what is included in the foods they eat.
(per group of four)
- 1 chalkboard, chalk, eraser
- 1 teacher made poster (Activity Sheet #1)
- 1 food blender
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoonfuls lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups cooking oil
- 1 small jar store bought mayonnaise
- 1 calorie counter
- 1 cookbook
- 1 package instant breakfast
- 1 cereal box
- 1 canned food label
- 1 Activity Sheet #2
- 1 Activity Sheet #3
- 1 pencil
- 2 sheets notebook paper
- "empty" calories
Say, "The foods we eat and the way we like them prepared
reveals much about our customs and traditions. They are an important clue
to where we live, as well as our ethnic and cultural background."
Distribute a pencil and sheet of notebook paper to each student. Instruct
them to list their five favorite foods. Allow time for students to share
what they consider their favorite foods; list on chalkboard. Ask, "How
do your favorite foods relate to dishes that have traditionally been served
in your home?" Elicit discussion leading to conclusion that favorite
foods likely reflect their heritage. Ask, "Do you suppose there would
be contrasts between your favorite foods and those listed by someone from
Italy, China, Mexico, etc? Explain." Allow students to contrast differences.
Accept all responses.
Say, "The United States is often described as a giant melting pot because
our ancestors came from all corners of the world. When they came, they brought
with them the best of their old customs and traditions." Ask, "Who
lives in a household that celebrates a tradition or honors a custom unique
to those cele-brated by most Americans?" Allow for response. Ask, "Do
you know any regional or ethnic foods that would be associated with specific
parts of our country?" (Cajun: Louisiana; Chinese quarter of a city;
Divide class into groups of four students each. Distribute a cookbook to
each group. Say, "Use the table of contents and select a recipe for
a food each member considers to be a favorite." Allow time for completion
of the task. Then, instruct groups to classify each ingredient in the selected
recipe as one of the six classes of nutrients as you list on the chalkboard:
carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamin, mineral and water. After the task is
completed, engage students in discussion as they tell whether their recipe
is a good source of carbohydrates, fats and/or proteins. Ask, "What
is nutrition?" Allow students to respond. Write nutrition on chalkboard
as you confirm it is the process by which the body receives and breaks down
nutrients. Distribute a sheet of notebook paper and a pencil to each student.
Display the (Activity Sheet #1) pre-prepared poster, Primary Functions of
Nutrients, in clear view of all groups. Appoint different groups to lead
the class in discussing one of the six nutrients and their functions. Have
students identify any previously listed favorite food that would be rich
in each of the nutrients.
Say, "You always hear the term calorie used in connection with controlling
diet for the purpose of reducing one's weight." Write calorie on chalkboard,
then ask, "What is a calorie?" Elicit discussion leading to conclusion
that a calorie is a measure of the energy available in food. Write the definition
Say, "At some time in life almost everyone has to give
attention to the number of calories they intake. For some the intake needs
to be increased to promote weight gain; for the majority in our society,
attention must be paid to reducing calories to accommodate a loss of weight."
To give students a specific responsibility while viewing ask, "What
do you believe is used to determine the number of calories in foods?"
Allow students to share beliefs, then say "As you see a video which
explains a calorie, watch to determine if your belief is accurate."
NEWTON'S APPLE CLASSICS
Begin tape immediately following mailbag question in section two. Visual
is Ira reading letter; audio is, "What is used to determine the number
of calories in various foods and drinks?" Provide students an opportunity
to validate their answers as you PAUSE tape on visual of Dr. Jones
and Ira with apparatus "burning" calories; audio is Dr. Jones
saying, "Enzymes enable heat calories to be released so the body can
use them for body heat and energy." Write definition of calorie on
chalkboard. Explain: the scientific definition is a metric unit expressing
the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 kg of water
by 1 degree C. Say, "How would you describe a calorie in your own terms?"
