Cart 0

Why Do You Eat That? An Inquiry of Food Choices and Values Amongst 4th Grade Students

Author: Sondra W. Gonzalez

Year: 2019

Seminar: Learning about America and the World from McDonald’s

Grade Level: 4

Keywords: diet, health crisis, health epidemic, healthy eating, proper eating

School Subject(s): Health

This curriculum unit seeks to help elementary students understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy food choices. With the expansion of fast food and the increasing levels of race-based targeted advertisements and messages, the health epidemic in the United States has increased dangerously. Those messages along with poverty, a lack of education, and resources are leading factors in the health crisis in both the African American and Latinx communities. These vulnerabilities have not spared elementary students. This curriculum unit explores the factors that have facilitated this epidemic and offer educational solutions to facilitate healthy dietary changes. It shines a light on the benefits of healthy eating and paths an accessible, age appropriate approach to proper nutrition and diet for school-aged children through creative lesson planning, projects, and games.

Download Unit: Gonzalez-S..pdf

Did you try this unit in your classroom? Give us your feedback here.

Full Unit Text
Content Objectives

Problem Statement:

This unit aspires to challenge elementary students to consider the food choices they make. I observed, as an elementary school teacher, that food is a big motivator when managing student behavior. The promise of receiving a treat if students are compliant with the teacher’s classroom rules is a great incentive. Additionally, students look forward to their lunch periods and parents want their children to have a tasty lunch. In fact, parents have contacted me, as a teacher, to make sure their children eat their bagged lunches. When students open their corner store black bag purchases for lunch, I do not see any real, nourishing food in those bags. I see black plastic bags filled with highly processed cheap snacks.  Furthermore, the Food Trust, a Philadelphia based non-profit organization that promotes healthier approaches to eating, asserts that many low-income residents live in food deserts (The Food Trust, 2012). Food deserts are areas where the nearest supermarket is at a minimum of a 20-minute bus ride away (The Food Trust, 2012).  Consequently, neighborhood corner stores commonly known as Papi stores in Philadelphia, become the primary community resource and these stores are filled with cheap, unhealthy food options; and the fast food wrappers that cover the streets of urban cities like New York and Philadelphia are a daily testament. Consequently, living in a food desert is a key contributor to poor meal choices. However, through participation in this curriculum unit, students will discover they can make better nutritional choices from within their community resources and most importantly become key influencers to their families’ overall meal planning.

Michelle Obama strongly advocated for better school lunches through The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) which passed into law in 2010.  The law allows for sweeping changes to school lunch programs. The act was the most significant change to school lunches since Ronald Reagan declared that ketchup a vegetable in the early 1980s (Sifferlin, 2016).

In contrast to the healthy lunch initiatives occurring presently, school lunches in America have a SAD history; SAD being an acronym for the Standard American Diet. This diet features processed meats, prepackaged foods, fried foods and sugary drinks (Philpott, 2011). A typical school lunch in the United States consisted of “fried ‘popcorn’ chicken, mashed potatoes, peas, fruit cup, and a chocolate chip cookie” (Bratskeir, 2017). Comparatively, in many other countries, students receive significantly healthier foods that support students’ scholastic achievement; for example in Brazil a typical school lunch consists of “pork with mixed veggies, black beans and rice, salad, bread and baked plantains.” Additionally, a typical lunch in France consists of “steak, carrots, green beans, cheese, and fresh fruit” (Bratskeir, 2017).

When HHFKA was signed into law, it mandated that the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provide students with more whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.  Alexandra Sifferlin of Time Magazine cites a study that concludes in 2016 school lunches have gotten healthier. Sifferlin also concluded that there was virtually no reduction in the number of students participating in the lunch program since the induction of this act.

Unfortunately, this study was limited in scope. The research data centered only upon the students’ selection of foods, meaning the study did not consider students’ consumption of the foods that they themselves selected (Sifferlin, 2016). Research data from prior studies confirms what most inner city teachers know anecdotally: students throw away the healthier foods they select at lunch. I have witnessed lines of students keying in their student IDs and taking their given student lunch and in the next moment, I witnessed equally long lines to deposit their school lunches in trash cans. Then, students devour their corner store “lunches” or wait to eat when they go home. As a result, many students are very hungry during afternoon instructional time, which in turn affects academic success.

