Recipes and cooking methods can be modified to help meet current healthy eating messages.
It is important that pupils have a good understanding of the current healthy eating messages and that they can then apply these when planning recipes and meals. Nutritional analysis of recipes enables pupils to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and application of current healthy eating messages.
This area covers:
- modifying recipes;
- using healthier cooking methods;
- analysing the energy and nutrients provided by recipes/dishes.
- To explain the underlying principles of recipe modification and the simple changes that can be made to improve the nutritional content of dishes, show the Recipe modification and cooking for health presentation.
- To encourage team working, divide the class into groups of four. Give each group a piece of flipchart paper and a pen and ask them as a group to suggest ways to modify recipes to meet government healthy eating recommendations, e.g. reduce saturated fat, increase fruit and vegetables, increase fibre, eat more oily fish. Allow the group 5 minutes to write down as many ideas as they can and then ask them to report back to the other groups. If the pieces of paper are neat enough, they could be used as part of a display or as a revision resource.
- To develop a greater understanding of the fibre content of a variety of food and how preparation and cooking methods can influence this, complete the Fibre line up (Fibre line up answers) Print off two sets of the food cards, divide the class into two groups and ask each group to place the foods in the order they think has the least fibre to the most fibre. Go through the answers and ask the pupils to place the foods in the correct order. Discuss what they have found out. Did anything surprise them? How might they use this information to increase the fibre content of a recipe?
- To illustrate the application and understanding of modifying a recipe to improve its nutritional profile, task the pupils to complete the Change for health worksheet. Pupils are asked to review a lasagne recipe and indicate the changes they would make to reduce total fat and increase fibre content.
- Modifying recipes is one strategy to improving health. Recipes can be modified to include more fruit and vegetables, contain more fibre, and /or contain less fat, free sugars or salt. Task the pupils to complete one of the recipe modification worksheets to demonstrate their understanding and application of healthier eating. There is a choice of five worksheets: Modifying recipes – bolognaise, Modifying recipes – cauliflower cheese, Modifying recipes – pasta and tomato sauce, Modifying recipes – sausage and mash, Modifying recipes – apple crumble. The Small change Big difference worksheets could also be used as an alternative activity.
- To enable the pupils to apply their knowledge, show the Twist the dish! presentation and use the Twist the dish! Cards. Then set the challenge of creating a dish that exemplifies a particular healthy eating message, e.g. reducing saturated fat intake, reducing salt or free sugars or eating more fruit and vegetables.
- To develop independent research and enable pupils to make their own choices around cooking for health, complete one of the Make it with mince challenges: Make it with mince challenge – healthier eating, Make it with mince challenge – Eatwell Guide, Make it with mince challenge – higher fibre dishes, Make it with mince challenge – starchy carbohydrates. Each challenge gives a context, aims, objectives and teachers notes. The challenges provide a good opportunity to develop pupil’s independent learning skills in preparation for studies at 14-16 years.
- To recap on cooking methods and heat exchange, show the Heat exchange presentation. Task pupils to complete the Heat exchange worksheet.
- To identify healthier ways to cook food, show the Healthier cooking methods presentation. Ask pupils to list the healthier cooking methods and for each method, suggest at least two different recipes.
- To demonstrate understanding of healthier cooking methods, challenge the pupils to modify the cooking method for a particular food or recipe and evaluate the results. Examples of practical activities could be cooking an egg in a variety of ways, e.g. boiling, scrambling in a pan or a microwave, poaching and frying, or cooking sausages or burgers in a frying pan, under the grill or in the oven.
- To check understanding of healthier cooking methods, task the students to complete the Cooking with red meat worksheet.
For further information about healthy eating, go to the Healthy eating area.
- Nutritional analysis allows ideas for recipes to be tested before they are made. Changes to recipes might look to reduce the fat, salt or sugar provided or increase fibre. To explain the underlying principles of nutritional analysis and the importance of knowing the nutritional composition of food and dishes, show the Nutritional analysis – why and how presentation.
- To introduce pupils to nutritional analysis using a programme such as Explore food, task them to complete the Using Explore food worksheet.
- Following a practical lesson task the pupils to carry out a nutritional analysis of their dish using a nutritional analysis programme such as Explore food. Set the challenge of improving the nutritional profile of the dish. A further extension to this task could be to make both the original and modified versions of the dish and then conduct a sensory evaluation to determine if the sensory properties have changed.
- To apply previous knowledge of food labelling to recipe modification use the Recipe modification worksheet.
- To provide pupils with further practice of using a nutritional analysis programme, task them to complete one or more of the following worksheets: Modifying a recipe – scone based pizza, Investigating portion sizes, High, medium or low, DRVs challenge.
For further information, support and resources around nutritional analysis, go to Explore food.
- As an extended piece of work, task the students to complete the Food route Cooking up to 14 years booklet.
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