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Menu Madness

Subject: Exercise and Movement, Nutrition, Our Bodies
Grade: 6-8, 9-12

Brief Description

Students determine the nutritional values of fast foods. Then they make comparisons of their results and present their findings to the class.


Students compare the nutritional values of fast foods based on information provided on menus.


nutrition, diet, fat, grams, fast food, dietary values, recommended daily allowances

Materials Needed

  • printouts of the U.S. recommended dietary allowance (RDA) servings from the sites noted in the lesson
  • copies of menus from various fast food locations or printouts from the site noted in the lesson
  • chart paper
  • graph paper
  • writing paper
  • colored pencils
  • computers with Internet access (optional)

    Lesson Plan

    Prior to the Lesson

    • Have students use printouts on recommended daily allowances or go to the Web sites mentioned above to determine the recommended servings of fat, salt, vitamins, and minerals for an average adult.
    • Have students use menus from various fast food restaurants or printouts of menus to plan three meals. If Internet access is available to everyone, let students search for the restaurant menus at the site mentioned above.
    • Recommend that students draw or use clip art to illustrate each meal on a chart. Here are some clip art sites:
      Discovery School's Clip Art Gallery: Food
      Original Food Images
      Food Clip Art
    • Using the nutritional information provided by each restaurant, have students compile and record the total number of the following on graph paper: calories, fat grams, milligrams of sodium, grams of protein, grams of sugar.
    • Conclude the lesson by having students analyze the compiled data, determine which meal is most nutritious, and explain their selections.


      Give a lab grade for the final chart and written analysis.

      Lesson Plan Source

      Submitted By

      Kimberly Emanuel ([email protected]), Union Grove Middle School, McDonough, Georgia

      As our highlighted lesson, the submitter was awarded a $50 honorarium. See our guidelines to submit yours!

  • 03/21/2001
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