Despite efforts to provide healthy, balanced, free lunches, many students will not eat it. There are many reasons students choose to ignore school lunches ranging from: a fear of bullying for eating free food, peer pressure to not eat school lunches, and not having developed a palate for healthy, clean foods (Pogash, 2008).  The study that premiered in Times Magazine focused on school lunch choices that students make. This research method and display choice was likely selected because it is a controlled variable.  Anecdotally, it can be noted in many schools students are required to receive the school lunch.  Nevertheless, the food choices that students make at school, home, and beyond, raise issues.

Michelle Obama understood that healthy eating needs to be normative and inclusive. She aimed to create a national movement to combat educational barriers surrounding healthy eating and the general food habits of children. Michelle Obama championed healthy eating through her Let’s Move platform. Realizing that the USDA food pyramid was confusing, she replaced it with, a highly accessible website with resources for all. (ConscienHealth, 2016). The website states:

Eating healthy is a journey shaped by many factors, including our stage of life, situations, preferences, access to food, culture, traditions, and the personal decisions we make over time. All your food and beverage choices count. MyPlate offers ideas and tips to help you create a healthier eating style that meets your individual needs and improves your health. (ConscienHealth, 2016).

Another model that can be used to teach children proper nutrition is the Go, Slow, Whoa food concept, developed by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Based on typical traffic lights with the colors green, yellow, and red, the model aims to give children and a fun, easy, and accessible guide to understanding nutrition. (Kuchera, 2019). GO foods are green and contain “no added sugar, are lowest in fat, and are minimally processed. “They’re ‘nutrient dense,’ meaning they ‘re high in nutrition and low in calories.” (Kuchera, 2019). Slow foods are yellow and are okay to eat sometimes, a few times a week, but not in large quantities (Kids Health from Nemours, 2018). “SLOW Foods are more processed, higher in fat and sugar, less nutrient-dense and more calorie-dense, meaning they’re lower in nutrition and higher in calories.” Items like waffles, pancakes, white bread, rice, and pasta fall into this category. Healthier snacks such as pretzels, fig bars, and frozen yogurt are considered SLOW foods too. (Kuchera, 2019). WHOA foods are highly processed and are high in fat or sugar. They are calorically dense and commonly referred to as special occasion foods. Examples of these foods are cakes, cookies, full fat dairy products, and processed meats (Kuchera, 2019).

Despite these efforts, including a nationwide effort to overall the National School Lunch Program, my personal observations have caused me to further ponder why elementary students make the food choices that they do when they have tasty, healthy options in school. This curriculum unit aims to help students become more self-aware of the food they put in their bodies and expand their food options.



Fourth grade students can relate to food selection on many levels. Fourth graders love of fast food and McDonald’s is a mainstay. Still, every year students from kindergarten on, students are getting advice about healthy eating through food programs such as Eat Right Philly. Eat Right Philly is funded through the Pennsylvania Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (PA SNAP-Ed). SNAP-Ed is the educational component of SNAP benefits. Its stated mission is to “to educate, support, inspire, and improved school wellness and culture so the School District of Philadelphia students and families live healthier lifestyles and achieve their fullest potential” (Eat Right Philly, 2019).


Through food education programs such as Eat Right Philly, elementary students have some understanding that healthy eating is important. They have had many sessions about nutrition, food preparation, and cooking from a didactic as well as an experiential perspective. However, they most likely have never understood the true impact poor food choices can have on their health. Students usually communicate to me that they understand they are supposed to eat healthy and that it is good for their bodies. They, for the most part, are not acquainted with the serious health risks a bad diet can have on physical functioning or how bad nutrition can lead to diseases and shorten lifespan. Although Eat Right Philly has made an assertive start, these efforts alone have not created perceivable gains from nutrition education among elementary students. Increased nutritional programing coupled with health education may help to remedy this problem.


