Part of Lesson Plan: Are You What You Eat?
Activity Overview / Details
Prior to teaching this lesson, I suggest that you gather as many labels from cans, packaged food products such as chips, crackers, cookies, main dishes etc. You may want to collect labels from a variety of foods commonly purchased by your students and their families.
Pass the packaging and labels around after your demonstration.
1. Demonstrate to the students how to read labels on food
packaging. The following information
(How to Understand Food Labels - How to Read Food
Labels) can either be used as a script for the teacher or
a handout for the students.
Using the attached labeling samples, show students where to find the nutritional infomation on the labels.
How To Understand Food Labels - How To Read Food
Health claims on food packages can be confusing, and it's sometimes hard to reconcile the information on the front of the package with the nutrition facts panel on the back of the package.
Have you ever gotten confused by the information on the food labels on the food you buy to eat? Especially when you are trying to cut calories, fat, and carbohydrates.
Do you read the labels on the food you buy? If you don't, it is time to educate yourself and start reading the labels of foods you buy for yourself and your family. What are those food labels really saying? A food label is like a recipe - It tells you what's in the food you eat. Don't you want to know what you're putting into your body? In order to plan a healthy diet, you must know how to read a food label.
This information will help you make quick, informed choices that that can help contribute to healthy eating through more informed label reading.
Total Fat -This equals the number of grams of fat per serving of the food. A heart-healthy diet limits foods containing saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium. 1 gm fat equals 9 calories
Saturated Fat - A fat that is solid at room
temperature and comes chiefly from animal food products and some
plants. Some examples of saturated fat include foods such as beef,
lamb, pork, lard, butter, cream, whole milk and high fat cheese.
Plant sources include coconut oil, cocoa butter, palm oil and palm
kernel oil. Saturated fat causes high LDL cholesterol levels -- a
risk for cardiovascular disease.
Trans Fat - Also known as also known as trans fatty acid. Trans fat is a specific type of fat formed when liquid fats are made into solid fats by the addition of hydrogen atoms, in a process strangely enough known as hydrogenation. Hydrogenation solidifies liquid oils and increases the shelf life and the flavor stability of oils and foods that contain them. Trans fat is found in vegetable shortenings and in some margarines, crackers, cookies, snack foods and other foods. Small amounts of trans fats are found naturally in certain animal based foods. Trans fat is what is considered unhealthy fat.
Cholesterol - This line tells you how many milligrams of cholesterol and what percent this is of the recommended daily value.
Sodium/salt - The latest recommendation for sodium is less than 2,400 mg of sodium per day, or about a teaspoon of table salt.
Total carbohydrates - Tells you how many grams of carbohydrates are in each serving and the percentage of the Daily Value this represents. This number includes starches, complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, added sugar sweeteners, and non-digestible additives. 1 gm carbohydrate equals 4 calories
Fiber - Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate and aids in elimination. At least 15 grams of fiber per day is recommended.
Protein - Many foods contain some protein but meat, fish, poultry and dairy foods are highest. Protein needs average between 50-100 grams per day. 1 gm protein equals 4 calories
Percent Daily Values - This section gives some estimated nutrients per 2000 and 2500 calories
2. Demonstrate the amount of sugar is in a 12 oz soda. Show the students the size of a 12oz soda. In a plastic bag add contents of 15 packets of sugar to demonstrate what is in a small soda.
How much sugar is in one can of soda?
Ever bother to look at the back of a soda can? Maybe you've seen that a regular can of soda — 12 ounces — has about 150 calories. And that's where most people stop reading. There's no fat, and hardly any sodium. Nothing to see here. But there is some sugar. 40 grams.
40 grams. That's not a really big number. Some people just like sweet drinks. There's people who order a small coffee — McDonalds serves a 12 ounce small coffee — and they put 5 or 6 sugar packets in it. Maybe they use sugar cubes. 1 sugar packet = 1 sugar cube.
So how much sugar is in a packet, or cube? Not every sugar packet is the same size, but almost all of the sugar packets you'll see in the United States contain 4 grams of sugar. And those 4 grams of sugar have 15 calories.
That means there's 10 packets of sugar in a can of soda. And at 15 calories per packet, that means that all 150 calories are from the sugar.
3. Have students identify where to find serving size on packaged food containers. There may be low calorie count, but their may be several serving in a package.
Sodium Content of Potato Chips
Please note: all dietary sodium values are approximate
|Potato Chips (1oz)||
|Potato chips, plain, (made from dried potatoes)||186mg|
|Potato chips, light||121mg|
|Potato chips, BBQ flavor||213mg|
|Potato chips, sour cream & onion||204mg|
|Potato chips, plain, salted||168mg|
|Potato chips, plain, unsalted||2mg|
|Potato chips, reduced-fat||139mg|
4. Next, students look at the following recipes and determine which would be a better choice. They will identify what ingrediants that might make one recipe a better choice than the other