Nutrients and Beyond! The Six Nutrient Groups

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Hospitality and Tourism

    Course : Food Science

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (15) The student describes the basic nutrients and their specific properties as related to food science. The student is expected to:
      • (A) identify the recommended daily allowances of the basic nutrients
      • (B) list the five main nutrients and food sources of each
    • (27) The student understands the importance of developing lifelong skills. The student is expected to:
      • (A) demonstrate the use of oral and written communication skills such as writing technical reports, letters, and memos, communicating technical information to a nontechnical audience, and making formal and informal presentations
      • (C) apply critical-thinking skills to new situations
      • (J) research scientific and nonscientific information
      • (K) competently use library resources
      • (L) manage time effectively
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • identify the six nutrient groups
    • create a 3 dimensional project illustrating the functions, food sources and recommended daily allowances of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein and fats
    • study various nutrition games to reinforce nutrient knowledge
  • Rationale


    Why do we eat? Food provides nutrients and fuel to our bodies as well as nourishment required by our bodies to stay alive. In this lesson, we are going to find out what nutrients are, why we need them and what they do for us as well as what can happen if we don’t get enough of the nutrient and what can happen if we eat too much of the nutrient.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Four 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Carbohydrate: A nutrient that serves as the body’s main energy source

    Mineral: An inorganic nutrient that is essential for health and growth

    Nutrients: Food components necessary to sustain life

    Nutrient dense: Describes a food that provides a relatively high quantity of nutrients in comparison to a low-to-moderate number of kilocalories.

    Nutrition: The science of how the body uses food

    Protein: A nutrient the body uses to build new cells and repair injured ones

    Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs): The adequate amount of a specific nutrient needed by most healthy people

    Vitamin: A nutrient that regulates body processes and helps other nutrients do their work

    Note: Many other terms on the slide presentation can be identified. Encourage students to include the definition in the assignment.

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector for PowerPoint™ presentation
    • computers with Internet access (be sure to follow district guidelines)


    • ChooseMyPlate Poster (see All Lesson Attachments tab)
    • Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 (see All Lesson Attachments tab)
    • food model replicas (if available)


    • cardboard box (empty)
    • cardboard box lid
    • cookie sheet (old)
    • glue
    • Legos®
    • magazines
    • picture frames (various sizes)
    • poster board
    • ribbon
    • string
    • Styrofoam™ balls
    • wooden skewers


    • Pinterest™
    • Snapguide™

    • copies of all handouts (see All Lesson Attachments tab)

  • Anticipatory Set

    Before class begins:

    Display as many of the items from the Materials or Specialized Equipment Needed section as you have available on a table in front of the classroom. Allow the students to view items and ask questions.

    Ask the students the following questions:

    • Why do we eat?
    • Why do we need food?
    • Can we eat any foods?
    • Why do we need to eat certain types of food?

    Answers will vary but the discussion about eating the right foods with the necessary nutrients will begin.

    Distribute graphic organizer KWL – Nutrients (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and ask students to answer the first two statements. The last statement will be completed during lesson closure.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Distribute handout Nutrients and Beyond! The Six Nutrient Groups Notes (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that students may take notes during slide presentation.

    Introduce PowerPoint™ Nutrients and Beyond! The Six Nutrient Groups (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Lead a discussion on the importance of eating the nutrient-dense foods everyday.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • checking for understanding
    • providing assistance with note-taking

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Allow students to practice what they have learned by playing several interactive nutritional games available on different websites. These games will reinforce the nutrient groups and eating healthy.

    Allow only one class period to introduce games. Students may continue to play the games at home.

    If a computer lab or tablets are not available, connect one laptop to a projector and allow students to take turns playing short segments of the games for everyone to view.

    Observe students as they move through various games and learn more about nutrition.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • providing peer tutoring
    • check for understanding

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Before class begins:

    Print the Nutrients Flashcards (see All Lesson Attachments tab) on cardstock, cut and separate.

    Place Nutrient Flashcards in a basket or box and allow each student to choose a card.

    Students are to create a 3-dimensional model of the chosen nutrient and include the following information:

    • functions
    • food sources
    • recommended daily allowance

    What can happen if I:

    • don’t get enough of the nutrient
    • get too much of the nutrient

    Allow students to be creative and make the model using items available in the classroom and at home.


    • cookie sheet collage
    • mobile
    • picture frame collage
    • shadow box

    Students may also utilize the quadarama to highlight the nutrient information. Steps on how to make a quadarama are available in the Instructional Strategies section of our website. Scroll down and click on image.

    Students may use Pinterst™ and Snapguide™ for more ideas.

    For extra credit – Allow students to design a t-shirt depicting their nutrient and wear the day of their presentation. This will bring attention to your class and bring public recognition as to what your students are studying.

    Distribute Rubric for 3-D Nutrient Model (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that students will understand what is expected.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • assist student in gathering information
    • provide praise and encouragement

  • Lesson Closure

    Review terms, definitions and objectives.

    Discuss with your students what they have learned about the six nutrient groups. Re-distribute the KWL – Nutrients so that students may complete what they have learned about the nutrients.

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Students will present their creative 3-D models of their nutrient.