Allow for responses leading discussion to an understanding that a calorie
is a measure of energy available in a food. Instruct students to record
this concept on their notebook paper. Distribute a calorie counter to each
group of four students. Explain how a calorie counter is used, then have
groups choose a favorite snack they believe is high in calories and another
they think is low in calories. Say, "Use the calorie counter to learn
the actual calorie count of your selected snacks." Allow time for completion
of the task. Appoint a volunteer to record on chalkboard as each group shares
what it discovered about the high and low calorie snacks. Use information
on chalkboard as a base for students to order the lists from healthiest
to least healthy snacks as related to proper nutrition.
Ask, "What determining factor renders a snack high calorie or low calorie?"
Lead responses toward discovery that the presence of nutrients which include
fats, carbohydrates and proteins is the energy stored in foods. Ask, "Is
a food high in fat the most fattening food for you to consume? Are carbohydrates
fattening? How is body weight affected by a high protein food?" Allow
students to respond as you correct any misconception about the individual
nutrients and their influence on weight gain. Ask, "Which of the nutrients
provides the most fuel for your body?" Write on chalkboard: one pound
lettuce; one pound pasta; one pound lean meat; and one pound butter. Instruct
students to order the four foods from high calorie to low calorie.
Give students a specific responsibility while viewing as you say, "Watch
the next video to check for accuracy your ranking/ordering of the four foods."
RESUME tape. Provide an opportunity for students to validate and
discuss the accuracy of their ordering as you PAUSE tape on visual
of Ira and Dr. Jones; audio is "...same number of calories, 80% fat."
Engage students in discussion as you instruct to check work for accuracy
of correct ordering as it is written on chalkboard throughout process of
student interaction. Lead discussion as correct ordering from high to low
calorie is revealed to be butter, pasta, meat, then lettuce. Ask, "How
many calories per ounce of pasta?" (100) Say, "How would you compare
the calorie content of the various foods?" Allow for student response.
Explain: As various foods contain different amounts of calories, they provide
your body with different amounts of energy when consumed. Ask, "Which
nutrient do you believe is most efficient for your body to use in storing
energy?" (fat) Say, "One gram of fat provides your body with nine
calories of fuel." Write on chalkboard: 1 calorie fat = 9 calories
fuel as students are instructed to record the information on their notebook
paper. Say as you continue to write on chalk-board, "In contrast, one
gram of carbo-hydrate or one gram of protein yields only four calories."
Write 1 ounce = 28.35 grams on chalk-board. Say, "If 1 gram of fat
= 9 calories of fuel for your body, how much fuel will be stored when you
consume 1 ounce of fat?" (Have students calculate 28.35 g x 9 = 255.15)
Affirm, you will consume approximately 255 calories per ounce of stored
fat in your body. Ask, "What happens to the ounce of stored fat on
a day when your body doesn't use it as fuel for energy?" Affirm it
remains stored until it is used.
Say, "A gram of carbohydrates or protein yields only 4 calories. How
much fuel will your body store when you consume 1 ounce of carbohydrate
or protein?" (Have students calculate 28.35 g x 4 = 113.40 calories)
Encourage students to internalize their body will store more energy for
fuel from 1 ounce of fat than from 1 ounce of carbohydrate or protein (converted
to starch). Have students contrast difference in calories for 1 ounce fat
and 1 ounce carbohydrate or protein. (142 calories more for fat)
Say, "Your body can store energy for future use. The primary storage
is in the form of fat called adipose tissue. This tissue lies under the
skin and also surrounds your internal organs. As a body develops more adipose
tissue, it is evidenced through a weight gain." Explain calories consumed
in excess of the body's immediate needs are added to the body's already
existing deposits of fat. Say, "For humans and other animals vulnerable
to a scarce food supply, the storage of fat will help them survive. However,
for some with an adequate food supply it can create problems. What is the
greatest problem it can create that you know about?" Elicit discussion
drawing students to conclusion that it contributes to obesity and often
results in chronic diet-related diseases so wide spread in today's society.
Write one hamburger and one-half cup cottage cheese on chalkboard. Explain
the two foods have equal amounts of protein. Say, "The great difference
lies in the amount of fat and the number of calories." Write over three
times amount of fat and 50% more calories under the one hamburger on chalkboard.
Ask, "If you are seriously attempting to reduce your weight, which
food would you choose?" (Confirm cottage cheese.) Ask, "What do
you recognize about our society and life styles that contributes to obesity?"
