The Nutrition Cafe
Food, the single most surefire and easy way to engage any group of students. Start mentioning pizza, hot dogs, apple pie, or cheeseburgers and I’ve noticed that they’ll practically start drooling in Pavlovian fashion while eagerly describing their favorite dishes, or just how they like their hamburgers prepared. So it was that I decided to write a Fast Food based Webquest about nutrition. Camera in hand I biked around town one summer taking photos to use for my web page, planned out activities, and created a unit based around the student creation of a healthy menu. The result is Fast Food Frenzy; a cross-curricular Webquest based on nutrition and the lack of it at fast food restaurants.
Needless to say, it took me most of the summer to work on the project, and although I’d gladly do it again most of us don’t have the time or the energy to create large units like a Webquest for students. So for those of you studying nutrition I highly recommend looking at the Nutrition Café. The site is a much better version of what I created and includes several learning games like the “Have a Bite Café.” Learners can enter their personal information such as age and sex before building a menu of their typical eating habits. When completed the site shows the user the complete breakdown of a meal including the amount of calories, fat, proteins, carbohydrates, and much more. It provides the information in both tabular and graph form, making the data easy to read. From there students can play “Grab a Grape” in which they answer nutrition questions in a Jeopardy themed game. Other games and resources, including a nutrition glossary and food pyramid, can also be found on the site. The U.S. Health Department’s dietary guidelines are provided so that users can make better informed eating decisions in the future.
All in all, a very easy to navigate site with lots of great information. This would be a great site to use for elementary and middle school health classes as well as science classes studying the human body and how to keep it healthy.