Cooking for health

When planning to cook consideration should be given to current healthy eating advice, the needs of different people and occasion.

a) Healthy eating, the Eatwell Guide, along with people’s food needs, should be considered when planning and cooking.

Refresh children‘s knowledge of the Eatwell guide. Review its 5 food groups. Module link: Healthy eating 7-11 Key Fact 2.

This could be further extended by looking at how diets can be planned to meet the principles of the Eatwell Guide.  

Use the Needs of different people presentation to highlight that people have different food needs.  Question the children to see if they can suggest what these needs might be, for example:

  • age – babies have different diets from adults;
  • preference – likes and dislikes;
  • vegetarian – some people choose not to eat meat or fish;
  • where you live – some foods only grow in a hot climate;
  • religion – some religions restrict certain foods;
  • allergy – a small number of people have an allergy to a food, e.g. peanuts;
  • information – about food, e.g. Red Tractor.

To consolidate learning, ask the children to consider and plan the food needs for a number of different people. Use the Needs of different people worksheet to act as a stimulus. This work could make a great display.

 

b) There are a number of simple healthier ways to prepare and cook foods.

Explain to children that food can be prepared and cooked in a number of ways to promote health. Use the Healthier cooking presentation to highlight different healthier ways to cook and serve food. For example:

  • cooking method, e.g. baking or grilling fish instead of frying;
  • not adding salt to food, perhaps using different ingredients for flavour, e.g. herbs, garlic;
  • adding fruit or vegetables, e.g. extra carrots in a soup or stew;
  • removing, adding or changing an ingredient, e.g. having a low fat yogurt rather than a luxury yogurt;
  • changing the portion size, e.g. having a smaller dessert or a mini muffin.

 

c) Lots of food packaging has basic nutrition information which can help us to make a healthier choice.

Explain to children that food packaging often displays nutrition information which can help people make choices. Use the Food labels presentation to highlight how this information is presented and how it can be used.

Ask the children to collect and bring in from home food packaging, showing nutrition information. Create a display of food packaging to highlight nutrition information.

 

d) There are many different festivals and events which celebrate with special foods.

Investigate foods prepared for a range of different occasions.

Ask the children:

  • What celebrations or festivals can you name?
  • What type of food is served?
  • What special occasions have you attended?
  • What food was served?

Use the Occasions presentation to highlight a number of different celebrations and festivals which include specific food, e.g. Passover and Matzo crackers, Christmas and turkey.

In small groups, organise cooking activities to raise awareness of a range of different occasions. For example:

  • Birthday;
  • Chinese New Year;
  • Harvest festival.

 

Plenary

Recap with children:

  • Healthy eating, the Eatwell Guide, along with people’s food needs, should be considered when planning and cooking.
  • There are a number of simple healthier ways to prepare and cook foods.
  • Lots of food packaging has basic nutrition information which can help us to make a healthier choice.
  • There are many different festivals and events which celebrate with special foods.

 

Further activities

Invite a parent or grandparent to come into school to talk about and demonstrate some traditional foods.

Create a display showing examples of the different festivals and events which celebrate with special foods.

7 - 11 YR
Needs of different people

A presentation exploring the needs of different people.

pptx
7 - 11 YR
Needs of different people worksheet

A worksheet about creating a menu for different people in a day.

docx
7 - 11 YR
Healthier cooking

A presentation introducing healthier cooking methods.

pptx
7 - 11 YR
Food labels

A presentation introducing what is on a food label.

pptx
7 - 11 YR
Occasions

A presentation about eating at different occasions.

pptx
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