Allow students to share their knowledge and opinions.
Distribute an empty instant breakfast package to each group of students.
Say, "Since more than half the foods we eat come in packages, learning
to read and understand labels is an important part of maintaining a balanced
diet." Encourage students to consider the scenario which follows: "Belinda
never planned time for a balanced breakfast; she always relied on an instant
breakfast to curb her hunger until lunchtime. Each morning around 10:00
a.m. she would experience a growing hunger that interfered with her ability
to concentrate and also made her irritable."
Ask, "Why do you suppose Belinda's instant breakfast satisfied her
hunger only half way through the morning hours?" Allow students to
express their beliefs. Say, "Examine, then discuss within your group
the ingredients listed on the instant breakfast envelope." Allow time
for the task to be completed. (Ingredients are listed by weight with the
ingredient present in the greatest amount generally listed first.) Ask,
"What are the first two ingredients in the instant breakfast?"
Allow time for student responses. The first two ingredients are generally
sugar and vegetable shortening. Inform students Belinda could have consumed
fewer calories, less sugar, less fat and enjoyed more "staying"
power had she scheduled time for juice, an egg, toast and a glass of skim
milk. Allow time for volunteers to tell what they ate for breakfast today.
Do not allow students to be judgmental as they evaluate the nutritional
value and balance of breakfasts shared by the volunteers. Have them suggest
items to create a balanced breakfast for any that was unbalanced.
Distribute a copy of Activity Sheet #2 to each student. Say, "The government
requires producers of processed foods to list ingredients in order of their
prominence by weight on all containers." Distribute an empty cereal
box to each group of four students. Say, "Use the cereal box to answer
questions in Roman Numeral I on the Activity Sheet." Allow time for
the task to be completed, then check for accuracy using any teacher's choice
technique. Instruct students to read directions for Roman Numeral II, then
complete it. Review for correctness as students check their own work.
Explain, "It is equally important to understand each ingredient contained
in a food and the amount of individual nutrients essential to health. All
labels provide this information in terms of grams (g) and milligrams (mg)
instead of the traditional measure of ounce you are more familiar with."
Distribute a canned food label to each group of four students. Instruct
them to observe the label as you continue, "All labels are required
by federal law to state: size of a serving, number of servings in the container,
for each serving the number of calories, grams of protein, fat, and carbohydrates
and the percentage of RDA for protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamine, ribo-flavin,
niacin, calcium and iron." Instruct students to use the canned food
label and fill in blanks and questions provided in Roman Numeral III on
the Activity Sheet. Allow time for groups to accomplish the task, then validate
Say, "It's now time for some kitchen chemistry. Have you ever heard
that oil and vinegar don't mix?" Allow for response. Say, "If
you shake a container of oil and vinegar, they appear to mix, however, if
allowed to settle they usually separate into layers. Which would you predict
will layer itself on the top." Provide time for students to make their
predictions; list on chalkboard. To give students a specific responsibility
while viewing say, "Watch the next video to find out if your prediction
NEWTON'S APPLE CLASSIC
Cooking and Chemistry #108
Begin tape with visual of Ira and Dr. Grosser with a cruet of oil and vinegar;
audio is "Let me show you another problem I'm sure everybody has."
PAUSE tape on visual of Ira and Dr. Grosser with cruet revealing
two layers ---oil on top and vinegar on bottom; audio is "Ultimately
they are going to separate because the molecules are very different."
Allow students to discuss the accuracy of their predictions made prior to
viewing the video.
Engage students in discussion as they answer the following questions with
responses based upon knowledge acquired from the video. "How can oil
and vinegar remain mixed? What familiar food do you know where oil and vinegar
are mixed, then remain stable as a mixture? What can be used to cause the
oil and vinegar to mix?" Allow opportunity for student interaction
following each question. To give students a specific responsibility while
viewing say, "Watch the video, then be prepared to name and discuss
the substance which binds the oil vinegar together. Also, listen for the
term which means binding together." RESUME tape on visual of
Ira and Dr. Grosser with two cruets of vinegar and oil; audio is,"...
the oil is very nonpolar with little electrical character." STOP
tape and allow students an opportunity to discuss the tasks assigned during
viewing. The visual is Ira and Dr. Grosser; audio is "It's the same
principle as making a mayonnaise." Write emulsifier on chalkboard;
beside it write lecithin. Discuss: lecithin as the emulsifier in eggs that
binds the oil and vinegar together. Say, "Egg yolks contain lots of
lecithin. Mayonnaise is an emulsion of oil with egg yolk or whole egg, lemon
juice or vinegar and salt and pepper combined. The fat in the oil provides
the chief food value found in mayonnaise. Two tablespoonfuls of mayonnaise
equal 100 calories."