Furthermore, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is tasked with collecting and analyzing data related to education in the United States and other countries (The National Center for Education Statistics, 1996). They report that 17% of children between the ages of 2-19 are obese.  That correlates to 12.7 million children (Youdim, 2016). NCES even questions the quality of the information provided in many programs (Youdim, 2016). “For each grade from kindergarten through eighth, only 50 percent of all schools have district or state requirements for students to receive nutrition education. Only 40 percent have these requirements for ninth and tenth grades; and about 20 percent for eleventh and twelfth grades.  That simply is not enough.  The reality is healthy nutrition needs to be discussed regularly throughout life.  As adults we forget.  Understandably, our kids forget” (Yousim, 2016).


In light of these factors, parents cannot depend on the public school system to adequately educate their children about nutrition. They must play a daily active role, as children are heavily influenced by their parent’s nutritional choices. (Schilling, 2018). At home, parents usually decide what foods are eaten, how the foods are prepared, and where and when the foods are consumed. (Unlock, 2019).



The task for parents to foster healthy nutritional choices to their children is more complex in some African American communities. There is a perception for some that eating healthy means healthy “white people’s food” (Aiken, 2018). Media messages inform us that healthy eating involves far more that consuming fruits and vegetables.  It means reading blogs such as Goop or eating salads at Panera sprinkled with pickled onions . The mainstream media thrusts for example, hydrogen infused water, highly priced cold pressed kale juice. Even the seeds used to make a Chia Pet should be even as a pudding (Aiken, 2018). Due to the continued effects of colonialism, “white culture has taken the power to define all things good as white, and all things white as good. So that definition of healthy eating is not an accurate depiction of eating healthy.” (Aiken, 2018).


As a result of all these factors, one out of every two African American child is obese. These same children often suffer from heart disease, asthma, cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure. These health conditions were virtually unheard of in decades past in children. Evidence of this obesity epidemic in African American children is showcased all throughout the United States and is extremely evident in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  (Otterbein, 2015).


In fact, more than 68% of adults and 41% of children between the ages of 6 and 17 are overweight or obese (Otterbein, 2015).  Fast food is a major contributor of this obesity epidemic. Fast food’s perfect combination of sugar and salt satisfies the pleasure centers in our brains, making the food taste good to the human pallet; and additionally, causing addiction in many throughout the U.S. (Clark, 2019). Sarah Clark, author of the article, “Why Does Fast Food Taste So Good?” reveals that “experiments carried out on lab rats showed that when they were fed a diet consisting of 25% sugar, then a sugarless diet the rats become anxious, their teeth started chattering and they undergo “the shakes” similar to those going through a nicotine or morphine withdrawal” (Clark, 2019).


Additionally, many other factors influence elementary students’ food preferences, some that should be considered are: advertising, price, and culture.


In terms of advertising, African American children and teens in the U.S. are more than twice as likely to see an advertisement for candy and soda on TV than their white counterparts (Tousignant, 2019). Healthier foods that are often seen in television ads for the general population, like yogurt, are unlikely to appear on TV channels targeted to African American and Latino viewers. This is known as race-based target marketing  (Kramer, K., Schwarte, L., Lafleur, M., & Williams, J.).


One of the strategies that food and beverage companies use to make people feel like a product is special or just for them, is targeted marketing. “This tactic involves directing marketing to specific demographics based on race, ethnicity, gender, age and other characteristics.” Target marketing of food to children of color is problematic because most of the marketed products are unhealthy” ( Food Marketing WorkGroup, 2015).  For example, “Fast food restaurants represented approximately one-half of all food-related TV advertising in 2017, while PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Mars were the companies with the most brands targeted to all youth. But it was candy brands in particular that disproportionately targeted minority kids — making up 20 percent of all junk food ads viewed by black and Hispanic youth” (Tousigant, 2019).

Another influencer in food preferences is price. Healthy fresh foods often cost more per person. Low income families must provide foods for everyone on the family on tight budgets.  Yet cheap foods that do not spoil and can feed and fill more people contain the dangers of high sodium, sugar, and artificial additives. The nutritional impact of these factors are compounded with women and children (Savage, J. S., Fisher, J. O., & Birch, L. L.,2007).

The third factor that influences food preferences is culture. For children, the first five years of life set the foundation of eating patterns. In most family cultures, women endure the most of the responsibilities in feeding children. Among single parent households, 72% of women work. Often, most of the food budget is spent on foods prepared and consumed away from home. Most often, fast food establishments become a home away from home. (Savage, J. S., Fisher, J. O., & Birch, L. L. 2007). It is very difficult to control nutrition and calorie intake when eating mass produced foods. Due to these factors, children are not eating around the family table and as a consequence, they are exposed to large portion of highly, fat, salt, and sugar laden processed foods.

