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FACS: Food Labs

Life Skills:

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication

Time Frame:
2 class periods that run 45 minutes each.

Group Size:
Small Groups


The term nutrition covers a broad spectrum of information. One of the best ways to analyze the nutrition found in a food is to compare it to the nutrition found in similar food.

Main Curriculum Tie:
FACS 6th GradeStrand 1
Students will identify and discuss the importance of food and nutrition through class activities and lab experiences.

Career Connections:

  • Dietition, Health Careers, Chef

Read through the entire attachment and decide which information and supplies you wish to use.

Background For Teachers:
Review the safety, sanitation and cooking terms with the students. Then choose which labs you would like to students to complete as a group.

Student Prior Knowledge:
Basic cooking skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes:
Students will understand how to make and follow a recipe.

Instructional Procedures:

You can start with the popcorn lab to discuss with students the differences in nutrition of foods that will be prepared in class.

Begin the lab by preparing a batch of popcorn in a hot air popper. During the popcorn cooking process, discuss and/or reinforce some of the food science and/or nutritious principles involved such as:

  • Popcorn is 13.5 % moisture which the heat changes into steam; the hard kernel keeps in the moisture until the steam builds up and the pressure finally bursts the shell.
  • Popcorn is a special kind of corn grown for popping; not every kind of corn will pop.
  • Popping the corn in a hot air popper reduces the number of calories that are often added by cooking the popcorn in oil (thus allowing the consumer to make a choice).
  • Adding the salt after the popcorn is popped allows the consumer another flavor choice. Many types of flavoring add a lot of salt and/or sugar to the popcorn and may defeat the idea of popcorn being nutritious.
  • Popcorn can be a nutritious snack. It can be prepared in a variety of ways to better meet the dietary guidelines.

After the popcorn is popped, allow each group of students to make one of the popcorn recipes.

Next pick a few other labs for students to complete for cooking and nutrition practice.


Natalie Hancock
Jill Petersen

Created Date :
Jun 07 2010 13:14 PM

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