Whenever I’m teaching my students about healthy food choices, the topic of junk food some how finds its way into the discussion, especially with junior high students. When I ask them for reasons as to why they don’t eat more healthy, nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables, they tell me it’s because they don’t like the taste. In comparison, junk food tastes so much better! I promptly explain that it’s made that way, on purpose! So, when the January 2017 issue of Scholastic Choices came out with an article on just this topic, I was super excited to share it with my students! I also wanted to include a tech project associated with it, as I saw cartoon/comic strip written all over this. Below, you will see how I turned something students wanted to discuss into an educational, interactive assignment. The end results are so cool, like something out of a real comic book–your students are sure to enjoy the technology! Oh, and, did I mention that it’s free and super friendly and easy to use?
A student recently asked me why scrambled eggs tasted different at their friends and relatives houses compared to scrambled eggs made at home. Great question! I decided to let my students conduct an experiment by preparing scrambled eggs with different liquids in order to discover the effects each had on the eggs’ appearance, taste and texture. Not only did this experimental lab get the students into the kitchen to teach them how to make scrambled eggs, but it was a great way to incorporate a little food science into the curriculum as well!
I have had some requests to share ideas for teaching about quick breads…so, here you go! One thing about teaching quick breads is that there are a plethora of ideas for labs so you can mix it up from one year to the next and secondly, the labs are pretty inexpensive to make so they won’t break your budget! Another thing I like about teaching quick breads is that it’s easy to include math and science concepts into your lessons and labs. Take a look below to see some things I’ve used over the years as well as some links to previous lessons and activities on the website about the topic.
Ever notice how many different types of peppers are available in the grocery store? Not only are they vibrant to look at but they also contain different levels of spiciness or pungency depending on the variety. I wanted to expose my students to the characteristics of these unique vegetables giving them an opportunity to learn more about the various species of peppers or chiles, ways to cook with them and challenge themselves to see how the heat level changed the taste of a product as well as how much heat they could take.
Many think of canning or preserving foods as an old fashioned way of life or hobby, but with more people venturing into organic gardening, cooking and wanting or needing to know what’s in their foods, canning has definitely made it’s way back into this modern era! If you are thinking about teaching food preservation in your FACS classroom, below are some ideas that may be helpful! Also, check out our book giveaway below!
Genetically Modified Foods, known as GMO’s, are foods that have had their genes altered through science or genetic engineering, which is monitored through the EPA, the FDA and the USDA. Did you know that many of the foods found in our grocery stores contain at least one ingredient that has been genetically modified? Should we be informed as consumers when this process is affecting the foods we eat? Should genetically modified foods be labeled? There is a huge debate surrounding this dispute. How do your students weigh in on this topic?
I find that most students don’t know the difference between dry and moist cooking methods. This lesson and lab help them to understand the difference and explore the various ways that the same food can be prepared using different methods. Students enjoy the interactive activities within the lesson as well as preparing and tasting vegetables as they practice and apply some of the techniques. This lesson also incorporates the vocabulary tool Quizlet which helps students learn their terms in an interactive way. Students actually ask me to use Quizlet on a regular basis to learn and assess terms.
It’s fall, apples are in season and they are relatively inexpensive! Varieties of apples are sold everywhere from roadside stands to grocery stores so why not incorporate them into your foods class? That’s exactly what Jessica Uplinger of Field High School, Ohio did. Jessica created this lesson and lab because she has very large classes and needed a thematic unit where she could divide up her class and have half of them in the kitchen preparing a lab while the other half is engaged with an assignment. The end results? Her students ended up enjoying every aspect of this lesson, especially the labs! Why not give it a try in your foods class?