Moreover, ethnic cultural traditions also play role in food preferences.  Within the African American community, soul food is a significant cultural food preference. The origins of soul food extend beyond slavery.  It has African, Native American, and European influences ( Poe, 1999).  During slavery, soul food was a cuisine of survival. Ironically, this same cuisine today is limiting the survival of African Americans.  Slaves were given scraps of foods the slave owners would discard. The slaves in turn would take these meager portions and prepare the food in very creative ways to sustain them.  Due to the hard labor that slaves had to endure, they needed to eat foods with a high amount of calories to spend hours performing strenuous, tedious work in fields (The Christian Science Monitor, 2006).

Most American jobs today, do not require many calories to perform job tasks, yet, many are eating the calories and foods of their ancestors to perform sedentary jobs. Because of slavery and former Jim Crow laws, slaves suffered from a lack of access to balanced nutritious foods. The slaves ate the leftover organ meats and parts of slaughtered animals that the slave owners discarded and the greens that they grew themselves (Poe, 1999).

Now, out of a sense of pride, community traditions, and cultural identity, African Americans generally embrace soul food.  Some popular examples of soul food are fried chicken, chitterlings, oxtail, and baked macaroni and cheese. This embrace is extended now as an internationally acclaimed cuisine and it is becoming more popular with the general population. However, this cultural mainstay is a major contributor to the hypertension epidemic which disproportionately affects the black community, through its men, women, and even children. This food is laden with sodium, sugar and fat (Singh, 2018).  Therefore, children need to have a firm foundation in nutrition and an awareness of their own food preferences.

Need a transition here between food habits to the kind of learning that you want to deploy.  Could be something as simple.  “This unites seeks to make students more conscious of their food choices by using xx leanring strategies.  (Just note, how are your learning strategies different from the ones deployed by Eat Right Philly and others, which you said above don’t really work very well.  Could you say something about this?  Just a thought.)

Most elementary students enjoy learning through inquiry rather than regurgitating information and facts (Schoology,n.d.). This unit lends itself to fourth graders doing research to discover what food choices are healthier and how to eat well in the foodscape that they reside.

Although this unit is specifically geared to fourth grade common core standards, it can be easily adapted to any grade.

Project based learning (PBL)is a student-centered philosophy that creates a dynamic classroom experience. Students are empowered to explore  deeper knowledge through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems (Barron, 1998).

Using real life problems over an extended time of study, students develop many skills: a deeper and more personalized understanding of concepts, an expanded and retained knowledge base, enhanced communication and interpersonal skills and heightened leadership abilities, creativity, and writing skills (Ascd, 2010).

Moreover, today’s elementary students need to become tomorrow’s informed, ethical and productive citizens and consumers. They will be required to make informed decisions to take on both personal and social responsibilities. Project based learning lends itself well to this goal. In particular, it has had very positive outcomes in low performing, schools (Duke, 2017).

Furthermore, when students feel empowered, confidence and learning rises. As a byproduct, students’ work habits and attitudes about learning are augmented. Principally, in low performing schools that have implemented project based learning into their curriculum, standardized tests scores boosted a full level (Duke, 2017).  Say something like, “There is no reason why this can’t also be applied to food choices.”

In evidence of this, project based learning is the perfect pedagogy for this original curriculum.




Content Objectives:

CC.1.4.4.E Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.

CC.1.4.4.F Demonstrate a grade appropriate command of the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.


CC.1.4.4.S Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research, applying grade level reading standards for literature and informational texts.

CC.1.4.4.T With guidance and support form peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.


CC.1.4.4.U With some guidance and support, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.

CC.1.4.4.V Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

CC.1.4.4.W Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.

CC.1.5.4.A Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

CC.1.5.4.B Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally

CC.1.5.4.C Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.

CC.1.5.4.D Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly with adequate volume, appropriate pacing, and clear pronunciation.

