National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix

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Nutritious Almonds

Grade Level(s)

3 - 5

Estimated Time

50 minutes plus homework assignment

Purpose

Students will learn about a balanced diet and the nutritional benefits of eating almonds. Students will learn nutrition vocabulary and create a meal and recipe book incorporating almonds. 

Materials

  • An Almond Story video (optional if students have not yet seen it)
  • California Almonds – Delicious and Nutritious handout
  • An Almond Story activity book, pages 14-15, 21-22: My Plate, a Tasty Little Nut, and Recipes
  • KWL chart (optional)

Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)

Essential Links

Vocabulary

calorie: unit of energy

culinary: of or for cooking

fiber: helps you feel full and cleans out your digestive system

ingredients: a substance that forms part of a mixture, like in a recipe

iron: helps transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body

potassium: keeps your muscles and nervous system working properly by making sure they have the right amount of water

protein: A basic component of food that is essential for building, maintaining, and replacing tissue in our bodies such as our muscles, organs, and immune system

Did you know? (Ag Facts)

  • By weight, almonds are 50% fat. However, they consist of unsaturated fats, which are the healthy kinds of fat.1
  • Almonds are part of the protein food group.1
  • Studies show that almonds help with weight loss, promote heart health, help protect against type 2 diabetes, and improve digestive health.1

Background Agricultural Connections

This lesson plan is part of a five-lesson series for grades 3-5 which teaches about agriculture by focusing on all aspects of the almond industry. Students will learn about the people involved in growing almonds, development of almond trees and nuts, almond processing, different uses of almonds, almond history and nutritional information. Almonds are an important commodity in California agriculture. Approximately 6,800 growers located throughout the Central Valley of California produce close to two billion pounds of almonds each year. California produces more than 80% of the world’s almonds and virtually 100% of the domestic supply. Lessons in this series include:

Throughout history, almonds have been enjoyed not only for their delicate flavor, versatility and great crunch, but also their legendary nutritional properties. For example: Almonds are a nutritionally dense and filling snack: A 1-ounce, 160-calorie serving of almonds, or about a handful, is an excellent source of Zinc (0.9mg), Potassium (200mg), Vitamin E (7.3mg), and Monounsaturated Fats (9g). Almonds also are a good source of Fiber (3.5g), Protein (6g), Iron (1mg), Riboflavin (0.3mg), Niacin (1mg), and Calcium (75mg). All of these things may help provide that “full” feeling everyone wants after a meal or snack. On the back of most food packages, you will find a nutrition label. This label not only shows the ingredients for that food, but also explains the amount of product typically eaten in one sitting (sometimes referred to as a serving size). 

Are almonds good for you?

Almonds are a tasty snack that do a lot of good things for your body. The protein in almonds helps to build and repair our bodies, the fiber aids the digestion of foods, and the calcium helps in building and maintaining strong bones and teeth. Although many foods may be good for you, it’s important to remember not to eat too much of one thing. Even if you don’t like one type of food, there’s plenty of other foods that have similar nutrients. A serving of almonds (about 23) is a great snack to enjoy anytime, anywhere.

Almonds are a nutritionally dense and filling snack: A 1-ounce, 160-calorie serving of almonds, or about a handful, is an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium, and a good source of fiber and phosphorous. Almonds also have unsaturated fat (13g), saturated fat (1g), protein (6g), potassium (200mg), calcium (75mg), iron (1mg) and fiber (3.5g). All of these things may help provide that “full” feeling everyone wants after a meal or snack. On the back of most food packages, you will find a nutrition label. This label not only shows the ingredients for that food, but also explains the amount of product typically eaten in one sitting (sometimes referred to as a serving size).

What is MyPlate?

MyPlate is a diagram created by the United States Department of Agriculture. It helps us learn which foods are the most nutritious and how much we should eat every day to stay healthy. MyPlate is broken up into food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy. Almonds are listed on MyPlate under the protein food group along with meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, beans, peas and other nuts.

Interest Approach – Engagement

  1. Prior to class, gather as many almond-based foods as you can. After verifying that your students do not have any nut allergies, have an almond tasting. Try almond butter, almond milk, roasted and salted almonds, etc. If possible, make cookies with almond flour and see if your students can taste a difference.
  2. Once students have tasted the foods, ask them if foods from almonds would be considered "healthy." Allow students to offer their answers and introduce the lesson informing students that almonds are a healthy treat and that they will be learning why. 

Procedures

  1. Ask, “Who knows what nutrition means?” Discuss the definition of nutrition and nutrients. (Nutrition is the process of eating the right kind of food so you can grow properly and be healthy. Nutrients provide nourishment from food and are essential for health and growth) 
  2. Almonds are full of nutrients that are good for your body. Have students look at the California Almonds – Delicious and Nutritious handout or project it on the board. Read together and discuss vocabulary: Calories, Zinc, Potassium, Vitamin E, Monounsaturated Fats, Fiber, Protein, Iron, Riboflavin, Niacin, and Calcium.
  3. As a class, read and complete pages 14-15 from the activity book, My Plate and A Tasty Little Nut. Emphasize that almonds are in the protein food group which is important in building strong muscles.
  4. Have students share what they eat regularly that are good sources of the nutritional components discussed.
    • Optional: If students are keeping a KWL chart, have them add new information about almonds as the lesson progresses.
  5. Read the recipes on pages 21-22 of the activity book and have students plan meals, or a menu, for the day, incorporating the recipes. Have students share their meal and menu ideas.
  6. Create a classroom recipe book. Have students bring recipes from home or research different recipes they would like to include. Visit the Almond Recipe Center webpage or the Choose MyPlate Recipes webpage for ideas. Students should type their recipes and compile them into a classroom recipe book. 

Important
We welcome your feedback! Please take a minute to tell us how to make this lesson better or to give us a few gold stars!

 

Enriching Activities

  • Watch the video, An Almond Story.

  • Have students complete page 13, Eating Right, from An Almond Story activity book.

  • Plan an Almond Recipe Cook-off contest where students bring in their recipes and compete for the best recipe.

  • Have an almond tasting. Try almond butter, roasted and salted, natural, blanched, etc.

  • Comparison test: bake a familiar treat like cookies, using different flours, including almond. See if students can tell the difference.

  • Use the Almond Fact and Activity Sheet to learn more about the production, history, nutrition, and economic value of the almond.

Suggested Companion Resources

Agricultural Literacy Outcomes

Food, Health, and Lifestyle

  • Describe the necessary food components of a healthy diet using the current dietary guidelines (T3.3-5.a)
  • Identify food sources of required food nutrients (T3.3-5.g)

Education Content Standards

Within HEALTH

Health Standard 5: Demonstrate the ability to use decision-making skills to enhance health.

  • 5.5.5
    5.5.5
    Choose a healthy option when making a decision.

Health Standard 7: Demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks.

  • 7.5.2
    7.5.2
    Demonstrate a variety of healthy practices and behaviors to maintain or improve personal health.

Common Core Connections

Writing: Anchor Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.3
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.3
    Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.4
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.4
    Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.5
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.5
    Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

 

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