Nutrition and the Digestive System

Learning Intention: Students will know the five groups of nutrients and how they contribute to a healthy diet. They will investigate the composition of various foods using food testing experiments, including various bush foods from the school garden and beyond. They will compare the diet of people living in Australia 10,000 years ago with their own diet.

Success Criteria: Students will produce a poster, video or other artifact that demonstrates their understanding of nutrition today and in Australia’s past. Their product will explain the five nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins and minerals) and the foods in which these nutrients are found. The importance of fibre and water in the diet will also be discussed.

Links to AusVELS: “Multi-cellular organisms contain systems of organs that carry out specialised functions that enable them to survive and reproduce.”
“Energy appears in different forms including movement (kinetic energy), heat and potential energy, and causes change within systems.”
“Also, links to cross-curricular priorities – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.”

This term we started a new topic of work – nutrition and the digestive system. We have discussed the five main nutrients and the importance of water and fibre in a healthy diet. We have also used the model human torso and watched videos to understand how the digestive system works. Mr John Pearce (@mrpbps on Twitter) has shared this wonderful hands-on “Tour of the Digestive System” that we may try too. Parts of Plants we Eat.

We will learn how energy is measured and the energy content of some different foods, using the nutritional information of food labels. Our next tasks will include using various tests to determine what nutrients make up different foods. We will do the following tests:

1.Brown paper or Emulsion test for fats and oils (lipids).
2.Iodine test for starch.
3.Benedict’s solution and heat for glucose (sugar).
4.Copper sulphate (10 drops) and sodium hydroxide (5 drops) for protein.

We will then collect some bush foods from the school garden and Apex Park and test those foods for starch, protein, sugars and lipids. You will then create a product that compares the diet of people in Australia 10,000 years ago to your diet. You may have heard of the “Paleo diet” (also called the “caveman” or “stone-age” diet). It consists mainly of fish, meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots and nuts and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, salt, sugar and processed oils. What would Bear Grylls survive on in the Australian Bush?

Some useful links:


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