Nutrition beyond the health lesson

Nicole Toia,

There are opportunities as a teacher to incorporate nutrition into all subjects, not just the health lesson.

This means English, HASS, Maths, Science, Arts and Technology can all provide opportunities for learning about nutrition. Incorporating nutrition into literacy, numeracy and problem solving helps to provide students with practical examples and creates associations with real life scenarios.

Nutrition in Maths

If Sam starts with three carrots, gives his rabbit one carrot, and picks two more carrots from the garden, how many carrots does Sam have now?

Nutrition can easily be incorporated into the maths lesson in range of ways such as counting with fruit and vegetables, converting measurements related to a recipe (i.e., grams to cups), using fractions when cooking or working out a food budget or weekly shopping allowance.

Nutrition in Science  

What is photosynthesis?

Plants are very special because plants can make their own food. Plants make food through a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a bit like a recipe where special ingredients are used to make plant food.

The science of food can be fascinating and very educational, it can range from talking about photosynthesis (how plants grow), to chemical reactions that occur in food, or in the digestive system. There are some amazing veg that can work as pH indicators such as purple cabbage for a fun classroom activity.

Nutrition in English

Spell ‘Antioxidants’

Nutrition can be included in English lessons by using food and nutrition related words in vocabulary and spelling activities, encouraging students to write stories or paragraphs about nutrition and food, reading nutrition related story books or asking students to develop and deliver a presentation on fruits and vegetables.

Nutrition in HASS

 Where does Jam tree gum come from? Which culture uses this for medicinal purposes? What is the Jam tree gum used for?

Many aspects of history, culture and geography revolve around food. Students can learn about nutrition by exploring food traditions or events and their cultural origins. This could include topics such as bush tucker and food gathering practices from Aboriginal history, fasting during Ramadan and which traditional foods are eaten to break the fast, or growing different crops across Australia and how climate plays a role.  

Nutrition in the classroom environment.

There are lots of other fun ways you can incorporate and familiarise students with nutrition and food.  When naming student groups or classes assign them with different vegetable or fruit titles, use fruits and vegetables in educational signage, like learning the letters of the alphabet, or make the theme of class news ‘food’ for a term.