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FACS: Food Labs

Main Core Tie

FCS 6th Grade
Strand 1

Time Frame

2 class periods of 45 minutes each

Group Size

Small Groups

Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication


Natalie Hancock
Jill Petersen


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.


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.

Created: 06/07/2010
Updated: 02/05/2018