Teachers can use Nutrition Data as part of a physical education or health class activity. They might ask students to track what they eat for a week and then have them figure out how much fat, protein, and vitamins and minerals were in those foods, or how many calories they averaged each day. They can also have students develop healthier meals by searching some of the food categories for better food choices.
Teachers in ELA and mathematics classrooms can also incorporate Nutrition Data into their lessons. In the ELA classroom, the data could play a role in a research project or debate about healthy eating. It could also serve as a tool for introducing students to informational texts, having students look up a food and answer key questions about that food using the data they find. The nutrition data can also inspire word problems and other calculations in a math app. Students might look up data for a specific food to use as part of their calculations. For example, Sam wants to eat a maximum of 2,000 calories a day. He already had two cups of apple cinnamon oatmeal, a cup of Mini Beef Ravioli in Meat Sauce, and two slices of cheese pizza from Domino’s. He wants to have some popcorn for a snack. How much can he have without going over his calorie limit?Continue reading Show less
Users open Nutrition Data to see a list of more than 8,000 foods, listed alphabetically, starting with "abiyuch, raw." Foods can be filtered by category (vegetables or beef products, for example) or by such specialized categories as fast foods, entrees, and side dishes. In the latter categories, users can even find specific products, such as Burger King French Toast Sticks or Campbell’s Spaghettio’s with Sliced Franks. Although not all brands or products are included, users will find a fair number of the foods they eat on a daily basis, along with some seemingly random food choices, such as walrus oil and oopah. Selecting a food brings up its nutritional data, including the number of calories, total fat, carbs, and protein. Some categories are broken down by individual components. For example, in the carbohydrates category, users will find fiber, sucrose, and maltose levels. They’ll also find such additional information as the amount of minerals, vitamins, water, and energy KCal. The percentage of fat, carbs, and protein are shown in a pie chart, so users can see which makes up the largest portion of the food. Favorite foods can be saved to a special list to make them easier to access again.
Nutrition Data basically offers digital food labels for many of the foods students eat, providing, in many cases, more data than can be found on the traditional labels of those foods. Although simple in design, the app can get students thinking about the nutritional content of some of their favorite foods, and perhaps help them discover new foods as well. The layout of the app and the sheer number of foods it contains, however, makes it better for looking up the nutritional values of specific foods than for discovering new foods. It may give students more information than they want to know, but features such as the pie chart will help them understand the basic makeup of a particular food and judge whether it’s a healthy choice.
Key Standards Supported
Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.
By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 11–12 text complexity band independently and proficiently.