Teaching Strategies

Comparing and Contrasting

Written Reflections

Graphic Organizers

Think- Pair- Share

Technology in the Classroom

Inquiry Guided Instruction

Lesson Objective Transparency


Class Discussion



Whole group/Small grouping

Collaborative/Cooperative learning

Peer and Teacher Feedback

Project Rubric

Exit Ticket

Informational Writing

Classroom Activities

Lesson  1

Objective: SWBAT compare and contrast MyPlate foods to a personal meal choice  IOT make informed nutritional choices to enhance their health.

Duration-45 minutes


  • “Fit Kids Episode 65: My Plate” Youtube video
  • My Meal vs. MyPlate Venn Diagram
  • Notebook

Teaching Procedures:

Ask students to write down what they ate for lunch in their notebooks.

Think -pair-share, students will respond to the question: what comprises a healthy plate of food? Students will share their responses with the class.

Present vocabulary.

Vocabulary: nutrition, My, protein, produce, dairy, grains

Show video: “Fit Kids Episode 65: My Plate”

Discuss components of a healthy plate based on observation from video. Class discussion  will include the components of a Myplate meal and detailed examples of each category of food. Teacher will capture the student data on the board. Students will copy into notebooks.

Students will refer back to the lunch  meal that they recorded. They will  label each lunch item into food categories for example, for chicken the student will write protein.

Then, students will complete will complete the  My Meal vs. MyPlate Venn Diagram.

In pairs, students will share the data from their Venn diagram graphic organizer. Students will share data in a class discussion.

Exit Ticket: What are the components of Myplate?  Are you motivated to improve your eating habits? Why or Why not?

Lesson 2

Objective: SWBAT  identify and differentiate “Go, Slow, Whoa” food   IOT make informed nutritional choices to enhance their health.

Duration: 2 – 45 minute periods

Vocabulary: GO, SLOW, WHOA

Materials & Resources:

●      FIT KIDS 78 Go,Slow,Whoa Foods

Teaching Procedures:

Review Myplate

Explain that another way to understand food nutrition is through the food model, GO, SLOW, and WHOA foods.

Explain that all foods can be divided into 3 groups:

Go (green)  Slow (yellow), and Whoa  (red) like a traffic light.

Show students a poster of slow, go and whoa. Discuss poster with class.

Explain that a “GO” food is very healthy and can be eaten all the time. An example of a GO food is an apple or carrots; a “WHOA” is a food is not as healthy and should only be eaten on special occasions.  Examples of those foods are cake, ice cream and cookies and “SLOW” foods are a hybrid between GO and WHOA foods. They can be eaten everyday but in smaller quantities. Examples of SLOW foods are crackers and bagels. GO foods contain the least amount of unhealthy fats and sugars. WHOA foods contain the most.

Play  a video of  GO, SLOW, and WHOA foods; FIT KIDS 78

Teacher will extend understanding by assigning a  body movement  to each of the three categories.  GO- arms waving in the air, SLOW, two hands on hips, WHOA- one arm extended flexed palm. Teacher will demonstrate. Students will repeat with body movement and food labels.

Teacher will call out the names of various foods from all three food categories. Students will respond by saying, GO, SLOW, OR WHOA and doing the coordinating body movement.

With the support of the teacher, students will play the GO, SLOW, WHOA food sort game on powerpoint. Students will take turns placing the food item in the correct category. Students can play individually, in pairs, or on teams.

Students will  receive the SLOW, GO, WHOA, food sort graphic organizer.

It will provide columns for them to sort their breakfast items. Students will share their results out. Teacher will record student responses on the board.

It will provide columns for them to sort their breakfast items. Students will share their results out. Teacher will record student responses on the board

Students will write a brief  reflection of their  breakfast nutritional choices and its relationship to GO, SLOW, and WHOA. Students may share out loud.

Homework:  Using  graphic organizer, sort 5-10 foods in your  kitchen into GO, SLOW, WHOA


Lesson 3

Objective: SWBAT compare and contrast various lunches to the MyPlate model IOT make informed nutritional choices to enhance their health.

Duration: 45 minutes

Materials & Resources:

  • School Lunch vs.. Bag Lunch graphic organizer
  • School lunch
  • Bag lunch

Teaching Procedures:

Review MyPlate and GO, SLOW, and WHOA models.

