Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Sites For Learning About Nutrition & Food Safety

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'Nutrition Facts Panel for Ground Beef' photo (c) 2011, U.S. Department of Agriculture - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

There have been a number of web tools that have “opened for business” in the past year related food nutrition and safety. I thought it might be useful to both my students and others to create a “The Best…” list related to the topic.

You can also find links to most of these sites — and more — on my website under Health.

Here are my picks — not in order of preference — for The Best Sites For Learning About Nutrition & Food Safety (and that are accessible to English Language Learners, of course):

Breaking News English has a lesson, including audio support for the text, titled Life Near Fast Food Restaurants Unhealthy.

Calorie King has a fairly accessible database on the nutritional content ofmany different kinds of food.  It would require some pre-teaching on what nutrition labels mean, though.

Fatburgr provides basic nutritional information on menus from popular fast food restaurants in a very simple and accessible interface.

The University of California-Davis has developed some wonderfully entertaining, informative, and accessible music videos about food safety issues. They’re closed-captioned, and many, if not all, are not sung very fast.

Here’s a slideshow called How Many Calories In A Thanksgiving Dinner? Not only does it show the different foods that compose a typical Thanksgiving dinner, but it also shares the calorie content of each one.

Eat, Drink, and Be Wary is the name of an interactive from the Sun-Sentinel newspaper in Florida.  It shows images and descriptions of various holiday foods. If you click on them, you’ll then see how much exercise you have to do in order to “work off” each food’s calories.

Food Fury is a fun game where players have to select which foods are important to eat every day and which ones should not.  It’s good for nutrition education and vocabulary acquisition.  It’s definitely accessible to English Language Learners of all levels.  The same site also has another healthy food game called Juice Jumble.

Stadium Nutrition from Aetna is an interactive exercise where you create a meal you’d eat at a baseball stadium and you’re then told its nutritional content.

Make Your Calories Count is a good tutorial from the Food and Drug Administration.  It demonstrates how to read nutrition labels on food products.  It’s probably accessible to Early Intermediate English Language Learners.

The Lunch-o-Matic game from PBS has players pick foods that help provide a healthy lunch.  It uses both text and audio.

The great Learning Edge computer-based “paper” has an audio and text article on “Men Don’t Eat Vegetables.” The Learning Edge has another one called Eat Less Meat.

Healthy Eating is a song from the British Council.

Get On The Right Track To Healthy Eating is a simple e-book with audio support.

Fantastic Food Challenge is another healthy food game — this time from Michigan State University.

The Incredible Adventures Of The Amazing Food Detective comes from Kaiser Permanente Health

Healthy Roads Media has some great web-based nutrition multimedia tools. You just have to scroll down until you reach the Nutrition section.

The Top 100 Foods To Improve Productivity is an interactive from the British newspaper The Guardian.

The Food Pyramid is a good animated movie from Brainpop, Jr., though you have to subscribe in order to view it.

(The United States Agriculture Department has now replaced the Food Pyramid with “My Plate.” You can read about the change at The Christian Science Monitor. More importantly, you can access online interactive tools and printables at the My Plate site. You can also see an interesting Wall Street Journal slideshow documenting the history of the government’s efforts to help the public learn about nutrition.)

Good Guide, which I’ve posted about previously, rates products on health, environmental and social performance. They’ve recently added food items to the items they review (you can read more about it at this Webware post). Their ratings are a little different from the other sites on this list, and might be worth a look.

Still Tasty tells you how long different foods will stay safe to eat and what’s the best way to store them. It’s more appropriate for Intermediate ELL’s.

Mission Nutrition is yet another healthy food game. This one is from Kids Health.

Buy Better Groceries is an interactive graphic from the Washington Post.  It lets you choose from a variety of grocery sections. Then, you choose brand names from that product category. You’re then shown the different nutritional values of your choice, and you can compare that with other options. You can then fill-up a virtual grocery cart with your “purchases” and see a total nutritional information for everything you’ve “bought.”

The My Pyramid Blast-Off Game is a fun way for students to learn about the Food Pyramid. It’s accessible to Intermediate ELL’s.

CBS News has an impressive interactive on Diet and Nutrition.

Two Foods lets you easily compare the nutritional content of…any two foods. My Foodapedia is a similar site.

Why Americans Are Fat is an infographic that explains why knowing about nutrition is critical for our students.

Fizzy’s Lunch Lab is from PBS, and is designed to help kids learn healthy food habits. Most of the text on the site is provided with audio support.

The Nutrition Cafe at the Pacific Science Center has some neat activities.

Dole’s Superkids also has a bunch of neat activities and games. You might need to click on the “low-bandwidth version,” and that seemed fine to me.

Food Champs has a lot different leveled activities related to food vocabulary and nutrition. Most, if not all, of the site is accessible to English Language Learners.

You can play the Food Pyramid Adventure game.

