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.
Nutrition Guidelines are just a Guide
The USDA recently published their dietary guidelines for Americans and the recommendation leave a bit to be desired. As Americans our health continues to slip. We have the largest and most expensive insurance and health care system in the world. The following recommendation made by the USDA is just recommendations. As we all know advice is only as good as who receives it. Our children seem to be the ones with the most to lose but the USDA has little to say regarding their eating habits. This report highlights the following recommendations for children.
Infants should not eat or drink raw milk or any products made from unpasteurized milk, raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs, raw or undercooked meat and poultry, raw or undercooked fish or shellfish, unpasteurized juices and raw sprouts.
Young children should keep total fat intake between 30 to 35 percent of calories for children 2 to 3 years of age, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. Consume whole-grain products often. At least half the grains should be whole grains. Children 2 to 8 years should consume 2 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products. Young children should not eat or drink raw milk or any products made from unpasteurized milk, raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs, raw or undercooked meat and poultry, raw or undercooked fish or shellfish, unpasteurized juices and raw sprouts.
Children should engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week. The USDA also recommends that kids consume whole-grain products often. At least half the grains should be whole grains. Children up to 8 years should consume 2 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products. Children 9 years of age and older should consume 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products. Parents should help children to keep their total fat intake between 25 to 35 percent of calories for children 4 years of age to adolescence, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
This sounds great, but what can we do as a country when our food supply seems filled with everything that the recommendations advise us against eating? Should the general consumer be expected to pay extra to get the food that we as a country need or should growers, butchers, and producers are required to provide the foods at a lower costs. It seems that doing the right thing in this country is very expensive. No wonder we have obesity and other problems looming over our heads every day. If you are interested in reading more about how to eat well and within you r budget then you can get access to the World’s #1 Resource for Raw and Living Food Nutrition! By looking on the internet or visiting your local health food store.
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WOW! Thanks David. You obviously either feel very passionate about nutrition in America or you were looking for a way get as many links back to your site as possible 😛
I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and agree with you that nutrition and health education in the US needs to improve. However, before we can take any health recoomendations seriously, we need to seriously consider how much unhealthy food we put in front of our students. How can one honestly expect kids to make healthy choices when their school lunches are appalling at best (nutritionally speaking) and the extra food at the snack bar is mostly chips, candy, and cheese fries.
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I am totally infatuated with nutrition. The back links are just a bonus. Hope the information is worth the read.
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