Students will respond in a few sentences if they prefer to bring lunch or eat school lunch and explain why.  Students will share their responses.

Teacher will explain that today we are going to compare and contrast a school lunch vs. a bag lunch against the model.

Teacher will obtain an actual school lunch or use a picture of a school lunch. This meal will act as a model of school lunch and discuss the contents of the school lunch. As a demonstration, the teacher will take one item from the school lunch and with the class  decide if it is a GO, SLOW, WHOA item. Then on the worksheet, check the box that corresponds to the correct food category. The teacher will demonstrate the same procedure with the bagged food item. Then on the graphic organizer with the class, check the box that corresponds to the correct food category.

Independently, the students will continue to analyze the contents of the bag lunch and the school lunch and mark the worksheet appropriately. Students can also count out the number of GO, SLOW, WHOA foods.

In small groups, students will discuss their observations as it relates to MyPlate and GO, SLOW, WHOA foods. Students will share small group discussion points as a whole class discussion.

Exit Ticket: Students will respond the exit ticket question on the bottom of the graphic organizer.  What did you learn about your diet from doing this exercise?

Homework: Using the resources at home, create a meal with GO heavy foods with a family member. Use Myplate as the model.

Lesson 4

Objective: SWBAT create and publish a healthy “famous family” recipe using MyPlate as the model.

Duration: 3 or 5 class sessions (45 minute)

Materials & Resources:

  • Computers with internet access
  • My Perfect Plate rough draft organizer
  • My Perfect Plate Recipe Rubric
  • Famous Healthy Family Recipe template
  • Camera and printing abilities
  • Notebook

Teaching Procedures:

Now that students have studied both the MyPlate and GO, SLOW, WHOA models of  nutrition and have practiced at home making a meal rich in GO foods, they will now create a “Famous Healthy Family Recipe” that will be published into a class recipe book. This is the culminating project. Teacher will explain that this is an opportunity for students to create their own healthy “Perfect Plate.”

Students will begin the project using a search engine such as Google to find recipes that are healthy. Students may also adapt unhealthy recipes or traditional family recipes to meet Myplate standards. Recipe ingredients should be foods that are part of your home experience that are healthy. They should be heavy in GO foods. Students will be required to publish one dinner meal.

Students will continue to work on the project at home and get family support on the project.

Students will submit a rough draft of the project for peer editing and teacher conferencing.

Students will use the My Perfect Plate Recipe Rubric and guidelines to guide them in the process.

Students should document the home cooking process in photos (ingredients, preparation, final product). At least three photos should accompany the recipe.

Students will submit final copy of the recipe on the “Famous Healthy Family Recipe” template which will be compiled into a class cookbook.


Aiken, K. (2018, September 17). ‘White People Food’ Is Creating An Unattainable Picture Of Health. Retrieved June 25, 2019, from

Ascd. (2010, September). Seven Essentials for Project-Based Learning. Retrieved June 20, 2019, from

Barron, B. (1998). Doing with understanding: Lessons from research on problem- and project-based learning. Journal of the Learning Sciences. 7 (3&4), 271-311.


Bratskeir, K. (2017, December 07). Photos Of School Lunches From Around The World Put America To Shame. Retrieved June 20, 2019, from

The Christian Science Monitor. (2006, February 06). Backstory: Southern discomfort food. Retrieved June 22, 2019, from

Clark, S. (2019, February 5). Why Does Fast Food taste so good? Retrieved June 20, 2019, from

ConscienHealth. (2016, March 21). Michelle Obama’s Food Fight: Five Outcomes. Retrieved May 29, 2019, from

Dewey, C. (2016, December 15). Study: Black children are exposed to junk-food ads way more than white kids are. Retrieved May 29, 2019, from

Duke, N. K. (2017, June 20). New Study Shows the Impact of PBL on Student Achievement. Retrieved June 20, 2019, from

Dumlao, F. (2014, November 12). 10 Urban Farms in Philadelphia You Can’t Miss. Retrieved May 28, 2019, from

Eat Right Philly. (2019). Nutrition Eat Right Philly Nutrition and Wellness Program. Retrieved May 29, 2019, from

