Learning About Nutrition
In order for the students to understand the nutritional value of the foods they eat on a daily basis, we integrated nutritional facts into the game. Our main focus is on teaching the students the food groups, as well as the basic definitions of a variety of nutrition terms (i.e. calorie, carbohydrate, etc).
Calories: Calories are units of energy. You use this energy to keep your heart beating, your lungs breathing and your body growing.
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are used to make fuel that gives you energy. There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are the sugars found in processed food and fruits. Complex carbohydrates are found in vegetables and whole grains.
Fats: Fats are nutrients that helps supply people with energy. There are three types of fats — unsaturated, saturated, and trans. We simply explained to the students that unsaturated fats were the good kind, saturated fats are the bad kind, and trans fats are the worse kind.
Proteins: Proteins are key components of each part of your body. Each day, your body breaks down the proteins your body already has and the protein in the food you eat replaces them.
Sodium: Sodium is a mineral that is typically found in table salt. It is used for muscle movements, hydration and other functions performed by the body.
Oils – 2 servings – Oils provide essential nutrients and some essential fatty acids.
Dairy– 3 servings – This food group is important for the calcium provided by the dairy in order to build up bones and teeth.
Protein– 2 servings– Proteins help to rebuild bones and muscles, as well as provide vitamins.
Fruits– 3 servings– This food group is high in fiber and nutrients, which help to repair body tissue and wounds.
Vegetables– 4 servings– Vegetables provide a variety of vitamins that keep all body parts running well.
Grains– 9 servings– Grains provide vitamins, iron and magnesium. Magnesium helps to build bones and release energy from muscles.
*These servings are derived from information found on choosemyplate.gov