Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Building Nutrition Skills with the Breakfast Café Webquest

Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Building Nutrition Skills with the Breakfast Café Webquest

Article excerpt

The nutrition component of a Home and Career Skills curriculum at Hommocks Middle School includes the Breakfast Café Webquest, which encourages 7th graders to increase the amounts of fruits and vegetables in their diets as well as reduce serving sizes.

On the first day of class, the students are told not to get "too comfortable" in their seats. After a unit on process skills including communication, decision-making, problem solving, and time management, they rarely get a chance to sit still. During the rest of the 10-week course, half of the class completes a resource management unit and sews a chef's apron, including embroidering with a state-of-the art robotic sewing machine while the other half participates in the Breakfast Café Webquest, in which the students "help the Breakfast Café in town plan a more nutritious breakfast menu." A Webquest includes an authentic task, Web sites, steps to follow and a rubric to guide expectations and assessment. After 3 weeks, the two groups switch.

During the Breakfast Café Webquest, students use the Internet, mini-lessons, "how-to" sheets, a rubric, handouts, and teacher-produced nutrition videos to gain skills and information about planning a healthy, tasty breakfast menu. At the conclusion of the Webquest, the students prepare a healthy quick bread and a fruit smoothie for the rest of the class.

The value of a Webquest is that the teacher selects appropriate Web sites and directs inquiry around them. In addition, students are encouraged to submit Web sites to the teacher for possible inclusion. Topics in this unit include the Dietary Guidelines, serving sizes, and how to calculate the cost of a menu using an Excel spreadsheet. Students also learn about menu planning, food measurements, recipes, food preparation, market orders, food safety, and sanitation. …

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