Food for thought-200

Can a cookbook save your life?

We need food to live, but are we making the best choices when it comes to nutrition? A healthy, well-balanced diet can help people achieve optimal health and reduce the risk of illness. In this project, students will learn to make healthier choices by diving deep into the world of nutrition. Students will use their creativity to design and test healthy recipes. They will think like dieticians, using data to improve on their delicious designs. Finally, they’ll present their nutritious dishes to a live audience and create a cookbook to sell for a charitable cause.

Imagine if thousands of students just like yours, all around the country, made small changes to improve their lifestyles. It could add up to an incredible force for good!

Project Plan and Resources

Learning Targets


Lesson 1: Students understand that nutrition is really, really important.

Lesson 2: Students evaluate whether foods are healthy or not.

Lesson 3: Students discuss and debate perspectives on nutrition.

Lesson 4: Students think mathematically to analyze nutrition labels.

Lesson 5: Students use creative thinking to generate multiple recipes.

Lesson 6: Students collaborate to make their healthy recipes.

Lesson 7: Students use data to improve their recipes.

Lesson 8: Students present their food with poise, polish, pizzazz, and also panache.

For lesson descriptions, download the project overview.

For K–8 content connections, download the content correlations.

Online Resources

Interactive Games and Activities

  • All That and a Bag of Chips! Activity
  • Chef Hat Creation Template
  • Fair Testing Activity
  • Food Group Sorting Activity
  • Virtual Healthy Track
  • Virtual “Your Heart or Mine” Game
  • “Your Heart or Mine” Game*

Websites and Videos

  • Is it Time to Label GMO Foods? Newsela article
  • MyFitnessPal Calculator
  • Video: Chef Hat Instructional Video
  • Video: Eyes of Nye — GMO Foods*
  • Video: FIT KIDS MyPlate Food Groups
  • Video: Gregory the Terrible Eater Read Aloud
  • Video: How to Use Measuring Cups
  • Video: Interview with a Toxicologist
  • Video: Is Junk Food Really Bad for You?
  • Video: Nutrition Facts Labels
  • Video: Part I: Kids Nutrition Video-How Much Sugar is Bad for My Body
  • Video: The Five Fabulous Food Groups
  • Video: The Health Food v Junk Food Song
  • Video: Why Kids Should Eat Healthy and Exercise

Additional Resources

  • Beyond the Plate Informational Sheet*
  • Friends & Family Feast Day Virtual Alternatives
  • Friends & Family Feast Day Invitation
  • Home Letter
  • Pizza: Healthy or Unhealthy? Informational Sheet 
  • Press Release Template
  • Press Release Tips
  • Recipe Examples
  • Recommended Book List
  • Reflection Journal
  • Student Self-Assessment Rubric
  • Teacher Assessment Rubric
  • Too Much Sugar? Informational Sheet
  • Virtual Be Safe and Be Healthy Resource

All lessons include:

About the Author

Edwin Maisonet

STEM Teacher
McCleery Elementary School
Aurora, IL

Each Blue Apple Project Includes:

Edwin Maisonet

STEM Teacher
McCleery Elementary School
Aurora, IL

Hello! My name is Edwin Maisonet and I received my B.A. in Elementary Education from Northern Illinois University. I subsequently earned a Masters Degree in Teacher Leadership and Life Science from Aurora University. In the past I have taught self-contained elementary classrooms in grades 2-6. Currently, I am employed by Aurora West School District 129, and serve as the STEM teacher at McCleery Elementary School. My hobbies included English literature, playing the electric bass, and talking science.