It is one thing to write or talk about the fat, saturated fat, sodium and sugar in refined foods. But quite another to show it. Here is a visual lesson to show how much added fat, salt and sugar is in the foods we eat.
What you need:
- Foods and food packages with nutrition facts labels from foods that are popular with your clients: frozen foods, prepared foods, fast foods, soda, sweet treats.
- Measuring spoons and cups, knife, calculator, pencils, paper
- Salt, butter, sugar
- Plates, napkins for display
- Handouts with nutrition facts for foods and equivalents:
- Sugar: 1 tsp = 15 calories or 4 grams sugar
- Fat: 1 Tablespoon = 14 grams (3 tsp per tablespoon or 4.6 grams each)
- Salt: 1/4 tsp = 590 mg
Divide the number of foods you have into 4 categories: frozen foods, fast foods, beverages, sweet treats. Divide the audience into 4 groups and have each group prepare the visual with the sugar, fat and sodium that is in their group of food. At the end, share the displays with the class. Ask them to discuss what surprised them the most.
Here are a few items we used:
- Pastries (4.25 tsp sugar each)
- 8.5 tsp sugar per cup soda (but how much is in the bottle)
- Sugared cereal 3 tsp per cup (same as a donut)
- Sausage egg sandwich 930 mg sodium, 21 g fat
- Pickle 2,000 mg sodium
- KFC crunchy chicken dinner - 3,230 mg sodium, 59 g fat
- Frozen pizza - 1/6th slice - 15 g fat, 1,010 mg sodium
- We also included healthy foods like salad too!
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.