Guess The Calories is another online nutrition game.

Dining Decisions is yet another healthy food game.

Play “Unmuddle The Meals.”

Start Making Choices has some good interactive guides on nutrition, as does Nutrition Explorations.

9 condiments that are good for you is an MSNBC slideshow that would be accessible to Intermediate English Language Learners.

The Salt Hiding in Your Diet is an interactive from the Wall Street Journal that shows…where you wouldn’t think you’d find salt in your diet.

Lunch Line Redesign is a New York Times interactive that highlights ways that school cafeterias are using to encourage students to eat more healthy foods. It’s really quite interesting, and I think it could be a great discussion starter with students.

Pick Chow is an interactive game on nutrition.

ADDENDUM:

Here are some sites related to obesity that are accessible to ELL’s:

What is the current state of obesity in America? is an infographic.

The Wall Street Journal has a Childhood Obesity Map.

The Journal also has another map called Obesity Rates, State by State.

The Trust For America’s Health has just published a map titled F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2010. It shows adult and child obesity rates by state.

If you scroll down this Journal article, you’ll also see an accessible infographic will more useful information.

“Dangers Of Obesity” is a well-done infographic from a Florida newspaper.

Weight of the world is a fascinating interactive infographic from The Washington Post that lets you see how people in different countries have gained weight over the past thirty years.

Food contamination: E. coli outbreak in Europe is an Associated Press interactive.

You Say Potato, Scale Says Uh-Oh is a Wall Street Journal report on a study that “quantifies how much weight a person is likely to gain or lose over four years based on one additional daily serving of a range of specific foods.” This article is particularly useful to English Language Learners because it contains a very accessible infographic.

Let’s Take a Look at How Fat the World Has Become is a chart from The Atlantic.

I’m also adding a slideshow on America’s Wacky Fair Foods. It could be a fun example to show students about what not to eat.

The New York Times has published a fascinating article titled Is Junk Food Cheaper? It’s not accessible to English Language Learners, but it includes a lot of important information that teachers might want to modify to share with students. Here’s an excerpt that particularly struck me:

…the engineering behind hyperprocessed food makes it virtually addictive. A 2009 study by the Scripps Research Institute indicates that overconsumption of fast food “triggers addiction-like neuroaddictive responses” in the brain, making it harder to trigger the release of dopamine. In other words the more fast food we eat, the more we need to give us pleasure; thus the report suggests that the same mechanisms underlie drug addiction and obesity.

We Are What We Eat is a pretty amazing interactive infographic on food habits in the U.S. and around the world.

California teens eat fewer calories in school is from Reuters.

This is your brain on sugar: UCLA study shows high-fructose diet sabotages learning, memory is from UCLA.

Processed sugar isn’t just a recipe for obesity—it may also hurt your ability to learn
is from The Pacific Standard.

Why It Matters That California Teens Eat Less Than Their Peers is from NPR.

“North America home to stunning third of world’s body weight”

 

Brought to you by Teach.com and MAT@USC.

 

Adolescent Health | Nutrition, Healthy Weight and Eating Disorders is from The New York Times Learning Network.

Are Your Eating Habits Healthy? is also from The NYT Learning Network.

Harmful Soda
Via: Term Life Insurance

Fast Food FACTS Report

Are Fast-Food Advertisers Playing You?

Is Junk Food Really Cheaper? is from The New York Times.

“Where are you on the global fat scale?”

Calorie Count is an accessible tool that tells you the number of calories just about every commercially produced food contains, and also shares information on different types of exercises and how much you have to do of them to work off those calories.

The weight of Obesity

Learn about infographic design.

Discussing Junk Food With English-Language Learners is from The New York Times Learning Network.

Walk-to-burn-calorie menu ‘diet aid’ is from The BBC.

‘Soda Mouth’ Can Look A Lot Like ‘Meth Mouth’ is from NPR.

The healthiest regions in the United States is an impressive interactive infographic from The Washington Post.

Please include attribution to InsuranceQuotes.org with this graphic.

Serving Sizes Around the World

Fast-Food TV Advertising Aimed at Kids: Who

by Whoisshih.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Working Off What You Eat

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Sugar content of everyday foods – in pictures is from The Guardian.

Burning Calories

Source: WeightTraining.com – Burning Calories

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See Full Size of above infographic here.

11 Kinds Of Junk Food That Cost Almost Twice As Much As Something Healthier is from Buzz Feed.

Why BMI Isn’t The Best Measure for Weight (or Health) is an article from TIME.


How Long It takes To Burn Calories infographic.

As always, feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

3 Comments

  1. Larry, as always you’ve compiled an amazing list of resources.
    There are a couple more here http://bit.ly/4B34oo that I’ve found useful as well.
    Thanks for all you do!

  2. Great posting! Looking forward to checking out each and every one of your recommendations!

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