Lunch Food? Mmmm! Mmmm! Good!
How it works:
This is a unit on developing lunch
menus that satisfy the nutritional requirements of the United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA). The unit also contemplates the costs
involved in preparing these meals. Students use the Internet to research
recipes and utilize the USDA Food Guide Pyramid to determine if
nutritional needs are met. They also go online to investigate the
importance of meeting these requirements and learn the consequences of an
unbalanced diet. They learn about proper nutrition and essential
nutrients, and go to the Food & Drug Administration's website to watch
a short video on reading food labels to determine how food contents
meet daily nutritional requirements. The students download recipes, create
ethnic variations on the food pyramid, and use Excel to convert recipes
and create a cost sheet for feeding different amounts of students. The
cost sheets, along with surveys conducted by the students, establish
reasonable prices at which the meals could be sold. Through these
exercises, students learn the importance of nutrition and a balanced diet,
the amount of food needed for feeding different amounts of students and
the costs involved, how a selling price is determined, and how to channel
all this information into delectable, affordable menus.
This unit addresses national standards in
mathematics for grades 6-8 regarding ratio and
proportion; and for grades 6-12 regarding
the understanding and application of the units of measurement. It also
addresses national standards in health and economics.
Required materials for this unit are computers with an
Internet connection, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Word (or some other
desktop publishing software such as Publisher). A scanner and a digital
camera may also be used.
This unit is suitable for students in
grades eight through adult. It may also be done with advanced seventh
grade students with a basic comprehension of nutrition and a good math
base in ratio, proportion, and conversion. For older students, a basic
understanding of the math concepts previously mentioned as well as a
knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel are required. The entire unit can be
done by individual students, and lesson four can be done cooperatively in
groups of three.
Lunch Food? Mmmm! Mmmm! Good! helps students
understand how nutrition plays a important role in their--and
everyone's--everyday lives. They also gain real-world experience
in the application of mathematical concepts and the costs involved in
preparing foods, and how these foods can be used to fulfill nutritional
needs in creative, appetizing ways. This is knowledge that will empower
them and serve them well for their entire lives.
You may want to teach this unit after going
over ratio and proportions or conversions. This can serve as an actual
application of the concepts taught. Visit the websites provided before
unit and think of possible questions or issues that may arise, so you can
be better prepared to address them.
About the teacher:
Anthony Salcedo is laptop
coordinator at the Mott Hall School, the first inner city public school to
start a laptop program. He was a keynote speaker at the Microsoft Laptop
Summit 2000 in Seattle, Washington, and has presented at numerous
technology conferences around the country. He has received recognition
from three superintendents for his achievements.
Anthony is also a certified NFTE instructor and has worked as a translator
in the Caribbean for a division of the United Nations. He was an adjunct
professor for NYU and
Mercy College and is in his 11th year of teaching in the New York
City public school system. Anthony is happily married and has