Ask one volunteer from each group to assist with a demonstration
making mayonnaise. Say, "Many foods you eat are mixtures of various
ingredients. During the process of preparation physical and/or chemical
changes take place creating a new combination and a new food different from
any of the individual ingredients. Watch and be prepared to describe the
physical changes you observe as mayonnaise is made."
Have all ingredients at room temperature. Place the following in a blender
and mix until well blended:
Following preparation, permit students to discuss the physical changes they
observed as ingredients were combined to create a new mixture familiar to
everyone as mayonnaise.
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoonfuls lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups cooking oil
Review emulsion, nutrients and calories. Ask, "Which is the main nutrient
in mayonnaise?" (fat) "Which ingredient contained the fat?"
(cooking oil) Encourage students to sample store bought mayonnaise and compare
its texture, color, taste and smell to the home-made product created in
Arrange a field trip to a grocery store in your community. Provide
a copy of the Grocery Store Scavenger Hunt, Activity Sheet #3, which gives
students an opportunity to become more efficient in reading food labels
and comparing two similar products to determine which is the best buy.
Invite the manager of a grocery store to visit your classroom and teach
students about unit pricing. Following the instruction, request they evaluate
student understanding of the concept through examples as: a 12 ounce can
of tomatoes priced $.89 (with a unit price at $2.38 per quart) is a better
buy than a 6 ounce can priced $.64 (with a unit price at $3.42 per quart).
Request the manager bring products which come in two or three sizes and/or
brands. Have students compare items, prices and unit prices.
Ask your cafeteria manager to save labels from cans of food used to prepare
school lunches. Have students study the labels and list different terms
used to identify sweetening agents. (e.g.) sucrose, dextrose, lactose, molasses,
corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, fructose, etc. Research and contrast various
uses of each agent.
Research the work of Dr. Eijkman (beriberi) conducted in Java during the
1890's and Dr. James Lind (scurvy) in the 1750's. Discover foods that help
prevent rickets, scurvy, pellagra and beriberi. Include information on symptoms
and how these diseases reveal themselves.
Calculate calories found in a pound of pure fat; in a pound of pure carbo-hydrate;
and in a pound of pure protein. (Note: 1 gram fat equals 9 calories; one
gram of carbohydrate or a gram of protein equals 4 calories.)
Develop a cooperative class project to be implemented at an appropriate
time in the spring; have students plan a vegetable garden, prepare soil,
plant seeds, maintain and harvest produce. Teach germination, life cycle
of plants, insect pests and effects of weather on the gardening project.
Ask the cafeteria manager's cooperation in preparing the harvest to be served
as a part of a regular school lunch for the class.
Research the "green" revolution and prepare a report to be shared
Study the diversity of "breakfasts around the world." Prepare
some of the foods and invite another class to join in sampling.
Make a collage based on the four food groups plus the fifth of fats and
sugars. Show major nutrients contained in the food examples through found
or drawn examples of specific foods within each group. Display the collage
in the hallway outside your classroom. (NOTE: Group six is water.)
Have students identify, then research jobs and professions that are food
and/or health related. Allow students to report findings to the class and
have the class decide on the job or profession they find most interesting.
Identify someone who works in the identified profession and invite them
to visit your classroom to learn more about their responsibilities.
Study advertising. Have students create an advertising campaign for a selected
vegetable. They might write a slogan or jingle and create visuals designed
to convince others to include the vegetable in their diet.
Master Teachers: Patsy Partin and Mike Sanders
Lesson Plan Database
Thirteen Ed Online