Nutrition

The English Muffin Challenge

The English Muffin Challenge was a spur of the moment lab! One of our school clubs had two packages of English Muffins left over from an event that they generously donated to us. In addition, I had several left over ingredients from some other labs that I didn’t want to waste. So, I threw it all together for a challenge lab! Students had 40 minutes to create an aesthetic, edible product using the English Muffin and following the parameters of the challenge. Overall, the results were successful, albeit some interesting! However, students walked away knowing they could put together a filling dish, using only available leftovers. The beauty of this type of lab is that the challenge and follow-up assignment could revolve around any food you have an abundance of and wish to use up!

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Junk Food: The Sinister Food Scientist Attack–Storyboard That Project

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?

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Subscription Box Creations–Mini-Project

Subscription boxes are all the rage! Why not bring the concept into the classroom, letting imaginations run wild with your students, while they develop new ideas for them around a wellness theme? Thanks to Katie Kensinger, a FACS teacher from Branson High School, Missouri, you can! See her awesome idea below, along with some student samples.

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Spin a Stir-Fry Lesson & Lab

Need quick cooking recipes for your foods labs or dinner at home on a busy night? I know I do! That’s why I teach about stir-fry cooking! Not only is stir-fry cooking quick and easy, but it’s nutritious, colorful and fairly easy to clean up. So, after students investigate some basics of stir-fry cookery, they get to spin themselves a unique recipe for the class to sample. Try spinning yourself a stir-fry. Who knows, you might just find a new favorite, easy-to-go-to dinner!

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Teaching Portion Size vs. Serving Size with Goldfish & Pokémon Go

Many people have a difficult time discerning between portion size and serving size when they dish out their snacks and meals. Teenagers are no exception! This lesson utilizes Goldfish snack crackers to discover what happens to their nutritional intakes when the portion size goes beyond the serving size. Along the way, students learn the causes, impacts and strategies to deal with increased portion sizes. Additionally, students enjoy capturing Pokémon characters as they try to match everyday visuals with common food amounts. Give it a try and see if your students don’t enjoy learning about portion sizes vs. serving sizes too!

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Vitamins & Minerals: Speed Dating Style

Tired of having your students get up in front of the class and share presentations? Looking for a more engaging way to present materials to students without tying up days for presentations? This lesson not only has students learning about the role of vitamins and minerals in our body, but has them moving around, sharing the information in a conversational manner, with a technique referred to as “speed dating”. Read on for more details and give this technique a try the next time you need to share a lot of information quickly!

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Crostini Appetizers: Mini-Lesson & Lab

You never know when you’re going to need a relatively quick and simple appetizer for entertaining that looks like you’ve spent hours preparing! Crostini to the rescue! I like to teach students that party foods don’t have to be super difficult, expensive or time consuming to pull together. The self-directed mini-lesson provides some background information about crostini and how to make them and then students get to pretend they have to pull together a few crostini appetizers for entertaining, using ingredients they have on hand. The creative possibilities are endless! As a tasty finale, students prepare and sample some hot and cold crostini in the lab! Yum!

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Quick Breads: Lesson & Labs

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.

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Health Challenges: Reducing Childhood Obesity News Report

As part of my unit on nutrition and young children in my Child Development class, I feel very strongly that childhood obesity needs to be addressed. Students need to know that this is an epidemic that is not going away any time soon. In order to understand the causes, concerns and consequences of this issue, I put together the following lesson and activities to help promote awareness to this pandemic disease in the form of a live news report.

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Health Challenges: Diabetes

This in-depth lesson and project was shared by Nikki Heflin of Westfield High School, in Westfield Indiana. This lesson was designed for the course Advanced Nutrition and Wellness. This series of activities and projects is part of a unit called Dietary Issues and Health. The health issue most focused on is Type II Diabetes. The way that things are going, statistics show that 1 in 3 students will be affected by this disease, yet many have very little knowledge of what Type II Diabetes is or how to prevent it. This lesson introduces students to health challenges with a focus on dietary needs throughout the life-span, and has students do a research project on Type II Diabetes, create an online poster for a school-wide Stop Diabetes Campaign to raise awareness, and concludes with a group lab experience where students re-create a healthier version of popular comfort foods.

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