Nutrition Facts Teacher Resources
Find Nutrition Facts educational ideas and activities
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Evaluating Information on Food Labels
What kinds of foods include corn? Corn syrup? Start by viewing a clip of Food Inc. with your middle or high schoolers. Then, study a list of corn-derived ingredients, encouraging your class to see how many food products contain corn. A list of discussion questions are provided to shed light on Nutrition Facts panels, the amount of corn hiding in food, and consumer knowledge (or lack of knowledge). A few adaptations and resources are also listed.
Energy Balance in Your Life
How do young learners figure out how to balance their energy in and their energy out? The main thing to understand is calories. How many calories are in foods and beverages consumed and how many calories are burned off by physical activity? Just as different foods have different calories, different types of activities burn off different amounts of calories. It's a complicated process. Use these activities to help the class learn how to decipher information on nutrition fact labels. Then take a look at calories used by engaging in physical activities. Does everything balance out?
Food Product Packaging: Marketing & the Nutrition Facts Label
How can you choose healthier foods by reading the nutritional labels? Your class will discover how companies market food items to make them enticing and how to check the food labels of those items to see if they are healthy. They listen to a lecture and then work in small groups to practice finding nutritional information on the side of a cereal box. This lesson includes a resource link.
This instructional activity seems pretty advanced for K-2nd graders, but there are some pieces that can be used with young learners. Look through this comprehensive, fact-filled instructional activity and pull out information and activities that you can adapt to fit your grade level needs. Younger children will need help with reading and understanding the nutrition fact labels, but there is a grocery store activity that would be fun for them.
Students study Nutrition Facts labels. For this life science lesson, students explore Nutrition Facts labels, then determine and analyze the nutrients found in a variety of foods. Additionally students construct bug boxes used to collect bugs found in gardens. This lesson also includes an educational game, excellent practice worksheet, and take home family activity.
Third graders practice finding the nutrition facts for foods. For this sugar lesson, 3rd graders figure out the sugar content of the cereal they eat. They discuss the ingredients that mean sugar is present, complete a worksheet, and discuss why we use nutritional facts labels.
Read the Label
Young scholars read the Nutrition Fact labels to make healthy choices. In this health lesson, students look at labels to identify fat content, protein, carbohydrates, and serving size. They play games with different labels such as Narrow It Down, Concentration and War.
Learners read and interpret nutrition fact labels ("food labels") from food products, a task that involves the use of various mathematics skills (e.g., number concepts and number sense).
New! Educational apps reviews are available to members
USDA National Nutrient data is available at your fingertips! This application is a vast library of more than 8,000 nutritional labels for commonly eaten foods. Search and sort foods by a variety of categories.
Are serving sizes for different foods always appropriate for what you need? In this hands-on activity, learners work in groups to estimate what one serving size of various foods are, and then evaluate their hypotheses by measuring real foods and analyzing their package nutrition labels. The lesson plan includes a variety of excellent extension ideas, discussion questions, and additional resources!
"Energy Plus!" from Together Counts is three days worth of lessons, discussions, and activities about nutrition. The materials help you teach youngsters about eating healthy and burning calories. Energy in and energy out. Included are information on nutrition labels and food groups, links to fact sheets, a worksheet, and the website for dietary guidelines. A project incorporates what they have learned into creating either a commercial or a printed ad for a food product.
New! Serving Sizes
When it comes to eating a balanced diet, portion control is paramount, but what is the difference between the serving size on the nutrition facts label and a portion as determined by the USDA? In a comprehensive look at portion control, kids will estimate and measure out serving sizes of four different foods, then measure out the stated serving size. To see the activity in action, watch the video included in the Additional Materials section.
Energy Balance In Your Life
It's easy enough to put energy in, but not so easy to use it up! Look at food labels with your young learners and help them understand the concept of calories in and calories out. Food eaten means calories in and exercise means calories out. This lesson can be used to help young learners get a healthier start.
Good For You?
Learners discuss nutrition and compare nutritional values of a snack product claiming health benefits with a candy product.
Nutrition and Bone Health
Students find the difference between calcium-fortified foods and foods that naturally supply calcium. They examine how to read food labels for calcium. Students study a handout of the high calcium sources and the good calcium sources.
Mission Nutrition: Using Food Labels
Learners practice eating healthy by investigating food labels. For this dietary lesson, students discover the ingredients used in their everyday food by reading the nutrition labels on the products. Learners work in small groups to create poster presentations based on a single food group.
Nutrients by the Numbers
Students read and discuss an article on the amount of sugar in various food products. They compare the nutritional values of food products, calculate their daily intake of nutrients, analyze serving sizes, and compare/contrast their own diets to the daily recommended percentages.
Three a Day
Students identify the nutrients for which milk is a good or excellent source and learn how these nutrients work together to keep them healthy. They extend their understanding of dairy nutrients and bone health by conducting a student survey and/or keeping a three-day food log of foods and beverages consumed at school.
Your 4-H Focus on Food Labels
Facilitate healthy eating habits with this collection of activities. This worksheet, made for 4-H originally, covers nutrition, health, and fitness. Middle schoolers focus on the life skill of making healthy lifestyle choices. They examine and work on understanding food and nutrition labels by analyzing labels of potatoes prepared in various ways. In addition, learners research a job that uses nutrition skills.
What's In My Drink?
Students examine the nutritional value of soda. In this nutrition lesson, students read the labels of soda bottles and record the amount of sugar in the soft drink. Students brainstorm other drinks that are healthier for them.