Food Marketing Workgroup. (2015). Target marketing. Retrieved May 28, 2019, from

Food Trust, The (2012). Retrieved May 28, 2019, from

How Urban Farming is Transforming Cities like Philadelphia. (2019). Retrieved May 28, 2019, from

Khazan, O. (2014, November 13). How Fast-Food Marketing Disproportionately Affects Black Children. Retrieved May 29, 2019, from

Kids Health from Nemours. (2018, July). Go, Slow, and Whoa! A Kid’s Guide to Eating Right (for Kids) (M. L. Gavin, Reviewer.). Retrieved June 20, 2019, from

Kramer, K., Schwarte, L., Lafleur, M., & Williams, J. (n.d.). Targeted Marketing of Junk Food To Ethnic Minority Youth: Fighting Back With Legal Advocacy And Community Engagement. Retrieved May 29, 2019, from

KSPS Public TV. (2012, November 27). FIT KIDS 78 Go,Slow,Whoa Foods. Retrieved from

KSPS Public TV. (2012, November 27). KSPS Fit Kids Episode 65: My Plate. Retrieved June 21, 2019, from

Kuchera, A. (2019). GO, SLOW, WHOA Foods. Retrieved June 20, 2019, from

National Center for Education Statistics. (1996, July). Nutritional Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools. Retrieved June 25, 2019, from

Otterbein, H. (2015, September 16). A Map of Obesity in Philly. Retrieved May 28, 2019, from

Philpott, T. (2011, April 06). The American diet in one chart, with lots of fats and sugars. Retrieved June 22, 2019, from

Poe, Tracy N. (1999). “The Origins of Soul Food in Black Urban Identity: Chicago, 1915-1947”. American Studies International. XXXVII No. 1 (February): 4–17.

Pogash, C. (2008, March 01). Free Lunch Isn’t Cool, So Some Students Go Hungry. Retrieved May 28, 2019, from

PBL Works. (n.d.). WHAT: Gold Standard PBL: Essential Project Design Elements. Retrieved June 20, 2019, from

Savage, J. S., Fisher, J. O., & Birch, L. L. (2007). Parental influence on eating behavior: Conception to adolescence. Retrieved May 28, 2019, from

Schilling, L. (2018, September 18). Are School Health Lessons Harming Kids? Retrieved June 25, 2019, from

Schoology. (n.d.). Project-Based Learning: Benefits, Examples, and Resources. Retrieved May 28, 2019, from

Sifferlin, A. (2016, January 04). Healthier School Lunch Rules Are Working, Study Finds. Retrieved May 28, 2019, from

Singh, M. (2018, October 02). Southern Diet Blamed For High Rates Of Hypertension Among Black Americans. Retrieved May 29, 2019, from

Spencer, J., & Spencer, J. (2017, November 16). Helping Students Ask Better Questions by Creating a Culture of Inquiry. Retrieved May 28, 2019, from

Tousignant, L. (2019, January 15). Junk food ads overwhelmingly target black, Hispanic kids. Retrieved June 20, 2019, from

Unlock (2019). Parents’ Influence on Children’s Eating Habits. Retrieved June 20, 2019, from’s-Eating-Habits.aspx

Waters, Alice Quotes. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2019, from Web site:

Youdim, A. (2016, October 18). Lack of health education leads to a rise in obesity rates. Retrieved June 25, 2019, from



Famous Healthy Family Recipe  Project Guidelines

Famous Healthy Family Recipe

School Lunch Vs. Bag Lunch

My Meal Vs. My Plate Venn Diagram

MyPerfect Plate Graphic Organizer

Go, SLOW, WHOA graphic Organizer

GO, SLOW, WHOA Picture Game

My Famous Healthy Family Recipe

 Famous Healthy Family Recipe  Project Guidelines

The recipe must include at least 5 ingredients

All kitchen measurements will be in US customary measurements ( TBSP,  tsp, cups, etc)

Recipe steps must be in sequential order

Must use  at least five cooking verbs ( boil, bake, simmer, fry, chop, etc)

The steps to the recipe must make sense

Spelling and grammar must be correct

Rough draft and final draft are completed on the appropriate templates

Follow all directions





Project Due Date:__________________


Famous Healthy Family Recipe                                                      Total: ________/48

