Health Education unit consisting of three coordinating lesson plans.

Lesson Plan Title

Nutrition Labels – Reading and Deciphering

Course

Grade 5 Health Education

Total Class Time

30 minutes

Objective(s) the students will be able to:

  • Read food labels and find nutritional values.
  • Differentiate between healthy and unhealthy foods based upon their nutritional value.

Standard(s)

1.3         Demonstrate the ability to use information on food labels to choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages, and to avoid or limit foods and beverages that are low in nutrients or may impact health conditions.

1.4         Prepare meal plans according to the federal dietary guidelines.

Material Needed

  • Food labels cut from various food packages.
  • Federal dietary guidelines for nutrition.

Lesson Procedure

  1. Begin lesson by asking students: “How do we find a food’s nutritional value?  How do we tell if it is healthy for us or not?”
  2. Pass out food labels to students.  Allow time for students to study the labels.
  3. Ask students to share their findings: how much sugar does their food have?  How much salt?
  4. Using the information pulled from the federal dietary guidelines, explain the recommended allowances of sugar, salt, and et cetera with the students.
  5. Ask the students to raise their hands if any of their foods exceed or come close to the recommended allowances.
  6. Determine as a class which labels fall into a “healthy” category and which fall into an “unhealthy” category.

Lesson Continuation

For homework and for the next lesson, ask the students to find their favorite food in their homes.
Each student will cut out the food label to bring to class.
Each student should find the sugar content and, with the help of an adult if needed, measure that amount of sugar into a Ziploc bag to bring to class.
Students should use a sharpie marker to label on the Ziploc bag what the food item is, and how much sugar is in the bag.

 


 

Lesson Plan Title

Nutrition Labels – Favorite Foods

Course

Grade 5 Health Education

Total Class Time

30 minutes

Objective(s) the students will be able to

  • Read food labels and find nutritional values.
  • Differentiate between healthy and unhealthy foods based upon their nutritional value.
  • Compare and contrast sugar content in foods.

Standard(s)

1.3         Demonstrate the ability to use information on food labels to choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages, and to avoid or limit foods and beverages that are low in nutrients or may impact health conditions.

1.4         Prepare meal plans according to the federal dietary guidelines.

Material Needed

  • Students’ individual food labels brought from home; the teacher should bring one as well for an example.
  • Ziploc bag of sugar coordinating with the chosen food label.
  • A large surface.

Lesson Procedure

  1. Begin lesson by showing the bag of sugar brought by the teacher, explaining the amount, and describing the food item it is found in.  Have the students discuss whether or not the amount of sugar constitutes if the food is healthy or unhealthy.
  2. Allow students to, one by one, share their sugar content.  As a class, decided which are healthy and unhealthy.
  3. Most students will probably categorize their favorite foods into the unhealthy category as most foods contain sugar.  Discuss with the students how a food may contain sugar yet still be considered healthy.
  4. On a large surface, sort the Ziploc bags of sugar in order by least to most sugar.  Have students compare which foods have the least sugar versus which have the most.
  5. Have students turn in the food label cut outs of their favorite foods for the next lesson.

 


 

Lesson Plan Title

Nutrition Labels – Make a Menu

Course

Grade 5 Health Education

Total Class Time

30 minutes

Objective(s) the students will be able to:

  • Read food labels and find nutritional values.
  • Differentiate between healthy and unhealthy foods based upon their nutritional value.
  • Create a menu based upon federal dietary guidelines.
  • Learn how to make good food choices as well as the concept of moderation.

Standard(s)

1.3         Demonstrate the ability to use information on food labels to choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages, and to avoid or limit foods and beverages that are low in nutrients or may impact health conditions.

1.4         Prepare meal plans according to the federal dietary guidelines.

Material Needed

  • Several food labels cut from various food packages, or created mock-ups of food labels.
  • Federal dietary guidelines for nutrition printouts.
  • Paper and pencils.

Lesson Procedure

  1. Begin lesson by passing back the students’ favorite food nutrition labels from the previous lessons and a printout of the federal dietary guidelines.
  2. Review the federal dietary guidelines and discuss the recommended intake values for students their age.  Values should include (but are not limited to) sugar, salt, carbohydrates, fats, protein, vegetables, fruits, and et cetera.
  3. Separate students into groups of five.  Using the food labels or mock-ups, give each group several to choose from.  Instruct the groups to create a day’s menu.  Their menus should follow the dietary guidelines and recommended intake amounts, should seem like enough food to feed an active child, and should allow for one “enjoyable” snack agreed upon by the group.  Have the groups discuss whether their favorite foods can or should be fit into their menus.  The groups should document their finished menus and their nutritional values on one paper per group.
  4. Once completed, have the groups share their findings.  Each group should share what foods they chose and how much of each of the nutritional values listed in step number 2.  Students should also share which of their favorite foods could and could not be fit into their menus.

 

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