Paint Your Plate Lesson Plan Grade 5 – What’s on a Label?
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Initiate a classroom discussion to get students thinking about ways in which food labels can help us make informed food choices about healthy and safe foods. Encourage students to think about where they see food labels and what type of information they provide.
Note to teachers
The goal of this activity is for students to learn which foods have food labels, what information they provide and how this information can help make informed food choices about healthy and safe foods.
Key messages to share with students
- Learning how to read and understand food labels can help you make healthier choices.
- Food labels are required on most packaged foods.
- Food labels can have three types of information:
- nutrition facts;
- ingredients list;
- nutrition claims.
- There are some foods such as fruits and vegetables that do not have nutrition labels.
Ask students, “What information on a food label is important to them when choosing foods and drinks?”
Food labels contain a lot of information, including a list of ingredients, a nutrition facts table and claims related to the nutritional value, benefits to health, food allergens, etc. “How can all of this information be used to make healthier food choices?”
Option 1: Think – pair – share
- Briefly introduce food labels and explain the three kinds of information on a label (see Unlock Food’s labeling video).
- Write the following questions on a chalkboard, smartboard, or flipchart:
- Why are food labels useful?
- How can food labels help us make safe and healthy food and drink choices?
- Have students discuss the answers to the above questions in pairs or small groups.
- Invite pairs or groups to share their thoughts with the class.
Option 2: Comparing the options
- Show examples (hard copies or projected) of a food label for frozen peaches, peaches canned in syrup, and peaches canned in water (see fresh, frozen and canned – is there really a difference?).
- Have students choose what they think is the better choice and why.
As a group, reflect on how food labels can be used to make healthier food choices.
Grade 5, D2. Making Healthy Choices. D2.1 Nutrition fact tables, food labels
Explain how to use nutrition facts tables and ingredients lists on food labels to make informed choices about healthy and safe foods.