In this lesson, students uncover the difference between natural sugars and added sugars. They complete an activity that shows the amount of added sugar in everyday products and learn about the importance of natural sugars and fibre in fruit. Students will create a healthy plate where they take out added sugar and replace it with a healthier alternative.
- learn that the body needs food as a source of energy
- learn that too much sugar is not good for the body
- learn how much sugar is in different foods
- show their understanding that the body needs food as a source of energy
- understand that the amount of sugar contained in foods is different
- make choices based on the amount of added sugar an item has
Lesson guides and printables
This lesson is part of the wider unit of work SugarByHalf – Lower Primary – Sugar and Healthy Kidneys
Time required: 90 mins
Level of teacher scaffolding: High – Lead class discussion, facilitate activities and assist students in task
To view our Australian Curriculum alignment click here
To view our NZ Curriculum alignment click here
- Student Worksheets – one copy per student
- Device capable of presenting a video to the class
- Demonstration Equipment:
- Various items with sugar (e.g., lemonade, milk, water, apple juice)
- cups (to match the number of items)
- sticky notes
- zip lock bags
- marker pen
- an orange (cut in half)
- paper plate worksheet or paper plates
Prior preparations: Organise eight sticky notes. Leave four of these blank, they will be filled in when the student predicts how many teaspoons of sugar are in the item. Write on the remaining four sticky notes: water = 0 teaspoons, juice = 7½ teaspoons, soft drink = 7½ – 16 teaspoons (this number varies greatly!), milk = 1 teaspoon.
Set up a demonstration area with the items containing sugar. Place an empty cup with each of the items. Put the sticky notes on the table as well (make sure the sticky notes that are written on are kept hidden). Place a spoon and zip lock bags, marker pen and orange (cut in half) on the table as well.
These lessons were developed in partnership with SugarByHalf and Filter Your Future. Filter Your Future guides children towards positive lifestyle choices to reduce the impact of preventable chronic diseases in future generations. Not many people know that type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure account for half the chronic kidney disease cases in Australia. When children learn about the function of the kidneys to clean the blood, how it balances water and salts, and remove waste from the body, they develop an understanding which motivates them to follow a healthier lifestyle.
Filter Your Future's vision is that young students are provided with evidence about the global health epidemic of weight-related chronic diseases and are empowered to make better lifestyle choices for a healthier future.
People who carry the burden of chronic disease all share the same vision for the future. They want their children and grandchildren to have a healthier future than themselves. By providing children with early awareness, prevention and health promotion, we provide pivotal education about wise choices to prevent chronic disease before poor lifestyle choices become unhealthy habits. Members of the Dialysis and Transplant Association of Victoria, Inc. (D.A.T.A.) and FILTER YOUR FUTURE® believe that this project will benefit our future generations and our nation.
SugarByHalf promotes action to reduce sugar-related diseases so that we can live better, stronger and healthier lives.
Their message is simple: to reduce added sugar consumption by half. Eating too much added sugar is a key driver of serious health problems including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay, dementia and mental health conditions. A poor diet also puts children behind their peers, affecting brain development, sleep and ability to learn. Poor diet choices ultimately mean that this generation of children could be the first in modern history to live shorter lives than their parents.
Much of the added sugar in our diet comes from the processed foods and drinks we consume. On average, we consume 14-16 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Teenagers consume more than 20 teaspoons per day. The World Health Organisation says we should limit our daily added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons for good health. To put that in perspective, there are 4 grams of sugar in one teaspoon. If something has 20 grams of sugar, that's 5 teaspoons of sugar.
This English lesson focuses on developing the skills and knowledge students need to critically consider messages about food and drink they are exposed to, thereby equipping them to be able to make healthy choices.
Talking about Health:
- Be mindful of students who may experience weight stigma. Some students may be sensitive to conversations around weight, body size or shape. Terms including obesity, weight issues, weight-problem and fat can be stigmatising for some people because they assign blame. It is important to note individual preferences around language vary. Research has shown using the terms ‘weight’, ‘weight gain’, ‘healthy weight’, ‘unhealthy weight’, and ‘high BMI’ are preferred as better alternatives.
- Be mindful about how you use the word ‘diet’. We recommend focussing students on the positive impacts of healthy nutrition and healthy lifestyles which help us to have stronger bodies and minds, feel good and sleep well.
- Steer students away from any focus on appearances by communicating that appearance does not determine your worth. We recommend the fact sheets from the Butterfly Foundation on body image tips.
- Avoid using labels such as obese or diabetic. Refer to people living with diabetes, people living with cancer, people with high BMI etc.