ThisPROJECT asks you to define nutrition, not an easy task in a society plagued by eating problems and "bizzare" diets. You are being asked to answer the question "What do we mean by a nutritionally balanced diet?"
Your project is to include the guidelines to how much protein, carbohydrate, fat, salt, cholesterol is included in a nutritionally balanced diet and what problems can occur if the diet is not properly balanced.
Working in groups of three or four research proper ways to assess nutrition. Some sources that offer help include The Diabetes Foundation, the American Heart Association, Nutritional Supplemental Sheets, health and cooking magazines, and general cookbooks. We will be starting by using some websites to provide you with a way to look at food items and list their nutritional composition.
This project involves not only science, but also creativity, imagination, art, drama, and internet research. "Right brain thinkers" this is your chance to shine in a science classroom!
These web sites will be valuable in starting the Project:
Importance of Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrients in the Diet
Food Guide Pyramid
American Heart Association Nutrition Guidelines
Complete List of Nutrition Label Facts
Fast Food Facts
Fast Food Composition
Using the information, design a restaurant around a theme. As an introduction to your restaurant, define your approach to nutrition. You will design a menu of 10 items, listing the nutritional information relevant to each item.
You are not to use already published menus or recipes. You will be provided with nutrition booklets and websites. You are to device original recipes and menus. Be creative!
Be sure to include how your recipes are a reflection of a nutritionally balanced diet. Include how many servings of your menu items a person should be consuming, so their food intake falls within the guidelines your originally stated.
You will be marketing your restaurant in a commercial (live skit, video, poster). You might want to treat your fellow classmates to a yummy sample of an item from your menu that you have prepared from scratch, or very close to it. (No ordering in, deliveries, or food items directly from a store. Work in your kitchens at home cooking or modifying purchased food.
You are to finish the task on your own time. You will have two weeks to work through your group's ideas and produce a menu for your restaurant. Each group will make a 10-15 minute oral presentation.
You will have access to a VCR for playing recorded commercials, tape player for playing audio commercials, microwave oven to warm foods, or refrigerator to store foods until presentation time.


The project has 5 parts that will be graded separately. They are:

Definition of Nutrition
This is included in your menu where a history might actually be included in a real menu. Something like, "Welcome to Mario's where nutrition is defined as...". Along with this definition, item-by-item consumer information must be included for each of the 10 menu items.

Development of a Theme
This could be generic like "Italian" or "Greek" or it could be a specialty place like a "health food bar" in a gym. In this area, look for follow-through in naming menu items and in types of menu items.

Artistic Menu Design
Here is where we scientists give a nod to the artist in each of you. This grade is purely aesthetic but then isn't dining out mostly aesthetic? Make up any guidelines of your choosing. Allowing for individuality usually has its own rewards.

Marketing Commercial
I always ask the question, "Does this commercial make me want to eat in this restaurant?" While visual tricks are often fun, watching Monte Python's scene of a fat man exploding in a restaurant doesn't really make me want to eat there!

Food Sample
If you provide a treat for the class you should be rewarded for this. Cost of food doesn't count. Finger Jell-o if presented properly - should count just as much as baked lasagna. And to preserve individual feelings, every student should at least taste each food brought in. These do need to be only tastes! We are not supplying lunch.

Overall Evaluation
Evaluation is flexible. I will count this project equal to a test, 100 points. You will apply enough energy to this project to deserve it. Within each category, 20 points are possible. Most students receive grades near 100. The most often missed area is the nutrition definition. Do not make-up your own definition. There are plenty of available ways to assess diet. Find one that you like and use it. The operative thought here is BE CREATIVE AND HAVE FUN!

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