Breakfast Brain Food

As part of the Poihipi passion projects we have Food Technology and have been investigating different foods and learning basic food preparation and cooking skills.

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Indie and Sam measuring sugar

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Fletcher Alex and Louis converting grams to teaspoons using online conversion calculator

As a group we began by investigating the meal we start each and every day with - breakfast. Each and everyday day we wake up, get out of bed and start our day by having breakfast. Many studies have found that eating breakfast is linked to good health, including better memory and concentration (WebMD). It gives you the energy you need to focus on learning at school. It is important to take into consideration what food we are eating for breakfast, eating nutritious and healthy foods for breakfast means you will reap the benefits.

To begin with, in buddies we think, pair, shared what we each eat for breakfast. Many of us eat cereals such as Cornflakes, Weetbix, and Nutri-Grain, others eat toast, while some eat fruit and eggs. We discussed how sometimes we have special breakfasts in the weekends or when we stay at our grandparents' house. Some of these special sometimes breakfasts included foods such as pancakes and crumpets.

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Chloe Dali and Lachlan measuring sugar

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Sienna with Weetbix the healthiest cereal out of the five we investigated

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Riley with Coco Pops the least healthiest out of the 5 cereals we investigated

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Sorting the 5 cereals into categories of healthy and unhealthy

We all agreed that is it very important to have a healthy breakfast. We brainstormed as a class what we thought made a food ‘healthy’. Isobel thought that healthy food is ‘good for us’, Te Pou thought healthy food “gives you energy”, and Dali thought it is “foods you have every day”. Then we discussed what makes a food ‘unhealthy’, Sienna thought unhealthy foods“make you sick”, and Chloe thought unhealthy foods have “lots of sugar” in them. We talked about how having too much sugar makes us feel. Indie shared “it makes me act crazy”, while Te Pou said sugar “makes me feel sick and get a sore tummy.” We all agreed that if we acted crazy and felt sick we wouldn’t be able to take part in learning at school and therefore need to eat foods for breakfast that are low in sugar.

Miss Neal then introduced to us some cereals, these cereals were Coco Pops, Just Right, Nutri-Grain, Cornflakes and Weetbix. She asked us to make an educated prediction as to what cereal had the most sugar and what cereal had the least. A majority of us predicted Coco Pops had the highest sugar content. When Miss Neal asked why we predicted that Dali said “because it tastes like chocolate” which is a lolly/ treat and therefore has a lot of sugar. When asked what we predicted had the least amount of sugar a majority of us thought Cornflakes because they are made from corn which is a healthy vegetable.

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Classifying cereals we investigated

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Dali and Chloe classifying the cereals

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Visual representation showing the amount of sugar per serving in each of the 5 cereals we investigated

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Zayn peeling his piece of banana

In order to put these cereals to the test, we learnt how to read the nutrition label. The nutrition label told us how much sugar was in a serving of each cereal. We discovered that the amount of sugar on the label is measured in grams, we found it hard to comprehend how much a gram physically was. Miss Neal then explained to us how we could convert grams to teaspoons, a measurement we are familiar with. She taught us that 4 grams of sugar roughly converted to 1 teaspoon of sugar, Miss Neal showed us a conversion calculator online that we used to help us.

By reading the nutrition label of each cereal and finding out how much grams of sugar was in a serving we were able to work together as a team to convert it into teaspoons using the calculator on the iPad. We then measured the amount of sugar for each cereal using a teaspoon and placed it in a ziplock bag. This created a visual representation of how much sugar is in each cereal. Having this visual representation made it easier for us to understand how much sugar was in each serving of the different cereals.

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Lachlan cutting his banana into slices

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Isobel using tongs to grab a Weetbix

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Fletcher carefully pouring the milk into his bowl

We discovered that our prediction that Coco Pops contained the most sugar was correct, a serving of Coco Pops contains a whopping 8.5 teaspoons of sugar! Our prediction that cornflakes had the least amount of sugar was proven wrong. Although it contained one of the lowest amounts of sugar out of the 5 cereals it was weetbix that had the least. Weetbix has only 0.6 teaspoons of sugar per serving.

Once we had gone through the process of measuring out the sugar content of each cereal we sorted them into healthy and unhealthy cereals. Miss Neal taught us the healthy food guidelines suggest that a healthy cereal had less than 10 grams or 2 teaspoons of sugar per serving. We found that Weetbix and cornflakes met the criteria for a ‘healthy’ cereal, while Just Right, Nutri-Grain, and Coco Pops, unfortunately, fell into the ‘unhealthy’ category as they had more than 2 teaspoons of sugar per serving. We chatted about how ‘healthy’ cereals are cereals we can eat each and every day and that the ‘unhealthy’ cereals are cereals we can have sometimes as a treat.

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Sam enjoying his healthy breakfast

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Dali eating her Weetbix and banana

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Enjoying the delicious health breakfast we just made

Next, we all learnt how to make our very own healthy breakfast. We used our fine motor skills to peel and carefully slice a banana using a safe knife. We then used the tongs to place a Weetbix into our bowl. Lastly, we attentively poured some milk on top to finish it off. Alex thought that the breakfast he had made was “yum” and Sam thought it tasted “delicious!”.

In continuing our passion project we will be investigating lunch foods. We will be creating our very own healthy lunch box posters to display around the school in order to help educate others students at Wairakei Primary School about healthy eating.

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Keywords: Breakfast, Health, Learning.

Curriculum Link:

Health (Level 1 - Personal Health and Physical Development)

English (Level 1 – Oral Language)

Mathematics (Level 1 - Measurement)

16 Enjoying the delicious health breakfast we just made