Is That Stew Healthy?

Scripture: Genesis 25-26

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of Jacob and Esau.
  • Students will learn Jacob convinced Esau to give him his birthright by giving him some stew.
  • Students will learn how to calculate the nutritional value of a recipe.
  • Students will participate in an activity allowing them to practice calculating the nutritional value of a recipe.

Guiding Question: How does one calculate the nutritional value of a recipe to determine how healthy it is?

Materials: computers/laptops, recipes (preferably their favorite recipes from home)

Procedure: (NOTE:Several classes before teaching this lesson, ask students to go home and find the recipes for the foods they would normally eat in one day at their house. If some of the foods are processed, they should bring in the nutritional information from the label of the food.) Review the story of Jacob and Esau and the stew exchanged for the birthright. Explain to the students that in Bible times much of the food was very healthy. It did not have the large amounts of sugar in much of the food today. Many people were poor and could only afford breads, fruits, vegetables and only meat on special occasions. Remind students it is very important for them to make sure most of the foods they eat are healthy foods.

Share with students the recommended nutrients and calories in a diet for someone their age (Here is a link to the Heart Association’s suggestions.) Have students take the recipes they brought from home and put the ingredients into the nutritional calculator. Encourage students to add up all of the numbers for the various foods representing one typical day of their diet. What totals do they have? How do their numbers compare to the suggested numbers for someone their age? Do they need to change some eating habits to be healthier? (Please note:Links can change and we have not vetted the entire websites suggested. Please review carefully before sending students to a link.)

Additional Questions:

  • How can you take an unhealthy recipe and make it healthier, but still taste good to eat?

Supplemental Activity: Have more advanced students research how to adapt recipes and make them healthier. Encourage them to take some of the unhealthy recipes students may have brought from home and change them to a healthier version. Have students take the adapted recipes home for willing mothers to cook with their student. Did they like the new recipe? Would they be willing to use it in the future to encourage healthier eating? Have students share their findings with others.

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