Diet and health

This area covers: health issues that are associated with dietary excess or deficiency and allergy and intolerance.

Diet and health

There are a number of health implications of a poor diet through dietary excess or deficiency. Some people also experience reactions to food which can be controlled through managing their diet.

Pupils should recognise the dietary recommendations for people with certain health issues and identify how a poor diet can be improved.

This area covers:

  • health issues that are associated with dietary excess or deficiency;
  • allergy and intolerance.

Diet and health

  • Explain to pupils that the health effects of the diet comes from the diet overall, not from a single food, drink or nutrient. Use the Eatwell Guide presentation and Eatwell Guide poster to recap on healthy eating messages. Ask pupils to create a day’s menu of a healthy, balanced diet which meets Eatwell Guide recommendations. Pupils could swap their menus with a different pupil to provide feedback. The menus could be used as a class display.

For more information about healthy eating and the Eatwell Guide, go to the Eat well area.

11 - 14 YR
The Eatwell Guide presentation

A presentation about the Eatwell Guide.

11 - 14 YR
The Eatwell Guide worksheet

A worksheet looking at the Eatwell Guide.

Health issues that are associated with dietary excess or deficiency

  • To introduce the health issues that are associated with dietary excess or deficiency, show the Diet and health presentation. Task the pupils to complete the Diet and health worksheet.
  • To develop independent learning, task the pupils to research one issue associated with diet and health. They should then produce a leaflet or poster to explain the risks and how these can be reduced through changes to diet and lifestyle.
  • Excess sugars can impact the health of children’s and adult’s teeth. Show the Development and maintenance of healthy teeth presentation and task the pupils to complete the Development and maintenance of healthy teeth Use the Development and maintenance of healthy teeth quiz and the Development and maintenance of healthy teeth Kahoot Q&A to test the pupil’s knowledge.
  • Use the Dental health circle map to encourage the pupils to demonstrate what they know about dental health. They should write everything they know about dental health in the outer circle including factors affecting dental health and then use the space in the rectangle to explain why good dental health is important throughout life.
  • In order to reduce the risk of obesity and dental caries, no more than 5% of the energy we consume should come from free sugars. To introduce the concept of free sugars, ask the pupils to complete the Meal planning and free sugars worksheet. Asking the pupils to identify the amount of free sugars in a variety of food using the Free sugars line up activity will help consolidate this information. Divide the class into two groups and give each group a set of cards. Challenge the pupils to place the foods in the order of the greatest free sugars. Use the Free sugars line up answers to see if they are correct.
  • Some ‘sports and energy drinks’ are a cause for concern when consumed by children and young people. Discuss with the pupils who they think these products are aimed at. Compare the list of ingredients for a variety of drinks and identify what is different. Many pupils will consume extra energy (calories) and/or caffeine through consuming these products; some can also be very acidic and harmful to teeth. Provide a container of sugar cubes and ask the pupils to weigh out the amount of sugars provided in the drinks using the information on the nutrition labels.
  • Government healthy eating guidelines recommend that we reduce the amount of sugars and fat in our diet. Provide the pupils with caster sugar, a block of fat such as vegetable cooking fat and digital weighing scales. Task them to measure the amount of sugars or fat in a variety of food using the Nutrient comparison exercise and compare the front of pack label amounts to the reference intake. What conclusions do the pupils make?
  • Portion sizes can affect our nutrient intake. Having a too high energy intake with too little physical activity can lead to weight gain over time. Use the Serving size problems front of pack food labels and Serving size problems worksheet to see how portion size affects nutrient intake in a variety of situations.

For more information about Should children be drinking energy drinks?, go to the Knowledge centre.

For more information about Dental health, go to the Knowledge centre.

11 - 14 YR
Diet and health presentation

A presentation about how diet affects health.

11 - 14 YR
Diet and health worksheet

A worksheet exploring how diet affects health.

11 - 14 YR
Development and maintenance of healthy teeth worksheet

A worksheet about the development and maintenance of healthy teeth.

11 - 14 YR
Development and maintenance of healthy teeth presentation

A presentation about the development and maintenance of healthy teeth

11 - 14 YR
Development and maintenance of healthy teeth quiz

A quiz about dental health.

11 - 14 YR
Dental health circle map

A worksheet looking at dental health.

11 - 14 YR
Meal planing and free sugars worksheet

A worksheet looking at planning meals with relation to free sugars.

11 - 14 YR
Free sugar line up activity

A set of cards that can be lined up in the order of sugar content per portion.

11 - 14 YR
Free sugar line up activity answers

The answers to the free sugar line up activity answers.

11 - 14 YR
Nutrient comparison exercise

A worksheet comparing the front of pack label to reference intakes.

11 - 14 YR
Serving size problems front of pack food labels

A worksheets looking at how portion size affects nutrient intake.

11 - 14 YR
Serving size problems worksheet

A worksheet looking at how portion size affects nutrient intake.

Allergies and intolerances

  • To explain the importance of understanding allergies to food and food intolerances, use the Unpleasant reactions to food presentation and Unpleasant reactions to food worksheet. Check understanding with the Unpleasant reactions to food Kahoot quiz and answers.
  • Task the pupils to complete the Allergen labelling activity to recognise and highlight the allergens present in three recipes.
  • As a quick starter activity, provide each pupil with a copy of a recipe. Ask them to identify the allergens in the recipe. How could the recipe be modified to make it more suitable for an allergy sufferer? A range of recipes can be found in the Recipe area.
  • Task the pupils to create their own Chef’s recipe card to identify the allergens that may be present in dishes they make at school. The pupils could use images or photographs of the 14 allergens that must be identified or draw their own.  Alternatively, the pupils could produce an Allergen menu planner for the recipes to be made at school.
11 - 14 YR
Unpleasant reactions to food presentation

A presentation exploring unpleasant reactions to food.

11 - 14 YR
Unpleasant reactions to food worksheet

A worksheet exploring unpleasant reactions to food.

11 - 14 YR
Unpleasant reactions to food quiz

A quiz about unpleasant reactions to food.

11 - 14 YR
Allergen labeling activity

An activity that explores allergens present in recipes.

11 - 14 YR
Chef's recipe card

A task exploring allergens that may be present in dishes made in school.

11 - 14 YR
Allergen menu planner

A table to fill out to recognise and highlight allergens in dishes.

Homework

Use the Food route diet and health journal for pupils up to 14 years as an extended piece of homework or cover work. There is a Certificate which can be awarded once pupils have completed all four Food route journals.

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