Magazine article Curriculum Review

Fuel Student Understanding of Nutrition's Importance

Magazine article Curriculum Review

Fuel Student Understanding of Nutrition's Importance

Article excerpt

Here's an excerpt from the Eating Healthy unit of the new Learn to be Healthy curriculum developed by the Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center with funding from the Highmark Foundation.

"In this lab, the instructor uses a flashlight to demonstrate how food provides energy for the body, just as batteries supply power for a flashlight," the free curriculum notes. "The lab continues for a 36-hour period to demonstrate the diminishing light intensity from the turned-on flashlight."

To access the entire curriculum, visit For more details about the program, turn to this month's Q&A on p. 14.

Food as Fuel

This in-class experiment is designed to help students understand that food provides energy for the body similar to batteries supplying power for a flashlight.

When discussing nutrition as an energy supply for people, use this visual demonstration to explain the need to eat healthy foods on a daily basis

Instruction Phase/Abstraction Level: Input and Modeling

Duration: 15-minute set-up and introduction phase; 3minute check-in/review and question & answer on a daily basis as batteries deteriorate; 5-minute activity conclusion

Delivery Method: Educator-led in-class experiment

Materials: Flashlight, masking tape, batteries, white paper, tape measure

Lesson Objectives

1. Students will demonstrate an understanding of nutrients.

2. Students will be able to identify healthy foods and eating habits as an essential source of energy.

Anticipatory Set

Relate student experiences to the objectives of the lesson by asking the following kinds of questions:

1. Have you ever skipped a meal? If so, how did you feel? Did you have a lot of energy?

2. If you were to not eat for several days, how do you think you might feel?

3. Why is it important for you to eat healthy foods on a daily basis?

4. Why are you able to walk, run and play on the playground or with your friends at home?


Lesson Terms: Energy comes from nutrients in food. Healthy food is needed on a daily basis so that you have energy to play, and to grow. Food is your body's fuel, just like the batteries are the flashlight's fuel.

1. Nutrients are any substances in food that the body can rise to get energy or make the body work.

2. Carbohydrates are nutrients in good that provide energy.

3. Fats are nutrients that provide a source of energy and carry vitamins to body cells.

4. Protein is a nutrient in food lilac helps build muscle.

Teaching--Modeling/Checking for Understanding

* Put new batteries in a flashlight. …

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