Breakout Session #2

World Languages: What to Eat? (from Facing the Future Curriculum)

LEQ: What is the meaning of malnutrition?

Objectives: Students will be able to

  • Become familiar with suggested dietary guidelines
  • Understand how their daily nutrition choices can impact personal well-being
  • Recognize that malnutrition can affect both poor and wealthy people


  • Side by Side Lunch Comparison
  • What to Eat? Handout (1 per pair)


  1. Ask students to do 5-minute free write about what they typically eat in a day. Ask them to reflect on what foods they usually eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Do they think they eat enough food? Too much food? The right kinds of foods to keep them healthy and feeling good?
  2. Ask if anyone has a definition for the word “malnutrition.” ( You can ask them to consider the meaning of the prefix “mal” and the root of the word “nutrition.”)
  3. Let students know that malnutrition can be the result of eating too little, eating too much, or eating the wrong kinds of food. In other words, malnutrition includes both undernutrition and overnutrition. It impacts people worldwide, not just those who live in poverty.
  4. Ask students to collectively think about what a daily diet should entail. In a think-pair-share activity, have student pairs brainstorm what sorts of foods, nutrients, calories, or other considerations should be taken into account.
  5. Show students the Side-by-Side Lunch Comparison handout and have students analyze both lunches. Ask them which lunch appears to be the better choice for an active high school student. What makes this diet the better choice?
  6. Let them know that they will be constructing an ideal diet for a day. An ideal diet would help them to maintain a healthy weight based on their level of activity, age, and height. Students should use websites below to help them understand what an ideal diet looks like
  7. Divide students into pairs and provide a copy of the handout: What to Eat?
  8. Allow them 30 minutes to construct their 3 meals for the day.
    1. Note: Shorten this activity by asking them to only construct 1 meal.
    2. Website Resource
    3. Choose My Plate
    4. Ethnic/Cultural Food Pyramids to view food pyramids for traditional diets, including Latin America, France, Germany, etc.
    5. Latin America My Plate
  9. When students are finished, ask them to summarize the types of foods that comprise their ideal diet. Are they primarily grains? Vegetables? Meats?
  10. Lead a discussion using the following questions.


  1. How would you summarize the diet you created? What kinds of food should you eat more or less of?
  2. What are possible barriers to actually eating the ideal diet you constructed?
  3. Is the ideal daily diet you constructed likely to be more or less expensive than what most people you know eat? Why do you think this is?
  4. What are root causes of obesity?
  5. What are root causes of hunger and nutrient deficiencies?
  6. What would convince you and other students you know to eat better?