  4 3 2 1
Ingredients The recipe includes a list of at least 5 ingredients. The recipe contains only 3-4 ingredients. The recipe contains 1-2 ingredients. The recipe is missing an ingredient list.
Instructions The recipe contains well written , sequential instructions that make sense for the recipe. The instructions include customary kitchen  measurements The recipe contains well written instructions, but they do not make sense for the recipe OR are missing customary kitchen measurements The recipe contains instructions, but they do not make sense for the recipe AND is missing customary kitchen measurements The recipe is missing instructions.
Cooking Verbs The recipe contains at least 5 cooking verbs. The recipe contains only 3-4 cooking verbs. The recipe contains 1-2 cooking verbs. The recipe contains no cooking verbs.


The recipe is free of spelling/grammar errors. The recipe contains only 1-2 spelling/grammar errors. The recipe contains 3-4 spelling/grammar errors. The recipe contains over 5 spelling/grammar errors.


4-5 of the ingredients  in the recipe are  GO foods 3 of the ingredients in the recipe are GO foods The ingredients in the recipe are  mostly SLOW foods The ingredients in the recipe are only SLOW and WHOA foods
Photographs The recipe includes at least three photographs of the cooking process and finished product The recipe includes  two photographs of the cooking process and /or finished product The recipe includes  one photograph of the cooking process or finished product There are no photographs

Name________________________________________            Date____________________




Students will compare their School Lunch, and a Bag Lunch, to My Plate ( My Plate serves as the model standard for a balanced nutritional meal.



( fruits & vegetables)



( fruits & vegetables)


( fruits & vegetables)


_____protein protein ____protein
____dairy dairy ____dairy
____grains grains ____grains
____fast foods, junk foods   ____ fast foods, junk foods
____sugary foods   ____sugary foods


Reflection/Exit Ticket- What did you learn about your diet from doing this exercise?












My Meal vs. My Plate Venn Diagram

How is your meal the same as MyPlate?




How is your meal different?








My Meal











MyPerfect Plate Graphic Organizer

Directions: Use the following template to create your rough draft for your “Famous Healthy Family “Recipe

Title: ________________________________________________


Ingredient List:


  • Include at least five ingredients.
  • Be sure to use US customary units        measurement   (TBSP, tsp., cups).









  • Write the steps to the recipe in sequential order.
  • Be sure to include at least five cooking verbs (fry, bake, chop, etc.).
  • Make the verbs stand out by highlighting, underlining, or coloring them.


Prep Time: __________


Cooking Time: _________








  1. After that, _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Peer Editing:

Before beginning your final copy into your “Famous Healthy Family” recipe template, you should have your recipe edited by a classmate(s). Your classmate (s) needs to read your recipe and complete the following checklist:

  • Spelling/grammar is correct.
  • At least five ingredients are included.
  • Kitchen nouns communicate how much of each ingredient is needed.
  • The steps to the recipe make sense.
  • US customary units are used.


Peer Editor’s Name: _____________________


Peer Editor’s Name: _____________________


Peer Feedback/ Notes:






Directions: Write down a recent meal that you have had. List the foods that were a part of meal in the  appropriate column. Write a reflection based on your food sorting findings.









































Reflection:  Reflect upon your meal. Is your meal mostly comprised of  go, slow, or whoa foods? How does it compare to MyPlate? Are you motivated to make some nutritional changes?  Why or Why not? What  specific actions will you take?





































Prep Time:_________________

Cook Time:________________



_________________________________                              _________________________________

_________________________________                              _________________________________

_________________________________                              _________________________________

_________________________________                              _________________________________



First, ________________________________________________________________________















After that, _____________________________________________________________________






Finally, _______________________________________________________________________









Educational Resources for Students

Choose (2018, June 28). MyPlate Kids. Retrieved June 20, 2019, from This website contains kid friendly games, activities, fitness ideas and educational videos to promote a healthy lifestyle

Educational Resources for Teachers:

Schlosser, E. (2007). Fast food nation. Barcelona: Debolsillo.This book Investigates the fast food industry and how it influences the industrialization of the United States.

Spurlock, M. (Director). (2004). Super size me[Video file]. United States. Retrieved June 22, 2019. This film chronicles the 30-day period, the filmmaker only ate McDonalds.