Counting Fat in Our Diet
- Grade level: Lower elementary, Upper elementary
- Subject Area: Math
Students take home a fat diary and, with the help of their parents, keep track of how much fat they ingest every day. The fat diary should include entries for each day, as well as items eaten, servings, and total fat intake.
- Learn about collecting data on our diets.
- Consider and count the fat content in what we eat every day.
Materials and Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer (PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software, networking or dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
- Special hardware requirements: None.
- Special software requirements: None.
- Internet access: Medium-speed (28,000 BPS via modem) or higher.
Using the example form we have provided (a GIF file), print out and distribute to each student a fat counting diary. Have the students take home the fat counting diary and ask their parents to help them fill it out each day.
You can also setup a spreadsheet or database, if you have software available, and enter the students' fat data directly into these so you can total them and calcualte averages. Use ClarisWorks or Microsoft Works, or something similar, and define a table with the following colums:
Have students use the following techniques for counting their daily fat intake.
- Day of the week
- Item eaten
- Number of servings
- Total fat calories
- Fat intake for purchased foods: Students can keep track of the fat they ingest by using the Nutritional Facts labels on purchased foods they eat. All foods purchased now contain a label describing nutritional information (see Internet Resources below), such as serving size, number of servings per container, total calories per serving, and total fat - in grams and % of recommended daily allowances. Every time students eat or drink at home or school, they can use the nutritional labels on food items to record how much fat they ingest. Using the form below, they can enter the food or drink, how many servings they ate, and the total fat they ingested. Remind students to multiply the grams of fat in the food or drink by the number of servings they had to get the total amount of fat ingested.
- Fat intake for prepared foods: It may be impossible for students to know exactly how much fat is in the foods they eat that are prepared for them, so they can guess or estimate how much fat is in these foods and add them to their fat diary.
- U.S.D.A Nutrition Facts Label
An example of a food label showing nutritional facts.
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