Activity 1: Warm Up!
Getting Familiar with the Vocabulary of Nutrition

In order to do this investigation into nutrition, we need to know about several topics listed below. Go to each web page, or read the section, to learn about the various topics. Use the Back button on your browser to return to this page. You will also want to use these pages as we do the activity. Write answers to the bulleted questions below either in your word processors or by hand.

I. The Food Pyramid

  1. How many food groups are in the pyramid?
  2. Make a table listing the food groups and give the recommended number of servings for each group.

II. Nutrients - Read the section below and answer the questions.

Original reference at:

Do you know which foods you should eat to help you stay healthy? Do you know how to read a food label to help you choose the healthiest food products in the supermarket? Nutrition is the process by which the foods we eat provide the nutrients we need to grow and stay healthy. Nutrients are naturally occurring chemical substances found in food. There are six categories of nutrients: proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water.

Proteins contain amino acids, sometimes referred to as the building blocks of protein. Dietary protein is supplied from plant and animal sources. Proteins are needed to build and repair body tissue and for the metabolic functions of our bodies.

Lipids include fats and oils from plants and animals. Cholesterol is a fat found only in animal products. Lipids are of special interest because they are linked to the development of heart disease, the leading cause of death among Americans.

The carbohydrates in our diet come from plant foods. Simple carbohydrates include the different forms of sugar, while complex carbohydrates include starches and dietary fiber.

Vitamins are chemical compounds in our food that are needed in very small amounts (in milligrams and micrograms) to regulate the chemical reactions in our bodies.

Minerals, also needed only in small amounts, have many different functions. Some minerals assist in the body's chemical reactions and others help form body structures.

Fifty to sixty percent of our body weight consists of water. It is the substance in which the metabolic reactions occur. We need about two quarts (2 liters) of water every day.

  1. List the 6 categories of nutrients.
  2. Which of these nutrients in food provide energy to our bodies?

III. Nutrition Food Labels

    Write a summary of the Dietary Components from the Nutrition Facts on Nutrition Food Labels.

IV. 'Daily Values' Encourage Healthy Diet

  1. Write a sentence describing each of the following, DVs (Daily Values), DRVs (Daily Reference Values), RDIs (Reference Daily Intakes), and RDAs (Recommended Dietary Allowances).
  2. Write a description of how the DRV for energy producing nutrients are calculated.

V. Counting Calories (PDF file)

    Given the DRV, if your calorie intake is 2000 calories, find the grams of fat, carbohydrate and protein that should be in your daily intake. (Hint: You need to find out the number of calories per gram for each energy producing nutrient. Look back at the Nutrition Food Labels. Check the bottom of the label given!) You need this information for Activity 2 and Activity 3.

Click here for Activity 2!

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