    Student presentation will be assessed with appropriate rubric.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • grading according to work done
    • providing praise and encouragement

  • References/Resources


    • Duyff, R. L. (2010). Food, nutrition & wellness. Columbus, OH: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.
    • Mehas, K. Y. & Rodgers, S. L. (2006). Food science: the biochemistry of food and nutrition. New York, New York: Glenco/McGraw-Hill.
    • Ward, J.D., & Ward, L.T. (2013). Principles of food science. Tinley Park, IL: Goodheart-Willcox Company.


    YouTube™ video:

  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism, and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:

  • Recommended Strategies

    Reading Strategies

    Have students read several one page prints from the ChooseMyPlate 10 Tips Nutrition Education Series.

    • Ten Tips Education Series
      Provides consumers and professionals with high quality, easy-to-follow tips in a convenient, printable format. These are perfect for posting on a refrigerator.

    Reading strategy:
    Encourage students to “visualize” as they read. Many students are visual learners and will benefit from making sketches or diagrams on scrap paper as they read. Providing students with graphic organizers to help them organize their thoughts is also helpful.

  • Quotes

    Civilization as it is known today could not have evolved, nor can it survive, without an adequate food supply.
    -Norman Borlaug

    I’m nutty for nutrition. I’ve become one of those people who can’t stop talking about the connection between food and health. Now that I know how much changing what you eat can transform your life, I can’t stop proselytizing.
    -Robin Quivers

    A diet is when you watch what you eat and wish you could eat what you watch.
    -Hermoine Gingold

    I believe that parents need to make nutrition education a priority in their home environment. It’s crucial for good health and longevity to instill in your children sound eating habits from an early age.
    -Cat Cora

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategies

    PowerPoint ™:

    • Nutrients and Beyond! The Six Nutrient Groups
    • Presentation Notes – Nutrients and Beyond! The Six Nutrient Groups


    • Pinterest™
    • Snapguide™

    Files for downloading:

  • Graphic Organizers/Handout

    Graphic Organizer:

    • KWL – Nutrients
    • Nutrients and Beyond! The Six Nutrient Groups
    • Nutrients and Beyond! The Six Nutrient Groups (Key)


    • ChooseMyPlate Poster
    • Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
    • Nutrient Flashcards
    • Rubric for 3-D Nutrient Model

    Files for downloading:

  • Writing Strategies

    Journal Entries:

    • I think good nutrition and good health impact my appearance by ……………..
    • The essential nutrients that I think are most useful when I exercise are……….. because………….
    • I think food labels are useful in providing…………
    • It is important for teenagers to eat foods with all the nutrients because …..

    Writing Strategy:

    • Informative/Descriptive:
      • Format: Short essay
      • Topic: fortification of cereals with folic acid
        The fortification of cereals with folic acid has been required by law since 1998. Write a short essay explaining why this is important to pregnant females as well as to healthy babies.
  • Communication 90 Second Speech Topics

    • How do health claims affect consumers’ rights and responsibilities?
    • Why do you think health claims on food labels should be regulated?
    • The nutrition choices I make as a teenager will have an impact on my health as I grow older because…..
  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    Listen to the Podcast from TEDxHarvard Law, MindStream Academy that discusses the effect of our modern dietary patterns and disease.

    • How Do Modern Dietary Patterns Lead to Disease, What Should We Eat?
      For the last 20 years, the focus of nutritional advice has been to reduce total fat intake and consume large amounts of carbohydrate. However, this advice is inconsistent with many lines of evidence indicating that unsaturated fats have beneficial metabolic effects and reduce risk of coronary heart disease. More recent evidence has also shown that the large majority of carbohydrates in current industrial diets, consisting of refined starches and sugars, have adverse metabolic effects and increased risks of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Thus, in what appears to be an optimal diet, most calories would come from a balance of whole grains and plant oils, proteins would be provided by a mix of beans, nuts, fish, eggs, and poultry, and the remaining nutritional needs would be filled by plenty of vegetables and a few fruits. Important considerations include the role of dairy products, the interrelationships with physical activity and genetic variations, and the implications of our food choices on environmental sustainability, and how we move from today’s pathological diet to a more optimal way of eating. Dr. Walter Willett discusses this information. Date Released: 12/19/2011. Series Name: TEDXHarvard Law MindStream Academy.;search%3Anutrition
  • Family/Community Connection

    Encourage students to discuss the nutrients at home and inform their family of the importance to eating the right foods.

    Students can show younger brothers and sisters as well as nieces and nephews the nutrition games available.

  • CTSO connection

    Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

    STAR Events:

    • Applied Technology – An individual or team event: Recognizes participants who develop a project using technology that addresses a concern related to Family and Consumer Sciences and/or related occupations. The project integrates and applies content from academic subjects.
    • Chapter Service Project (Display and Manual) – A team event – recognizes chapters that develop and implement an in-depth service project that makes a worthwhile contribution to families, schools, and communities. Students must use Family and Consumer Sciences content and skills to address and take action on a community need.
    • Nutrition and Wellness – An individual event that recognizes participants who track food intake and physical activity for themselves, their family, or a community group and determine goals and strategies for improving their overall health.
  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to lesson. For additional information on service learning see

    Possible idea:

    Students may present their 3-dimensional projects to an after-school program and provide nutritious snacks.

    Have students offer to teach a class on nutrients to help a local girl scout or boy scout troop earn one of their merit badges related to good nutrition.

  • All Attachments